Stop losing weight and start winning the battle

If you want to stop fighting against your weight, first you need to give up that fight. 

Fighting to lose weight is an impossible battle to win. But you already know that.

Instead of fighting to achieve short-term weight-loss goals, put your energy into lifelong missions.

Short-term Goals vs Lifelong Goals

Short-term goals:  “Lose 20 pounds before summer”, “fit into that dress for the wedding”.

These battles are very hard to win. You’ll drain out all your will power and commit to so many sacrifices that one of two things will happen: 

  1. After a few months you fail, get your weight back, plus the heavy weight of frustration.
  2. You achieve your goal, enjoy the summer or the wedding and after you get your weight back, you lose all your confidence.

Lifelong Goals: A good looking and healthy body all year.

That’s a lifelong process. Focus on personal development and healthy habits to improve your well-being step by step.

Easy and achievable steps.

It’s Not About Sacrificing

I’ve tried to quit smoking several times and it never lasted longer than 3 months. It was too hard: too many sacrifices and not enough will power.

Even if I could quit for longer than 3 months, what was the point if I would eventually fail again?

For more than 10 years I thought that I didn’t have enough will power to quit smoking. I stopped trying, but my smoking habit was causing my health to deteriorate day by day.

It’s About Choosing

One day everything changed. I found a different purpose: I didn’t want to be a smoker for all my life and I didn’t want to continue smoking against my will. Cigarettes couldn’t control my life: I decided that I would never smoke again.

Instead of specific goals I set a new personal achievement. Instead of focusing on sacrifices to achieve my goals, I decided to change my habits and quit smoking. 

I made a decision that day: I choose a life without smoking

You can’t sacrifice something that you don’t want in your life.

That same day I started cold turkey. It was hard, but my focus was on: I don’t want to smoke again. 

From that day until today, it has been 3 years and I’ve never smoked a cigarette again. More about how I quit smoking here.

From Sacrifices to Life Choices

Life choices

Fighting for “lose 20 pounds before summer” or “get into that dress for the wedding” are lost battles. You’ll eventually fail and feel miserable. If you win, it will certainly be temporary, as you will soon get your weight back and feel miserable again.

Sacrifices make us feel horrible. Sacrificing to achieve something doesn’t last longer because no one can sacrifice something for a long period of time.

On the contrary: Choosing fruit over donuts for breakfast is taking action, is a step towards our life long goal, and is empowering. 

Sacrifices feel like we’re losing out on the good stuff of life.

Life Choices: Give us the power to set a course for our life.

I wasn’t sacrificing cigarettes; I chose to not smoke again.

Cigarettes aren’t in control of my life anymore, I’m leading now.

I’m not sacrificing donuts, instead I’m choosing fruit salad for breakfast because it gives me more energy, and no bloated sensation, so I feel much better.

Cravings and desires will not control my life. I choose the food that will give me the results I’m looking for.  Donuts taste good, but having donuts will not allow me to achieve the body and the wellbeing I desire.

Think Big and Start Small

Thinking big: Instead of aiming for those 20 pounds off for summer, go for: I want to look great all year around, or, I would like to have more energy every day, or, I don’t want to make more food sacrifices.

Take a moment, set your goal, and find your lifelong achievement. 

I’m passionate  about writing but I don’t aim to write a book, or write for a magazine. Of course I would love to accomplish that, but instead I aim to improve my writing every day. If I do that, one day I will eventually publish my first book or publish an article in a magazine.

Improving my writing is my Thinking Big long-term goal that will last as long as I live. Every writer can always improve her/his writing.

On the other hand, writing a book is a small goal. Everybody can write a book, the same way everybody can lose 20 pounds. Much more fulfilling is becoming a better writer and keeping your body healthy and feeling good about it.  

Starting Small: To improve my writing I don’t have to make sacrifices, instead I have to start with small and doable actions: writing every day, reading books and magazines daily, so as a consequence of those actions, my writing will improve and I will eventually get invited to publish in magazines or publish a book.

Easy and Doable steps: 

Walking/Jogging: If you’re not doing any exercise, start with daily 15 minute walks. If you already do some jogging, do a daily quick jog 3 times a week. Make it fun: take some music with you, an audio book or your favorite podcast. Walking guide here and a running guide here.

Meditation: Creating new habits brings some struggle and some resistance to change. Meditation is proven to be very helpful to reduce anxiety and to reduce the cluttering of emotions in our head. I use an app called Headspace. It’s totally free and you can find it here.

Get rid of processed food at home: When we choose to get a healthier life and a life without fighting for weight loss, we commit to avoiding trash-fast-processed food. As much as our cravings dislike this idea, we are now behind the wheel of ourselves and we know this trash food will not help us at all to achieve our goal. A home free of trash food is a home free of temptations. 

Home cooking: In preparing our own food we get to pick fresh ingredients and avoid bad stuff like added sugar and too much salt. Home cooking strengthens family bonds and gathers friends together.  Experiment with new recipes or make a batch on the weekend and freeze it for the rest of the week. I’ve shared more than 250 recipes here.

Journaling: Quit smoking, become a better writer, improve our health and get the body we want. All these life-goals share a common solution: personal development. By improving ourselves we can make better choices that will help us to achieve our goals. Journaling is a great way to understand our emotions, fears, hidden ghosts and monsters in the basement of our head. By journaling we can get rid of all that mixed pile of paper and clear our head. Journaling is very liberating.

Choose Home Food: Restaurants make food so we can indulge ourselves, but it doesn’t necessarily improve our health. Invest time in preparing your own food and have as much home food in a week as you can. Start with preparing your breakfast or dinner. Once a week I always have a dinner out to enjoy food that I don’t make at home.

Reduce Added Sugar: In the last 30 years the Food Industry has been adding more and more sugar to food because studies have shown how we easily get addicted to sugar and how much our brain loves sweet food. Added sugar is the number one cause of obesity. Quitting sugar is as hard as quitting smoking, but by far the hardest step is taking the decision to stop consuming high-sugar foods and drinks. 

I’ve created a 20 No-Sugar Days challenge to help you get rid of added sugar. 

Quitting added sugar is by far the most effective step to lose weight, regain energy, reduce headaches and get rid of that bloated sensation. 

Check the 20 No-Sugar Days challenge. It’s 100% Free.

Simple Actions Repeated Become Habits

These are simple and doable steps that anybody can do. Don’t start all of them at the same time. Always go for actions that you can repeat daily or 2 or 3 times a week.

These steps are not a formula to lose weight or a new diet. These are simple actions that will improve your wellbeing and help you achieve your life goals.

Habits: The Key To Achieving Lifelong Goals

Only the actions you repeat will become habits. Science says it takes 30 days for actions to become habits. Start small, and incorporate actions that are doable. 

It’s not about genius, talent or intelligence – habits are the key to success.

Results may take time to show, but if you’re persistent and patient, you’ll get them.

How To Start?

1.Set your lifelong purpose:

I would like to have a better looking body, get rid of extra weight, become a better writer, stop food bingeing. Remember, it’s not about losing 20 pounds before summer or writing a book; it’s a life decision. Pick yours and make it for life.

2. Once you have your purpose take the decision to start:

Take the decision to start. There’s no way back. You might get off track, but your direction will never change. You will always know the direction to sail. 

3. Strengths you need: patience and persistence

Forget genius, talent, intelligence, IQ and slow metabolism. All you need is patience and persistence. You can’t change genius, talent or intelligence but you can always improve patience and persistence by simply continuing your new habits.

Patience: As much effort as you put into these and other habits, the results don’t happen overnight. Take the steps and be patient about the results.

Persistence: There will be tough days when walking, journaling or eating healthy is the last thing you want to do, but be persistent. It is better to walk for 10 minutes that not to do any walking.

Once you have the habits, push it a little bit further. Instead of writing one page a day, go for 2 pages. Push forward your walking from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Persistence is always more important than intensity.

Conclusion

The problem is not lack of willpower: We will never have enough willpower to handle daily sacrifices.

Make choices instead of sacrifices: Sacrifices make us feel horrible, with no self-esteem and a feeling of losing all the good stuff in life. Making choices is empowering and give us a direction, so we know where we are going.

Think Big: Set lifelong achievements instead of short-term goals: Decide what you want in your life, set your course and sail in that direction. 

Start small – easy and doable steps: Walking/jogging, cooking your own food, avoiding added sugar, journaling, meditation, reading. Start with one and include it in your daily routines.

From actions to habits – It takes 30 days for to actions become habits. Invest your time and energy to create and stick with your new healthy habits.

The solution is habits: As you continue taking actions, results will show up.

Before starting – Set your lifelong goal; take the decision to start; be persistent and patient; and the results will show up. 

Persistence and patience: The two most important qualities you will need. Work on them.

Thanks for reading. I always like to know about your comments, questions, likes and dislikes. Please enter your comments/thoughts in the section below.

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About Author

Diogo has lived and worked in many places around the world including Madrid, Berlin, São Vicente (Cape Verde), Indonesia and Macau. Traveling, he says, is the best way to learn about himself and the people he has met along the way. With his degree in IT, and after seven years working as a web programmer, Diogo has stepped out of his comfort zone and used the experiences he gained during his travels to move into web design, SEO, and content creation. He loves to tell stories and inspire people to follow their dreams, but he knows that to do this effectively, he must first live those stories himself first

"There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self"

Aldous Huxley

2 Comments

  1. Lisa Matarazzo on

    Hi Diogo

    Thanks for this article – I enjoyed it. I already try to walk every day (weather permitting of course), prepare whole food meals at home and I’m careful about watching sugar. With the exception of the journaling and meditation the only thing I would change is adding more time for exercise. Somehow that always is challenging. I appreciate you sharing the app for the meditation – it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. Regards, Lisa

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for your kind words. If adding more time for exercising is challenging, try to be creative: listen to a playlist, find a podcast you like, invite a friend to come. The most important is to continue and be persistent. Have a great weekend.

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