You’ve probably heard the saying before: “Weight loss isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon.”
I’ve been thinking about that lately and I don’t agree with that sentiment.
I don’t know about you, but I find marathons extremely difficult. They require insane amounts of effort and then they come to an end.
Is losing weight hard? Absolutely, especially at the beginning. Does it end? That’s the real question…
What Is Weight Loss?
Weight loss isn’t something you do. It’s something that happens. It’s a byproduct of your behaviors.
Weight loss is a side effect of living a healthy lifestyle. And a healthy lifestyle is the sum of your daily behaviors – your habits.
It’s the healthy lifestyle we’re trying to create – not just for the day, week, or 12-week program…but forever. It’s not something we get or we achieve. It’s something we are.
So a healthy lifestyle isn’t a sprint. It’s not a marathon either. It’s not even a walk.
It’s an existence that never ends.
A healthy lifestyle is about the NOW. It’s a state of mind. It’s knowing how to navigate any situation because you trust yourself to do so.
Process vs Outcome
Weight loss is an outcome. It’s not something we can really control, even though we think we can control it through counting calories and weighing ourselves obsessively.
But even though we can’t directly control the outcome, we can certainly influence it.
We do that by focusing on the process – the behaviors you have to consistently practice until they become habits.
Once they’re habits you no longer have to try – you just do. The behaviors happen on autopilot without much effort.
The side effect? Weight loss. Peace. Freedom. Improved body image. Trust around food in any situation. And an end to your weight loss obsession.
There Is No Finish Line
It’s time to take your eyes off the prize. Stop reaching for the future to get what you want.
What you need is right in front of you. It’s putting one foot in front of the other and making small but consistent progress.
You practice healthy behaviors, otherwise known as skills, until you’re so good at them that they become habits.
It’s just like riding a bike or learning to drive. When you first learned to drive you noticed everything around you. You were hyperaware of all the cars on the road, your mirrors, your speed, and your anxiety.
But the more you practiced that skill the more those behaviors became internalized. Eventually you were able to drive without much conscious thought.
You just do it.
Your weight loss is no different.
You will start out being hyperaware of all the the new behaviors you’re doing. In time those behaviors will become habits and you will be able to just live your life as you let weight loss happen in the background.
Focus on the process. Focus on the behaviors.
Let go of trying to control the outcome.
Make those behaviors into habits until they become part of your existence.
Your body and mind will be a reflection of that existence and you will be at peace.