Saturday, August 11, 2012
How to Avoid Gaining All of That Weight Back...and Then Some.
You've probably heard the statistic that 95% of all dieters eventually gain their weight back. Has this happened to you? The key to getting the weight off and keeping it off is a complete change of mind.
It’s very important that you begin to live your life as if each day is your last day on earth. Now that doesn’t mean that you have to fly to Vegas and rent a Ferrari to start checking things off your bucket list. But it does mean that it’s time to finally put all of the information that you’ve amassed into action. It’s no longer acceptable to know it all and not be a doer. Your tomorrow begins now!
Step #1: Make the Decision
In anything we choose to do, taking the first step is the most important step. You simply have to make the conscious decision to improve your existing life. By now, I hope that some seeds of change have landed in the fertile ground of your soul. Perhaps, you’ve already thought about beginning on this journey by watching what you eat or drink. Perhaps you’ve recently decided to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Perhaps you’ve opened up your Bible to investigate some of the verses that have been referenced herein. If you’ve done anything to put your life on a new path in the last 21 days, congratulations! If not, continue to nurture the seeds that have already been sown, so that one day soon you will be convicted to make the decision to begin a journey that will lead you in a new direction you could have never imagined. Whatever you decide, make the decision not to be the same person doing the same things.
Step #2: Be Accountable
When you make the decision to begin your journey, I strongly encourage you to tell someone immediately. Why? Your decision will hold you accountable for your future actions or lack thereof. Tell your spouse, children, best-friend, cousin, co-workers, and even your online social networking posse. Tell them you are about to embark on a journey that will change your life, those around you, and how you would appreciate their encouragement, support and prayer. It is these same people that may offer just the right thing during a moment of weakness or a fleeting instance when the comfort of your past becomes more attractive that the benefits of your future. Be accountable.
Step #3: Clean House
One of the first things you need to do immediately after you tell folks of your new direction is to remove the things from your life that may derail your plans. This includes unhealthy things in the refrigerator, pantry, cupboard and shelves, as well as negative people and places you used to visit. If food is your kryptonite, perhaps you’ll need to forego buffets until your “will power” becomes “won’t power.” If you dread seeing a certain friend’s name pop-up on the caller ID, let them know you will be taking some “me time” for a bit and will talk to them again when you are in a different state of mind. If going to the clubs make you feel even lonelier than staying at home, simply stay at home. Be it people, places, or things; it’s time to clean house before the vomit in your past life begins to look more attractive than ever.
Step #4: Find a Place to Work out, Meditate and Worship
As we discussed earlier, the only thing you really need in order to improve your life is a dedicated mind. Find a place in your home to exercise, meditate, and pray on a regular basis. I strongly encourage you to find a place with like-minded individuals that you can worship with because there’s truly strength in numbers when it comes to prayer. If you simply aren’t disciplined enough to work out at home, join a gym. But when it comes to meditation, all you need to do is find a quiet place where you can quiet your mind.
Step #5: Schedule It
Once you’ve found a place you can dedicate to improving body, mind, and spirit it’s important to schedule it on your weekly list of things you “have to” accomplish. Just like those things your spouse or boss (in my case they are one in the same) expect you to accomplish, these are the things that you also have to prioritize each week. Sundays (the Sabbath) are best reserved for rest and worship. You have to figure out if exercising in the a.m., p.m., or midday works best with your schedule. Meditation is best reserved for the beginning of the day or at the end of the day to minimize the mental distractions that are apt to occur. It’s very difficult to quiet your mind when battling thoughts of either what you’ve just finished doing or what you intend to do once meditation is over.
Step #6: Do It
Now comes the moment of truth. You’ve told folks about your plans and found a place to perform your plan, so now it’s just a matter of doing it. Don’t let the moment of truth overwhelm you into rationalizing why “it’s best to begin tomorrow.” Like the restaurants that have the signs posted, “Free food available tomorrow,” you’ll quickly find that tomorrow simply becomes the next day and the next day, until you finally realize that your dream has been deferred and withered like a raisin in the sun. (Shout-out to Brother Langston Hughes! Roooo!)
Step #7: Enjoy It
At the end of your 1st month you will begin to notice changes in your life. Your clothes may be fitting a bit looser, or you’re not as anxious or as short-tempered. And perhaps you’ve now included some new positive people in your life to replace the negative individuals you were forced to nix. Stop and enjoy your success. It feels great when folks compliment you; it feels wonderful when folks notice your light shining within. Allow your soul to feed off this success and be assured in knowing that the best is yet to come!
Step #8: Maintain It
Now here is the tricky part. Escaping the gravitational pull of the past can be a Herculean task, if we allow it to be. You’re seeing results; others are confirming your success, so why would you let off the gas and coast backwards towards the starting line? Don’t fall for it!! Satan uses your past to keep you in bondage, so it’s important to stay prayed-up so you can concentrate on your bright future. Satan will remind you of all the past diets you tried and how you always ended up gaining the weight back, and then some. Don’t fall for it! Satan will whisper in your ears that you were wrong for nixing certain people out of your life who were detrimental to your success, but don’t fall for it!
Whatever you did to get where you are is what you’ll have to continue to do to get where you need to be.
Step #9: Become an Evangelist
Even before you’re 100% convinced that there’s no going back to the old you, your success and testimony will make you an ambassador for change. Others will begin to ask “what’s your secret?” and you’ll get to see how their faces change when you respond, “God.” Please don’t fall into Satan’s trap by thinking that you alone are responsible for your success. Others have been planting seeds in your life for years so you can never truthfully take all of the credit. First give honor to God and then to your support network that kept you on the correct path. Tell the folks at work, your friends, your relatives—anyone who knew the old you will be inspired by your transformation. And perhaps I’ll be able to read about your journey one day when you become inspired to finally write that book that’s been steeping within.
“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” ~ Ephesians 4:1
About the Author: James Hackley earned a B.S. degree in Physics from Longwood College and an M.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Virginia. He's the founder of Omega Consulting Enterprises, chaplain of a local chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, and faithfully attends Holy & Whole Life Changing Ministries International in Lansdowne, Va. His latest book, Body, Mind & Spirit: The Awakening can be purchased by visiting him at www.jameshackley.com , www.Amazon.com, and http://www.barnesandnoble.com.