Consistency and Purpose for Weight Loss Success

Woody Allen once said, “80% of success in life is showing up.”  I would argue the same goes for fitness.  While the process may be a little more detailed there’s still merit to the claim.  Simply sitting on the couch and wishing for a better body, more energy and endurance, more libido (minus the blue pill), and quality health sure as hell isn’t going to happen by itself.  Also…going balls to the wall for one month out of the year doesn’t offset eleven months of being stagnant either.   You need to take action…consistent action.  Think marathon…not sprint.  Results take time…the goal is longevity.  Besides…what’s the hurry anyway?!?  I HAVE TO LOSE 20 LBS IN 3 WEEKS!!!”  Why?  Are you going to die in three weeks…and you want to look smoking hot in your casket?  Do you think you get to quit once you get there?  I’ve got news for you…there is no finish line in this!  It’s not a race.  It’s about expansion.  Think of it more as a high jump.  We don’t set the bar at two feet, successfully jump the bar and think we’ve made it.  We continue raising the bar.   Seriously…let go of the idea of being done.  It really is about the journey not the destination in this circumstance.  And ultimately what you’ll come to find is the journey is much more gratifying than any destination you originally had in mind.  But first, let me ask you a question…what motivates you?  And for the love of God…please don’t say: “To lose weight!”  Losing weight is simply a bi-product of the process.  I’m not trying to discard its importance and I respect that it’s a hot button for most people.  It can drive you for a little while…but there will always be a deeper part of you left unfulfilled.  Even if you do hit your goal weight, you’re left with…now what?  Or even worse…the fear of the weight coming back.

The reality is, as humans we always want more for ourselves.  Fitness isn’t any different.  Complacency has no foundation to keep us going.  But finding your true purpose will.  And then you’ll feel no reason for haste.  You’ll become engulfed in the process and release your attachments of what you thought you were after originally.  Then seemingly it all magically comes together.  Body…mind…purpose…continual expansion…and belief in yourself.  So…what’s my advice to you?  Go inward.  Be still. Be quiet.  And ask…why?  Why am I doing this?  What is my purpose?  What do I truly want out of this?  And lastly…be patient.  It may take a day…a week…a year…a lifetime.  But never stop searching.  The answer is there…but you have to ask first.

Bryan (Far Right) at 250 lbs from 2003-2005.

Enter my client and friend Bryan Wheeler.  Like most, Bryan’s purpose in working out was wanting to “lose weight.”  Gym membership…check.  Steady mix of cardio and weight…check.  Boredom beginning to set in…check.  It wasn’t until 2005 when his mother-in-law invited him to do a triathlon that things began to shift.  And to be more specific, getting beat by your mother-in-law can create spark!  Bryan recalls,  “It was a humbling experience losing.  I dabbled in other types of exercise, but found that training for endurance events was more rewarding.  The triathlons have helped with the boredom, has created a fun bonding experience by participating with friends and family, I have made new friends, and even inspire current friends with their goals.”  Since 2005, Bryan has competed in over 20 endurance events which includes, seven Ragnar Relays, several (he can’t recall an exact number…awesome!) half and full marathons, seven triathlons, and is currently training for the Half Ironman this June!

Catching some waves August 2011

And guess what?  A funny thing happened along the way. Bryan lost weight…70 lbs to be exact!  He began at 250 lbs. in 2005 and now weighs 180 lbs. today.  And you know why?  He kept showing up.  It didn’t happen overnight. In fact, Bryan only averaged 0.7 lbs of weight loss per month.  How many people do you think would give up on a strict “weight loss only” quest at that rate?  Thousands?  Millions?  Doesn’t seem too inspiring from that stand point does it?  You have to remember days turn to weeks…days to months…and years to a lifetime.  Slow and steady results…just like a marathon.

Bryan’s just like you.  He battled with self-criticism, negative self-image, and defeatist self-talk.  His metamorphosis came over time with small victories and surrounding himself with positive supportive people to re-program himself to the person he his today.

70 lbs. leaner and meaner in 2014

The moral?  Find a deeper purpose.  And it doesn’t have to be just like Bryan’s story.  I’m not saying go out and become a triathlete.  I’m saying…explore beyond the scale.  Try new activities.  Take up hiking…mountain biking…skiing.  Join a sports league.  Get into martial arts.  Search…for as long as it takes.  And make your own story.  Be an inspiration to someone too.  Your friends…your family…your kids…your neighbors.  If you do…there are no words to describe the magnitude of the impact you’ll have on everyone around you.  The weight loss is just the added bonus.

Now…are you ready to keep showing up?