10 things I wish I had known before losing the weight

So you want to lose weight. Maybe you had a health scare that led you to start making some changes. Maybe (like me) you needed or wanted to drop some pounds. Maybe you needed to gain some pounds. Maybe you wanted to improve your body composition. Maybe you needed to improve your productivity or mood… whatever it is, when you start dipping your toes in change it can be a lot… there’s just so much information out there!

And sadly… most of it is just plain untrue. As a side note, if someone is basing their claims on fear or absolutes you will do well to either ignore it or find other sources and investigate more.

Anyway, here are 10 of the things I wish I had known BEFORE losing the weight all those years ago…

  1. There’s no such thing as a quick fix. There is no shake, powder, pill, workout, magic food, evil food, cleanse or detox that will make this stick. There is no finish line, there are only wins, and they do not come as fast as we tend to want.
  2. Real change is hard work. Piggybacking on the one above, this is not a sprint. You need to put in the work in the simplest of things, do them consistently and progressively… only then do you see lasting change.
  3. Protein is SUPER important, and carbs are good for you. Protein is essential, and needs to be given proper attention. Carbs are not the enemy, and do not, in themselves, make you gain weight.
  4. More cardio doesn’t really fix anything. While cardio makes you sweat and tends to make us feel like we worked out a ton, it’s not always the best option, and those extra 10minutes of cardio don’t magically erase the overeating the night before.
  5. Weight training won’t make you bulky. I feel like I’m repeating what is said so many times, but for some reason people (especially women) still have a hard time with this. Lifting heavy things makes you lean and gives muscle definition. Lifting heavy things does not make you look bulky. Also, you don’t accidentally get huge – building a lot of muscle takes more consistency, training and patience than most people have (if it were easy we would all be walking around jacked).
  6. Food is nothing to be afraid of, and it’s what makes the biggest difference in your health. Food is medicine, it’s social, it’s fun, it’s emotional… but fundamentally, food will dictate how your body performs. Your body reflects what you put into it and what you do with it.
  7. There is no one size fits all. It’s your life – it’s your responsibility. As tempting as it is to see transformation photos, diet lists or magic solutions and think that’s the absolute truth, there is no such thing. It’s narrow minded to think there is only one right way to eat.
  8. I can love who I am and still want to change. Two things are true. Self love, self respect, self care, self acceptance do not have to happen at the expense of change or improvement.
  9. I don’t “have to” anything. Your life, your choice, your body. You don’t ever have to anything. Own that you are responsible for your choices and that no one is forcing you to make your choices. This is a game changer. Reframe have to to get to.
  10. It all starts in your head, it doesn’t start on your plate or at the gym. Watch your thoughts… they shape what you do, what you eat, what you believe in, how hard you push. Everything.

BONUS: Being ripped is not all it’s cut out to be. 6-pack abs, perky glutes or arms that don’t jiggle will not fix what lives inside your head and your heart. And keeping that up is a LOT of work. Just as much, if not more work, than getting there.

What is something you wish you knew earlier in your journey? Were any of these a surprise to you?