I’ve lost over 100 pounds. Twice. The first time, I experienced a major injury, job loss, relocation, and the death of my closest family member when I was about 2/3 toward my total weight loss goal. I kept up with exercise and good nutrition for a bit, but slowly I reverted to old habits and then eventually things rapidly declined. I gained seventy pounds in six months.
It took a few years for me to get inspired to try again. This second time, I wanted to lose one hundred pounds to reach my big goal. After two and a half years of hard work, lots of setbacks, injuries, and lessons learned, I did it. I SMASHED my goal!
It’s been almost four years since I hit my goal, and in all candor, I didn’t keep it all off. Despite my work with coaching clients, having a book and podcast on the 100 pound weight loss journey, and working in the fitness community, I still deal with ups and downs.
Over time, I’ve come to realize that it’s a wonderful thing to be in fantastic physical shape, eat healthy, get adequate sleep, and find some harmony in life. However, I also know what it’s like to run multiple businesses, be involved in my community, do service work, teach six to twelve yoga and fitness classes a week, put in the time and effort needed to keep a relationship fresh and exciting, write regularly, and work on my own healing and personal development. It’s a LOT.
There are many things that I’ve learned from my experiences, but I’ll keep this simple and discuss three major takeaways from my lifestyle transition.
- Self-acceptance is paramount
If we want to be healthy, first we must practice self-acceptance. When we practice self-acceptance, we give ourselves permission to receive great and amazing things in this life. When we deny ourselves the gift of self-acceptance, we block many of life’s blessings. Self-acceptance acts as the fuel that drives us to do difficult things. It gives us the inspiration to continue onward when things get tough (and they will).
Acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean that we like everything about ourselves. Rather, acceptance means that we see ourselves as we are. We accept our attributes, behaviors, thoughts and feelings. We may aspire to improve, but we learn to accept ourselves as we are without needing to change who we are.
- We must have a compelling WHY.
Whenever we embark on any lifestyle change (getting healthy, starting a business, changing careers, getting into recovery, transitioning from a relationship and such), we’re doing something that we’ve either never done before, or we are attempting to do something that we have struggled with. There will be setbacks, we will make mistakes, and we will get discouraged. Our compelling WHY will keep us focused and motivated to keep pushing through these challenges.
Challenges are a huge blessing. We thrive in challenges. We don’t get stronger and smarter when things are good. We learn to thrive when things are rough. Life doesn’t get easier. We just get better.
When I attempted to lose 100 pounds the second time, I made a list of 100 reasons to lose 100 pounds. I then made 100 videos, and each of them discussed one of the reasons on my list. Over the course of two years, I continued to document my progress until I hit my goal. It’s great to have a strong WHY. I needed 100 reasons why! And you know what? It worked!
- It’s not about the destination – it’s about the journey
Quite frankly, this third one used to (and sometimes still does!) drive me CRAZY. “Enjoy the journey!” I’ve heard this for years from yoga teachers, life coaches, and mentors. Sure, it’s great to enjoy the journey, but I want RESULTS! However, I’ve discovered that when I reached a goal, I would plan for the next. I wasn’t content.
Our achievements do not define us. We develop skills and wisdom by our experiences. We become extraordinary in the process. That’s where the beauty really happens – not at the end, but in the journey.
Our stories are interesting because of the trials we endure. We are fascinating because we are innovative and creative. Our legendary tales aren’t remarkable because we achieved something – they’re remarkable because we overcame SO much!
We are all on the brink of something incredible. We have goals, dreams, and a purpose. We owe it to ourselves and to our loved ones to do something remarkable with the time we have. We can do amazing things when we accept ourselves as we are, delve deep and discover why we want to live our best lives possible, and learn to live in each moment and appreciate the journey.
There’s so much more to come for you! Start here and you will have a great foundation.
Here’s to your continued success!
– K ♥