What’s the key to lasting weight loss? I get that question a lot. Truth is, there’s no easy answer.
I guess if there was 95% of those who lose weight wouldn’t gain it back like statistics say. And the Journal of the American Medical Association says that more than 56% of American adults are considered overweight or obese. So clearly being overweight is a national epidemic and losing the weight and keeping it off is a major challenge.
I’ve learned so much from my Biggest Loser trainer, Jillian Michaels. I respect her and value her opinion. And she has a very definite opinion about the key to lasting weight loss. Because I benefited so much from her influence on my life, I thought I’d share some of it with you.
Jillian believes that we must view “fitness” as an empowerment tool. If we can get that perspective and truly believe it and embrace it, then half the battle is won.
According to Jillian, being physically fit transcends into every aspect of life. And I know that to be true from personal experience. But she also believes that the key to success for those who lose the weight and then continue to keep it off is exploring and conquering their “demons”—in other words the issues that contributed to the problem to begin with.
She encouraged me to face my issues head on and deal with them. To ask some tough questions and not back down from the answers, no matter how unpleasant they were.
Once I did, my perspective change. My faith in myself increased. My awareness of the value God places on me skyrocketed. And the results started to manifest themselves.
Having said that, I’ll be the first to admit keeping the weight off isn’t easy. It’s an everyday choice to fight the battle. But it’s so worth it. Something Jillian encouraged me (and others) to do is to keep a journal. I have found that writing down my thoughts and feelings is so beneficial and I encourage others to do the same.
Writing down your thoughts in this way serves as a record of your trials and victories and allows you to go back and reflect on the struggles and the successes. But it also helps to put issues and concerns into a tangible and manageable perspective.
Jillian suggests that a good place to start in writing is to detail any negative thoughts you have about yourself and why you haven’t been able to overcome those issues to achieve your goals. She says we all need to learn to let go of those negative and unpleasant thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Addressing these things is a way to keep things in perspective and stay strong in the battle to keep the weight off.
Like I said, it’s an ongoing process. I’ve shared before that on The Biggest Loser, I wore a T-shirt that had my personal motto on it: “To Finish What I Started…For Once.” But with long-term weight loss and maintenance (or really any commitment we make in life) it’s more important to not think that once you achieve the goal you have set for yourself that you are done and can “check the box.”
I know I’ll never be finished. I have determined within myself to “Continue What I Started…Forever.” It’s something we all have to commit to do to ensure the long lasting results we want.