Weight Loss Does NOT Have to Be A Drag

I just read an article about Melissa McCarthy.

Now before I continue, I’ll just mention that I think she’s super talented and hilarious.

Nothing against her.

I also think her weight loss success is fabulous. Not because she’s any more fun to watch now that she’s slimmer, but because if it makes her happy to have dropped 50 pounds, then I’m happy for her.

The truth is, 50 pounds is a lot of extra weight to carry around. It doesn’t diminish a person’s self-worth (or at least it shouldn’t), but it sure can make life a bit more difficult to navigate through because it slows everything down and can certainly create additional health complications.

But she said something I don’t agree with.

It’s ok to disagree, but in my opinion, what she said can easily impact the perception of weight loss in a negative way. This would keep people from even trying because they’d assume they’ll have to go through punishment and restriction in order to get what they want.

I think it’s bullshit, and I’m here to tell it like it is.

Mrs. McCarthy said something to the effect that in order to lose weight, you’d have to live a boring life and give up anything fun after 7:30 pm.

I don’t want to quote her because with the rules about quoting people, plagiarizing, etc, I have no interest in being slapped over this, so I’ll just paste the article she said this in here and you can read the rest.

She’s entitled to her opinion – and I’m sure what she said is based on her experience.

However, considering how many people I’ve come across, whether online or in person who struggle with losing weight because they think it’s some impossible and unpleasant task they have to endure, I want to set the record straight.

Weight Loss Does NOT Have to Be A Drag

Many of you know my story, but in case you don’t, I’ll share a snippet. You can read more about it in this post.

I struggled with my weight for many years.

Decades in fact.

I also had every eating disorder there is.

I had no clue how to go about losing my weight (I was over 200 pounds). I also didn’t know how I’d keep it off once I did manage to reach my goals.

I had to go deep within my own psyche and make conscious contact with why I had gotten fat in the first place.

I faced my emotions and came to terms with the reason for my eating habits and perspective about exercise.

I also had to allow myself to keep an open mind and try new things. But even that took self-awareness and a desire to engage in personal development.

You can’t change an external situation until you address the internal ones that caused what ails you.

Facing your inner demons is THE way to alter the circumstances of your life. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about weight loss or anything else.

Living a healthy life isn’t about restricting yourself, but it IS caring about what you put in your body.

It also isn’t about forcing yourself to go through exercise programs that may be too intense for you to engage in safely, but it is about finding a form of physical activity you enjoy and simply sticking with it.

With this, it’s important to get a picture of the individual you wish to become.

What that means is this –

If you want to look like someone who is fit and healthy, you have to become that person in your mind.

This requires self-work. The most challenging part of a weight loss program isn’t so much about food and fitness as it is about facing who you’ve been, deciding who you’d rather be and bridging that gap.

The good news is – this is not only possible, but it’s the right way to go about it.

The bad news is – it goes far beyond just behaving differently. For most, this is where things become impossible because they can’t just place a band-aid on their issues.

To look within, to question your thoughts, beliefs, emotions, habits and everything else that caused what it is you’re looking to change requires nothing less than a strong will to tear yourself down and create a new version.

The creating part comes last though because in order to do this successfully, you’d have to go back to neutral.

How do you do this?

By facing your shadows.

Integrate the part of you that you reject into your awareness so you can face this stuff head on.

Then you’ll need to forgive yourself because self-hate will NOT promote well-being.

Accept that you’ve been the person you are because you didn’t know any better. You did the best you could with what you’ve had to work with – and now that’s not gonna cut it any longer because the pain has become unbearable.

You can no longer just “behave your way” out of your predicament.

You must change how you see yourself. To do this, you’ll have to acknowledge how you have been seeing yourself.

So what does this have to do with weight loss?

Well, it works like this.

You want to lose weight.

You think you’ll have to go on a diet and start busting your ass to burn that fat off.

It’s true that you’ll have to make changes, but these changes do NOT have to be extreme…

…unless this is the only way you’ll allow it to work for you.

But you can also choose to start seeing yourself in a different light.

You can create who you want to be by using your imagination and taking small and realistic steps to become this person.

Once you’ve done the hard work of going within and facing your stuff, you can ask yourself questions like:

  • If I didn’t believe what the magazines and billboards tell me, what is MY idea of true healthy living?
  • How do I want to feel every day?
  • What would I like to do in terms of physical activity? Do I like to ride my bike? Walk? Swim? Learn Yoga/ martial arts/ how to dance?
  • Do I enjoy healthy foods like vegetables? If so, what’s stopping me from eating more of them? If I don’t, what keeps me from trying new ways to enjoy them until I find what works?
  • If I could live the life I choose, what would that look like?
  • Do I know everything there is to know about wellness? Do I buy into the hype I see promoted everywhere about what it means to be healthy and fit?

And lastly –

[clickToTweet tweet=”Is it possible that I can enjoy this? ” quote=”Is it possible that I can enjoy this? “]

Weight Loss Done Right

The way to lose weight and keep it off is to find a way to have some fun with it.

You’ll just have to shift your perspective about healthy living.

Make being well, enjoying nutrient dense foods and engaging in pleasurable physical activity your main priority.

Take your time.

There is no rush.

The only reason you’re chasing this is because you’re in pain right now. Deal with the pain by facing the cause. Then you can redefine what true healthy living is and take action from a place of enthusiasm because you’re now about to start living your new truth.

You’ll become the individual who naturally chooses things like the jolly green salad. You’ll go for that fitness walk because you’d rather be out in nature instead of going through some grueling boot camp that you have NO interest in.

Wellness isn’t about fighting with yourself.

Life doesn’t have to become boring.

Food can not only taste amazing, but you can alleviate the guilt that you associate with eating.

If you need some simple steps to get this in motion starting right now, then consider doing the following:

  1. Ask yourself the questions mentioned earlier and answer them honestly.
  2. Once you’ve identified how you’ve been seeing things and how you wish to see them instead, investigate your options.
  3. Look for ways to make eating healthy fun and exciting. Look into healthy potlucks, cooking classes and experimenting with new recipes. Make this a creative project.
  4. Start your exercise program based on what you can realistically do and what you’re likely to enjoy. If it doesn’t work out the first time, keep trying. Eventually, you’ll find something that will make sense.
  5. Make exercise safety your number one priority. You’ll never get anywhere if you injure yourself.
  6. Recruit someone else to join you or find like-minded people to associate with. It helps if you aren’t alone in the process – but if there is no one, then…
  7. Discover your “why” and make this emotional. Always revisit that “why” because this is the fuel that will continue to ignite your passion, even when you want to quit.

I had a few “whys” when I went through my own weight loss program and they were personal to me. They had nothing to do with what society tried to sell me.

They all came from within.

Find yours.

And don’t believe what others say about weight loss unless it’s designed to inspire you and help you to live your best life.

I have more fun with food now than I ever did when I “dieted” – or even when my eating habits were crappy. I love the creative process. I feel alive when I work with clean ingredients and do cool things with them.

I hated most vegetables. Now I love them.

I feel such a sense of freedom when it comes to eating. I also gave up all meat, pork, and poultry two years ago. You’d think it would create restrictions. In reality, it opened up new doors for me to try new things.

I love it all.

I exercise using balance. I don’t do anything extreme. I didn’t even when I was working out to lose weight.

I was motivated, but I followed the steps listed above. I kept it safe, structured and I knew my “why.”

I worked harder back then because my goals were different. But I never hated the process.

Instead, I focused on how strong I was getting and how much energy and vitality exercise provided me with.

I maintain this with balance.

Everything I suggest here – I’ve done.

I went from one extreme to balance.

You can do this and like the process.

I’m living proof.

If you have any questions or challenges, I encourage you to mention them in the comments section. You can also grab my free guide below or contact me for a complimentary chat about wellness by clicking here.

I hope this offered some perspective about healthy living and weight loss.

You can stop this unpleasant cycle once and for all.

Do you believe what I’m saying here? Or do you still think this will be a horrible experience? Share your thoughts with me.

Want more bullshit-free wisdom? Check out my latest book “Streetwise Philosophy (A Bullshit-Free Approach to Spiritual Maturity).”

Grab your copy at any of these online retailers.

Amazon Kindle

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Dana Gore

Author of the books "A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety (What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You)" and "Streetwise Philosophy (A Bullshit-Free Approach to Spiritual Maturity)", Dana Gore is a health and fitness professional, wellness coach, and freelance writer. Dana brings guidance to the public about how to achieve optimal health in a safe and structured manner while inspiring her readers to seek self-awareness and inner peace as a means to well-being in all areas of life.

8 thoughts on “Weight Loss Does NOT Have to Be A Drag

  • at 1:16 pm
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    Hi Dana. I believe that everything starts in our head too. That’s where we create our reality every day. To get thin, healthy, better, you have to first believe you can then see yourself already there. Every night before I go to sleep I hold the picture of how I want to see my life and feel how it will feel when I do. If nothing else, you fall asleep feeling very good about yourself.

    I’m working on losing weight but I want to lose it slowly so that I can maintain it as I go. So many people lose a bunch of weight in a short period of time and then gain it all right back, if not more. They do something special to lose weight fast and then when they stop doing it, they go right back to their old eating habits that maintained their old weight. It’s that old definition of insanity – doing the same thing but expecting different results.

    Create new habits, habits that keep you happy, that maintain a lower weight for you. The mental part comes first though. You have to believe that it is working for you.

    Great post as always Dana.

    Reply
    • at 5:38 pm
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      Hey Ben,

      I agree about everything starting in the mind first. This is why I say the things I do about being very choosy about what we pay attention to – including our own thoughts.

      Imagining yourself as you’d like to be when you’re going to sleep sounds like a great way to keep that image in your head. I had heard Wayne Dyer say that we “marinate” in whatever we think about before going to sleep.

      Regarding the quick weight loss stories…I’m sure you’ve heard that several people from one of the most popular weight loss shows are mentioning they’ve not only gained back most, if not all of their weight back, but they’ve also had health issues from such extreme tactics. It paints a picture for people that’s unrealistic and dangerous.

      Your best bet is to go slow and steady. You’re doing it the right way. It doesn’t have to be a drag. When well-being becomes the primary goal, everything else starts to make sense. That’s when the insanity stops because you literally become what you’re looking to achieve. That’s how it worked for me.

      Great comment Ben. Holler at me if you need any insight or direction.

      Reply
  • at 10:02 pm
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    I’ve recently shared a story, when people think about what they have to do, It becomes so hard for them.

    Changing bad habits to positive or not eating salad to eating salad can be the hardest thing for me to do when I was trying to be healthy.

    Thanks for sharing this great post,
    Have a great day,
    Louis

    Reply
    • at 5:29 pm
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      Hi Louis,

      Welcome to my blog 🙂

      Yes, changing habits can be challenging – especially when whatever it is you’re looking to do seems unpleasant. The weight loss thing doesn’t have to be terrible. If the perception changes toward one that feels good about well-being, it’s a lot easier.

      Glad you found your way over here. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  • at 2:40 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Dana,

    I believe that everything starts in our mind. When it comes to weight loss, I’ve been working on my mindset for a while. I gained some weight that pushed me up to a different size of clothing. I know why this happened. I had a horrid winter this year. Without going into details, I found myself laying around too much. Oh I blamed it on a minor surgery and depression. But I played the blame game for quite a few months. Now that is not like me at all.

    I’m still working through stuff in my head, but every day I do apply just a bit of exercise I enjoy. I cannot go full force yet, but teaching myself to enjoy it.

    As for my diet…I don’t over eat nor do I eat anything processed. But….I had developed a habit this winter of lounging on the couch after dinner. Yes…you read that correctly! That has changed! I started eating dinner earlier, and took a walk around the block the first day. Now I’m up to a mile.

    Things happen slowly. We cannot throw ourselves into misery and depravation. We need to do things in a positive way in order for it to become part of our long lasting behavior patterns.

    Well that’s my take!

    -Donna

    Reply
    • at 6:52 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Donna,

      Gosh, if I lived close, I’d go for a walk with you 🙂

      I know it’s easy to fall into patterns when the external circumstances sort of enable that. I know you’ve had a rough winter and that can certainly play a part. Tough to get outside when the weather is crappy.

      And I know you had some minor surgery and it played a role as well.

      Yes, everything starts in the mind (mental realm). I think you’ll get yourself back to a place where you’re more active simply because I know you to be someone who can’t stay down for too long.

      Whatever makes it enjoyable is the way to go. Walking is fantastic. There are so many ways to use walking as a fitness program, so you’re on the right track.

      And I know you have good eating habits – so I think in your case, it’s just a matter of getting your mojo back – which seems to be happening.

      We all go through it. Even I do. I don’t work out nearly as hard as I used to. My goals are different, so my activities have shifted. But I wasn’t going to play the “all or nothing” game any longer. Did that throughout most of my life and it wasn’t going to continue. So I found balance…and for me, food was the major culprit.

      I made eating something I could enjoy using fresh and clean ingredients. It made a world of difference for me because I stay connected to the process of healthy living. From the standpoint of mindset, being in that space is more important than anything else.

      It’s the “I AM well” as I make my own soups and sauces from scratch using fresh healthy produce, etc or if I choose to do some stretching or walking instead of doing a high-intensity strength training routine.

      When we make it pleasant, even creative it’s so much easier to pick it back up even if we’ve been down for a while.

      Sounds like you’re off to a good start Donna. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Reply
  • at 1:44 pm
    Permalink

    Hey Dana,

    I think people experience things differently, which is great because it gives us different perspectives. When I used to think of weight loss, I thought I had to give up everything I loved to eat. Then I learned about portion control and it wasn’t horrible at all. My hubs was recently diagnosed prediabetic. He’s grumpy because he has to give up some things. Mind you, and I’ll write about it soon, his eating habits have done this to him. Of course, men don’t listen to women because of their egos, and now mom hubs is paying for it. Grocery shopping isn’t as fun however, I’ve told him it doesn’t have to be difficult. Cut out some junk he eats and the rest we’ll watch more closely. He feels it’s the end of the world. I told him, I’d rather have him alive.

    I appreciate your thoughts on Melissa’s comments and love that you share them with us.

    Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

    B

    Reply
    • at 6:39 pm
      Permalink

      Hey Bren,

      Yeah – reading Ms. McCarthy’s comments is what inspired this post. Well that and some other things.

      I’ve been answering questions on Quora and I see the same questions asked time and time again about weight loss – and I repeat my answers (of course without copying and pasting anything) because it all comes down to a relatively basic concept.

      Make healthy living fun – and the overall goal.

      It seems easier said than done – but that’s not because it is, but because of our belief systems and our habits.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your hubs and his health issues. It’s the same for so many people out there. Diet and exercise seem like these dreaded mountains to climb, so people either avoid this (understandably) or they do make changes, but they resent it.

      There’s a way to reinvent foods – even the ones you love.
      But I won’t lie – it takes an open mind and a willingness to try new things. Even to the point where you’ll learn to like certain things because it becomes the path of least resistance.

      I talk a lot about how much I hated vegetables. Now I love them. So it makes it much easier. I was like everyone else and struggled. Now I don’t.
      I didn’t hate tomatoes less than others hate broccoli – but I had a strong desire and WILL to make this pleasant because I was so tired of the yo-yo effect.
      My mind had to become stronger than my habits. Funny thing is though, my mind controlled my habits before, and I used the same tool to change them.

      So as you know, you can holler at me anytime if you need inspiration.
      Thanks so much for stopping by here B. Enjoy the rest of your week 🙂

      Reply

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