Where does anything begin?
Where do we start? You, me, and the rest of the world, we all start from somewhere, which is obvious to all of us, but when it comes to personal and transformational change, the question remains.
Where do we begin?
Before starting any change, first, there needs to be a set of goals in place. More than our main objective, we need to understand the things we have to accomplish to reach our ultimate goal.
Take our assets, for example. What are they?
When I began my efforts to lose weight, I chose to define my own program, which worked.
I found quick results by limiting my team to a small few. I choose who I would speak to and who not to speak with. I did not consult anyone and everyone to see what they thought or hear their tips on weight loss. Instead, I stuck with two people that understood my goals and knew about my previous eating habits.
I had to find my starting line. I had to understand my assets. I had to educate myself on simple exercises and food groups.
In previous times and in failing methods; I tried to do too many things at once. I tried hard; however, I did not focus clearly.
It’s great to multitask but when it comes to personal and transformational changes, personal efficiency is important.
Rather than try and do 100 things at one time; rather than eat this and do that, do squats, do 100 sit-ups, do 100 push-ups, and rather than try and achieve everything, I chose to do smaller and more focused achievements to improve my efficiency.
After understanding my resources and assets, I had to find my sources of motivation.
I had to find my inspiration.
Let’s face it, everything we do, we do for a benefit—even if we swear to be selfless, we are selfless for a reason, in which case, everything we do, we do to honor a belief, a thought, a need, or a want.
In simpler terms, we are a “What’s in it for me,” kind of society. And if this is so (and I think it is) then we have to honestly define the answer to this question.
What’s in it for me?
At the time, my focus was on weight loss. To answer this question was simple. The first benefit was I would look better. I would obviously feel better. I would feel empowered and pleased with myself. I would happy with my efforts.
I would have more energy. My body would hurt less. My back would hurt less and so would my knees.
I could use the staircase with less trouble.
My breathing would improve. My health would improve. My confidence would improve. The whispers of my insecurity would quiet down. I would feel more comfortable in my own skin and more comfortable in my surroundings. I could be at a beach and not be afraid to take my shirt off
These were my motivations. However, I had to mix these with my inspiration.
I was inspired by the fact that a man I knew lost 80lbs. He walked up the stairs to his office, five times a day, to the fifth floor.
He ate properly, drank plenty of water. He stayed away from sweets and foods that lead up to binge eating. He never overate. He didn’t find himself in food comas anymore, which result in that terrible, overeater’s regret. His mentality improved. He was happier. he looked healthier. He was certainly more outgoing, which made it clear to me that his confidence level improved.
This man was much heavier than me. He was heavier than most, in fact; however, this man chose to disregard all the static in his thinking.
Instead, he chose to focus on his goals, his plans, and his strategies to pull them off.
I was inspired by this man’s results. I saw him as a beacon of hope and chose to follow his plan, which worked for him, and worked for me as well.
Another friend of mine also lost a considerable amount of weight. He chose to lose weight after seeing a picture of himself—only, he failed to recognize himself in the photo.
When my friend realized this picture was him and noticed the weight gain, he made a clear decision to never see a photo of himself and feel that way again.
He chose his meals carefully. He also walked a lot. He chose cardio plans, which in his case, literally melted the weight from his body.
I saw the confidence in him. I noticed he was comfortable with his physical abilities. I wanted to be this way too
He was comfortable taking his shirt off. He was comfortable in his routine. He was happy. He looked better and he felt better. He went from weighing over 300lbs to 220lbs with a lean physique.
I have always been intimidated in gyms and always intimidated by weight lifting. I came to realize that I needed to understand my abilities as well as my inabilities. I chose to steer away from intimidating plans and stuck with achievable ideas. I learned that it was better to eliminate temptation than avoid it.
I started with a small list of things. First, I changed my diet. And admittedly, this was no simple task.
I used to seek comfort in food. I loved heavy meals, thick sauces, bread (God how I loved bread) and pasta.
I loved cakes too and sugary treats. I used to reward myself this way, which meant I had to learn how to alter my reward system.
And again, I admit this was not easy. I had to adjust at first. I missed pizza. I missed all the go-to junk foods that I used to satisfy me. But I had goals. I had a main objective, which was important to me.
In order for me to improve and move away from my thinking (which was a killer at times) I had to define myself in a much clearer light.
I had to be clear on my abilities. I had to be clear on my intentions. had to understand my motivation. I had to remember my inspiration. Above all, I had to stick with my plan and be consistent with my strategy.
This approach works with any change. First, we set our goals. Then we list our assets. We find our sources of motivation and inspiration and then we form our plans and create a strategy to achieve them.
It becomes easy to complicate things in life. Doubt and shame and all the ideas that used to keep us in old patterns of behavior will always look to find the surface (if we let them.) This is why it is best to stay clear of the emotional mindset and stick with our best strategic thinking.
where we begin is up to us.
How and if we continue is up to us as well
However, to find empowerment, one must give themselves the permission to be empowered.
I once asked
a question to an audience of people.
When is it your turn to have the life you want to have?
My answer was as soon as we give ourselves permission, that’s when the real change begins.
By the way, I lost 60lbs in six months.
The feeling I had was incredible!