I recently read a wonderful guest post on CopyBlogger written by Steve Errey entitled 5 Reasons Why Trying to be Successful Will Keep You Poor. As someone who is embarking on a quest of self employment and hoping to be successful, I enjoyed the article very much, and the more I thought about it the more I couldn’t help but see the correlations between the motivation to be successful and the desire to achieve weight loss.
“Trying to be successful will not help you actually become successful…”
…and I believe the same is true for many people wanting to lose weight, myself included.
Wanting lose weight is such a common goal but there’s a few reasons why I think trying to get “skinny” will not help you actually become skinny and in some cases (I’m a good example of this) prevent you from losing weight and possibly lead to gaining even more.
What is “Skinny” anyway?
So you want to lose weight. You want to be “skinny.” Have you ever really thought about what that really means?
Is it a certain number on the scale? A dress size? Looking good in a bathing suit?
Too many people — myself included — pursue skinniness without knowing quite what it means for us. We see images of airbrushed models in magazines, anorexics walking down runaways or even our friends who have completely different body shapes then ourselves. We are constantly comparing our concept of thinness to what we see around us.
Really think about what being “skinny” means to you. Don’t just embark on an endless journey to look like someone else or fit in a certain size because it just may not be possible. No matter how hard I try, I’m never going to have pencil-thin arms, a smooth ass or small feet. We must embrace who WE are and accept that “skinny” is not a clear vision.
“Skinny” is the wrong motivator
If the desire to be skinny was all we needed to actually lose weight there wouldn’t be a billion dollar diet industry. I was preoccupied with thoughts of being thin from the age of 12 on. I thought being skinny would make me happy, loved, valued. I thought by being skinny I’d be… you know it’s coming…. perfect.
Motivation that comes from others sources (wanting to be healthier, good example for your kids, lowering cholesterol, learning to run) are much more sound and in most cases way more measurable then “skinny” will ever be.
You aren’t as “Skinny” as you want to be now and that’s OK
If you’re working hard to lose weight, it’s easy to dream about reaching goal. But what about now? What’s stopping you from living the healthiest life you can at this very moment? Or making the healthiest food choice? Or getting more active? Waiting for your life to begin once you get skinny can cripple you. Plus…
Being “Skinny” will not make your life perfect
Believe me! No matter your weight or your size your life will not change dramatically if you succeed at weight loss. You will still be married (or not) to the same person. You’ll still be living in the same neighborhood working the same job and driving the same car.
Unfortunately, Being skinny does not change how your brain works. I speak from experience when I say if you have low self esteem when you are fat it won’t go away when you are skinny. If you lack confidence at a size 16 you’ll lack it a size 6 as well. Hitting some number on the scale or squeezing into a smaller dress size will not solve all your problems.
Skinny-ness is a state of mind
Losing weight, for some of us, is more of mind game then anything else. It’s not impossible but it sure is difficult to achieve a goal that’s so clearly undefined and drenched in emotional baggage. Instead, what I’m suggesting is that you place your focus squarely on becoming a healthy, happy, balanced person, rather than a skinny one and you may be surprised at what you can succeed.
A couple of years ago I wrote a series called 3 Steps to a Healthier YOU! that you might find interesting. After I dumped the I must be skinny/perfect mindset I was able to achieve goals I never thought possible and I’m not only talking weight loss goals but things like a pull-up and running a freakin’ marathon! It’s amazing how a small shift in focus can lead to real change.