As we come out of the shelter-at-home phase, or even worse, get ready for another round of quarantine, many of us are struggling with excess weight due to the sedentary living forced upon us. It’s important to realize that the weight is most likely the result of our recent lifestyle change. In other words, both weight gain and weight loss are the consequences of our environment, and our behavior.
However, as people start tackling the extra pounds, they often focus on their goal, their target weight, rather than concentrating on the cause of the weight gain — the lifestyle changes forced upon us by the pandemic. It would be like an actor focusing on his or her Academy Award acceptance speech before the film is even shot. It’s a bit backward if you ask me.
Instead of focusing on your target goal, focus on changing your environment and behavior. Concentrate on what you’re going through as you start making the changes required to achieve your goal.
These are two significant parts of your weight loss journey:
- ENVIRONMENT. Just as extreme cold makes water freeze, your environment plays an essential role in your weight loss. Let’s presume your current environment is responsible for your weight gain. If you accept that as true, doing the opposite of what you’re doing now will have the opposite effect on your body and waistline. Focus on eating less and moving more. Go to your pantry and fridge, throw away all the junk food, processed foods, sweets and alcohol, and replace them with fruits and vegetables. I know… it sounds harsh to waste all that food and liquor. But you need to make hard decisions if you want things to change. Set reminders on your phone to drink more water. Find new workout classes, new hiking trails, even new and exciting workout partners. Start making appointments to exercise at least four-to-five times per week. Everything around you should motivate you — remind you of your goals and what’s necessary to achieve them. Get rid of things that are harmful to your goals and dreams. Your environment should be positive. It should be about exercising and eating healthy. You must change your environment if you want to change your body and yourself.
- BEHAVIOR. Your intentions and choices are responsible for how you look and feel. Just because you wake up one morning and decide to lose weight doesn’t mean your body is on the same page. You’ve been “trained” for a long time to crave the foods you crave and do the things you do. Do not expect to suddenly wake up one morning craving fruits and vegetables, instead of chips and salsa. Don’t expect to come home from work and feel like going for a run. Don’t trust yourself to immediately make healthier choices. Treat yourself the same way you would treat someone who keeps promising you something but never comes through. Give yourself another chance to regain your trust and be kind to yourself. But be vigilant, too. As Ronald Reagan once said, “Trust, but verify.” Treat yourself accordingly. Accept that your behavior won’t change automatically and take the steps necessary to make sure this time is different. Call a friend; schedule workouts with a trainer; buy new running shoes; make your goals public knowledge. Buy, cook, and prep your meals beforehand. In short, make it extremely hard to not eat healthy and exercise four-to-five times a week.
Focus on your environment and behavior. These are the keys to your success. Change everything around you – from buying new workout clothes to cleaning out your pantry, maybe even rearrange your furniture. Everything around you needs to look and feel fresh. Treat yourself kindly but firmly. Carefully observe your behavior and pay close attention to your thoughts. Every setback begins with a simple thought. Eventually those thoughts turn into desires, and then into action. Catch them before they steal your dreams! Focus on your environment and behavior and I guarantee your fat will disappear and your muscles will reappear.
God bless & good luck,
Leo Frincu is a world wrestling champion, author, speaker and performance coach for business leaders and athletes worldwide. To learn more about his training philosophy, check out his latest book, “WELCOME HOME, 3 Simple Steps On How To Reach Your Highest Potential,” available on Amazon and iBooks.