This is another topic that was suggested by a reader. What would I tell my younger self as it relates to the weight loss journey.I guess I have to first ask WHICH younger self. In other words, would I talk to myself from 20 years ago? Or 10? Or the last 5? Maybe I will try to impart a little wisdom that could apply to ANY of my past selves. The picture I have shared here is my 10 years ago self compared to my last year self.
I am going to be doing a new photo shoot soon as I have continued on this journey and have continued to lose. In the entertainment field, it is always good if your picture actually still looks like you, not to mention a lot of my costuming is too big now.
I am sorry, I digress. What would I say to my younger self was the topic, so here we go with my top 5 that could apply to any of my past selves, and hopefully encourage some of my younger readers. Does that make me sound like an old geezer? Oh well.
1. Get Started. Might seem kind of a no brainer right? The problem is there are a thousand and one reasons you can give yourself to put off getting healthy or exercising. You may have used a lot of these yourself, but some of the ones I told myself were “You aren’t that heavy”. We call denial. “It’s too expensive to eat healthy”. What is the cost of a lifetime of illness because of being fat and unhealthy? “Gym memberships are too expensive.” So don’t go to the gym. Get your butt off the couch and start walking if nothing else. In past posts I have talked about some free resources that are out there, but besides good old walking, you can go play. Play what? That’s up to you. Play tag with your kids. Play badminton with friends. Do something! Want another reason? Lost time. I literally cry sometimes when I think of the years I missed not physically being able to play with my kids. These are years I can never get back. I will be able to play with my new grand daughter, but I missed some important Dad years being so out of shape I couldn’t even play.
2. Stop the Negative Self-Talk That’s a big issue for me even today. I can do something klutzy like anyone else does, but as soon as I do, I go right back to all those names I heard as a child growing up. “You fat idiot, you can’t do anything right.” The one thing I had never realized about negative self talk is that it also hurts those around you but not in the way you think. My wife told me how much it hurt her to hear me put myself down. I work every day on this one. Not that I am a big Dr.Phil faqn, but he put it this way. “When someone says something negative to you, they may say it a hundred times, but you take over and say it to yourself ten thousand times.” You become what is known as a self fulfilling prophecy. If you keep telling yourself you can’t do something (like lose weight) often enough, it can come to pass. As Henry Ford once put it “Whether a man (or person) thinks he can or cannot, he is correct.”
3. Switch the naysayers and negative people, and find Supportive People. We all have those people in our lives. Those who see the downside of everything. You tell this person you are going to try to lose weight and eat healthy and what do you hear? “Well you tried that before and it didn’t work.” Or after you have had some success, you can people who say “You just seem so different now. You never want to watch movies and eat junk food anymore.” One of the problems with social media is that sometimes these kind of people seem to be everywhere, but there is an upside to negative people on social media. You can unfollow them, or unfriend them or if it is bad enough, block them. You don’t need people adding any fuel to your own negative thinking. Surround yourself with positive people and encouragers. I am not saying you need people to slap you on the back all the time, or bombard you with atta boys or atta girls, but those little words of encouragement can be gold at time.
4. Be Honest with Yourself. This comes in a number of area. First of all, take a long hard look in the mirror. Take an honest assessment of where you are right now. Go talk to your doctor and get their opinion. Be honest about your food – about WHAT you eat, HOW MUCH you eat and WHY you eat. When you are recording your food, be honest. Telling lies to your food journal will only hurt you in the long run, and in turn those who love you and care for you.
5.Learn all you can. Learn how to eat healthy. Learn about food. I remember watching a show on TV once about families trying to get healthy and the host sent them off to the grocery store with a list of things to buy to cook a healthy meal. They couldn’t even identify the vegetables they were looking for because they had never eaten any. Learn about cooking healthy meals. You will be shocked to learn that healthy cooking does not cost more than quick fix meals. Learn about nutrition, and how our body works with the food we put in. Read, watch documentaries, take classes or whatever it takes. I am a big fan of Netflix because of the amount of documentaries they have around dieting and the food industry. Learn about fad diets and the harm they do. Learn about the multi-billion dollar scam known as the diet industry. I sometimes feel like I should have a nutrition degree from all the reading and studying I have done, but I am much better equipped for the battle of weight now!
So there you have it, my top five bits of advice which when expanded covers a lot of area! Get started, Stop the Negative Self Talk, Switch the Naysayers and find Supporters, Be Honest with Yourself, and Learn!
Congratulations to my blog contest winners. No last names for privacy sake but Theresa and Terry have won tickets to the Vancouver Wellness Show on February 13-15th!
Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!