Control the Controllable

So you want to lose weight?

There are many things that you can change in your life to support you in your quest to lose weight and get the body you want. There are other things that you may dwell on that will not help you in your weight loss efforts. So don’t bother spending time and effort, and stressing over stuff that you can’t control.

What you can’t change:

Your chronological age 

There is no point stressing about how old you are. You were born when you were born – there is no changing that.

Your sex 

Well, maybe it is possible, but for most, it’s not on the table of options!

Men and women are meant to be different, and have different physiologies and structure. As with age, you need to work with who you are and be happy in that.

Your genetics 

We have different body types and metabolic rates. You are not going to change your DNA so work with what you have.

Your history 

Success or failures of the past are just that, the past. Move on!

Einstein once defined insanity as, ‘Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

What are you going to do differently to make you successful now? It is crucial that you do things differently than you have done in the past if you want to get a different result.

What you can change:

Your biological age (how “old” your body is)  

By having a healthier lifestyle, you can change your biological age, which in turn will improve the quality of your life – and potentially increase the length of your life. It may be more difficult to create change as a 50+ year old, but you are still very adaptable. It comes down to what we do at our age rather than what our age is.

Your typical behaviours 

You are in control of your day-to-day habits! It is your choice whether you exercise in the morning or stay in bed an extra half an hour; eat chocolate as a snack or a piece of fruit; smoke cigarettes or not.

Your diet

It is your choice what you eat. The key is to become aware of your psychology, habits and other factors that cause you to make the choices that you currently make. Building your own effective meal pattern that works within your lifestyle commitments is the best approach. Having flexibility for detours from your regular healthy pattern will provide the best recipe for success.

Your lifestyle

The amount of sleep you have; your level of stress; your alcohol consumption; smoking cigarettes; taking drugs; how you relax; your work/ life balance are all areas of your lifestyle that you can change if you want.

Your exercise habits

Your body is meant to move every day and ideally in a variety of different ways. Do some form of exercise or activity every day and endeavour to vary it as much as possible.

Your attitude

The state of your physiology is a by-product of your psychology. By becoming aware of the underlying factors that cause you to act or respond in a particular way, you can begin to dismantle those things that sabotage your efforts to accomplish your goals. A Food Diary can help, together with a general awareness.

Don’t try to undo years (or decades) of abuse by next week. The more drastic and numerous the changes, the less likely you are to maintain any of them. You need to take one step at a time.

With commitment comes resourcefulness. By truly committing to the task at hand, you will find resources to assist will come to you. 

So step back, get some perspective and take an unemotional, honest look at your diet, your exercise habits, your mindset, your lifestyle, and any other relevant factors. Identify what and how you can and need to change and take the first step.