I learned a lot about losing weight on my 125lbs weight loss journey. I have continued to
learn more and more on my continued journey of maintaining my weight loss as well as through my time and experience as a weight loss coach coaching over 300 people on weight loss.
The Question of the Day
Today as I was considering a podcast topic for the week I thought of an
interesting question. A thought experiment.
I wondered how would I approach weight loss if I had to start over again.
I learned a lot and if I were to go back to the beginning I would NOT approach it exactly the same way I did the first time. There is much I learned on the way that I wished I had learned earlier in the journey.
For those of you already on your Quest. What would you do? If you had to start again with the benefit of hindsight what would you do differently? Would you do anything differently or would you just repeat the same exact process again?
QUESTION: How would you approach that first week?
Allow me to take a few moments and walk you through how I would go about weight loss if I were to start over again.
Step 1: Forgive myself and move on
Sitting around berating myself is not going to help anything. At a certain point you just need to look at yourself in the mirror, accept that you are the one that got yourself into this and that you are the one to get yourself out of this. Hard truth? Maybe for some but it doesn't change the reality of the situation. I know myself well enough to know that the sooner I accept my personal responsibility the better.
I know it is for the better because once I accept responsibility for the problem I am also accepting responsibility for solving the problem which is PERFECT because no one else is coming. The person I have been waiting for my whole life is me.
If I were starting over again the first thing I would do would be to forgive myself so I am free to work without the self imposed mental anguish. The mental flogging isn't helpful.
Step 2: Define my Objective Clearly
While setting aspirational goals like "learning about my hunger" are extremely important, it is equally important to have goals that can be checked off. I know the importance of having a goal where there is a clear answer to the question of "did you do it?"
At first I want the goal to be a simple one but one that still requires me to actually do something. While I can see the value of participation trophies for weight loss such as "well at least I didn't do xyz detrimental behavior" I find that aiming for those isn't particularly inspirational for me. I respond much better to goals that require some degree of action and change. Of growth. Of progression.
My starter high level goal for week 1 would be to regain control over all of my choices. To make sure I am doing the things I set out to do. To give myself a set of conditions and to meet all of those conditions.
The rest of this list till be the detailed breakdown of what specific objectives I want to regain control over.
Once I have demonstrated to myself that I have the present ability to exert control over myself I will then level up my goals and add more to my weight loss strategy. Whenever I find that I am struggling to control my actions I know I will have found the area where I need to grow as a person.
It's important to always remember that you always have the ability to learn more about yourself and as you do you will learn how to control yourself more. It often doesn't happen by accident however.
Step 3: 1 Week Without Being Stuffed
If I were starting my weight loss quest all over the again the first major definable objective would be to go my first week without feeling that uncomfortable stuffed feeling. Not even once. Not even because "it's my buddies birthday." Not even because I went to Golden Corral and my favorite rolls and honey butter are there. Not even because my Mom made her wold famous pot of Chicken N Dumplings and I haven't had them in a whole year.
For 1 week I do not get stuffed to the point of physical discomfort.
For 1 week I would commit to myself that I will not under any circumstances eat to the point of being overly full. It would use this goal because this is something I have complete and total control over. I can control when I stop eating. No one else can dictate this to me. This is 100% my choice and I will exert my own personal power for 1 damn week! After that I will re-evaluate but I wouldn't even worry about it till I have done it for a week.
Step 4: Say No to Everything Offered for 1 Week
As my objective is to regain control over my choices again I would commit to not accepting any food offered to me for 1 week. I would pre-determine at the onset of the week that I will not accept anything offered to me. I can do that for 1 week. Nothing bad will happen if I say no. I will yet gain commit to exercising my personal power and ability to choose and I would say no.
This would be very important objective for me personally because I know that I can never really know if I chose the thing offered to me of my own volition or just because it was there. So to be safe I would not accept anything for 1 week so that I knew every food choice made for 1 week was my choice and my choice alone. This way I can't blame anyone else for anything. If it works out it's on me. If it doesn't work out it's on me.
I would accept that people are GOING to offer me food. I can't control that so I won't try. All I can control is my response to this inevitable situation.
This obviously would not be a long term objective but in the short term I would want to focus on this because it is something I can control and I want to start with things that I have 100% control over.
Step 5: Workout 6 Days of the Week
Now this one might be counter-intuitive sounding to a lot of people. Often people will say that you should not take on too much too fast and I would even count myself as one of those people.
However, allow me the chance to explain my thought process here.
Working out has a few elements. You have frequency, duration, intensity, and the specific activity. All of these factor into the choices for exercise and all of these factors come into the determination if something is "too hard" or not.
The reality is that one of the most important variables for forming a habit is frequency. As success would be my only acceptable outcome for me I would need to get exercise set in my mind as a habit as quickly as possible. So I must use the law of repetition for this.
The more often something is repeated the higher the likelihood my mind will seek to convert it into a habitual patter. If I were starting over again I would want to get myself into the habit of working out as fast a humanly possible so I would prioritize the frequency over the intensity and duration.
AS I have increased the difficulty factor with a higher duration I need to offset this and make it easy in another way. So I will look at the other variables of: Duration, intensity, and specific activity. I will set my minimum duration expectations at 15 minutes of a home dumbbell workout. I know many routines at this point that can be done in 15 minutes so I would focus on those if I need to. I would also tell myself to not worry about intensity for 1 week as that is not the point. I am also free to pivot to a different workout. The important part is 15 minutes minimum 6 days per week.
I would still strive to workout more than the 15 minutes something and I would even want to have 1 or 2 workouts at the gym so that I have proximity to other like minded individuals where I can absorb their every and vibes into my life. However this would be a bonus and aspirational extra credit and NOT the minimum expectation.
Step 6: Get to Steppin!
Steps, steps, steps! I have learned enough about weight loss to know that I need to burn off the extra body fat. The more I move the faster that will happen.
I would set a target of 5,000 steps per day as a rolling average. I would monitor this all day long via a pedometer (smart watch). If I didn't have a smart watch I would buy a $15 pedometer from Walmart. I would solve it day 1. No reason to wait. If I wait that would mean I don't think it matters I know just how much this fuckin matters. Steps matter and I would not allow myself to fly blind so I would get a pedometer immediately and start tracking my steps all day long to ensure that I meet my 5,000 step per day starter goal.
Want the Last 2 Steps of Week 1 - Listen to the Podcast
There are 2 more things I would do first to jumpstart a weight loss quest and I cover these in this weeks episode of the Chris Terrell Podcast.
Down below you can listen to this weeks episode. I expand on all of the points above even more and I also go over the final 2 starter goals which would be sleep and weighing in on the scale. Check out the episode to learn more!