Find a strategy that works
Once you have the right attitudes in place – you are disciplined, you are doing things differently, you believe in yourself without-a-doubt – are you ready to succeed? Not yet. Next you need to find the right strategy, the one that will work for you.
Japanese warriors used hundreds of sword fighting techniques. But what set the elite samurai apart were the distinctive techniques and unique sequences they developed that put them in a class of their own. For example, they developed the technique of drawing and slicing a sword in a single, fluid motion. Actually a precise series of steps, this allowed them to defeat their opponent quickly and decisively. If they failed to perform the sequence exactly right, they would not succeed with their strike.
Similarly, the highly customizable weight loss strategy I have developed for you is in that elite “samurai” class. How is it different from any other diet or weight loss pro- gram? The sequence of the steps is the key to achieving long-term results. Placed in a different order, the same steps will not work. You cannot build a house without the required foundation. You can’t run a car on an empty gas tank. Foundation first. Gas first. Reshape your mind before you reshape your body.
Many weight loss programs fail to create long-term results because they are running on empty, and they don’t address your total health – a healthy mind, body, and spirit. They often start with the advice to simply exercise more and eat less. But if you don’t have a strong foundation to support your success, of course you will fail! If you don’t adopt the mindset of success, and believe without-a-doubt that you can achieve your goals, you will not have the ability to make permanent healthier lifestyle choices.
The strategy I will help you design will change your unsupportive beliefs, keep you motivated, and ultimately,
help you to maintain your new, healthy weight for a lifetime. Realize that when it comes to gaining control over your weight, you have not failed; the strategies you have been using have failed you. All those other misguided weight loss programs, diet books, and gurus have failed you. Provided you have the right tools to use in the right sequence, you will lose the excess weight – and keep it off forever.
One size does not fit all
When I was going to school, I was a “problem stu- dent”. I wouldn’t sit still; I didn’t listen; I always seemed to be focused on something other than what was being taught. Why did teachers typically have such a hard time holding my attention? The strategies they used were not right for me.
I realized that I was not necessarily the problem when, one day, I found myself in a classroom with a teacher who held everyone’s attention captive, mine included. To this day, I can still recall information I learned in her class. Why was her teaching method so effective? She used many different strategies, including ones that worked for me.
This particular teacher told stories and used props. She varied her tone of voice, and she exuded a passion for teaching. In short, she was able to engage the visual learners, the auditory learners, and the kinesthetic learners. Most of my teachers, it seemed, used only the auditory approach. This new teacher went beyond that; she used all three modalities to draw in the entire class. Her classes were fun and interactive. As a result, I never received less than 85% in her class – something I had previously been unable to achieve.
I share this story with you to demonstrate that one size does not fit all. If you have tried other programs in the past that did not produce the results you wanted, then you havenot yet found the strategy that works for you. There is no failure, only positive feedback. That’s why I have designed this book to include many different strategies for you to implement in order to achieve optimal, long-term results. If you have without-a-doubt belief in yourself, a “have to have it” attitude, and the right strategy, you will succeed.
Develop clarity and focus
The primary main reason most people don’t get what they want in life is that they don’t know exactly what they want! You may be thinking, “Of course I know what I want. I’m overweight and out of shape. Isn’t it obvious? I want to lose weight and get fit.” But losing weight or getting fit are neither clear nor specific enough goals to get you where you want to go.
Most people do have a clear idea of what they don’t want. “I don’t want to be fat.” “I don’t want to be broke.” “I’m tired of sitting at home alone watching TV every Satur- day night.” But if you are constantly focusing on what you don’t want, that is exactly what you are going to get. If I say to you, “don’t think of the color red,” what happens? You automatically think of the color red. And if you associate particular emotions with the color red, you may start to feel those emotions. What if I say, “don’t think about ice cream”? You’re probably on your way out the door right now to go get ice cream. Stop, right now!
What you focus on, think about, and talk about is what you are going to move toward. So focus on what you want, and be as specific as you can. For example, if you want to lose weight, what is your target weight? By what date do you want to reach your goal? What exactly are you going to do to get there? Clearly defined, compelling goals will drive your success.
The other day, I was riding in my friend’s new car when we got lost. Fortunately, his car has a GPS navigational system. He gave it our exact destination, and the naviga- tional system directed us to precisely where we wanted to go. When we arrived, I turned to him and said, “Isn’t the navigational system a great metaphor for life?” “How is that?” he asked. “Your mind is like the GPS device,” I ex- plained, “Give it a clear destination, and it will go to work for you, guiding you to the very thing you want to achieve.”
If you don’t give the navigational system in your car a precise destination, it will not be able to direct you to where you want to go. Your mind works the same way. You must give the mind a clearly defined outcome in order to achieve your goal. Be specific about where you want to go in life, and your mind will help get you there.
Now that you have described in detail what you want to achieve, you must be able to visualize it. Imagine you have achieved your ideal, healthy weight. How does your body look? What is your new life like? How do you feel? Make the image in your mind as real as possible. You must have a vivid and detailed picture in your mind of what success looks like for you.
Now hold this picture of the new you in your mind as often and for as long as possible. The brain cannot dis- tinguish the difference between something you see with your eyes and an image you create in your brain. So as you visualize your goal, your mind will begin to accept this as real, and it will strive to make your physical reality match what it “sees”.
Next, find and cut out a picture of a body that looks exactly the way you would like yours to look. Choose a pic- ture of a body that has a similar structure to yours. If youare tall with broad shoulders, for example, don’t choose a picture of a short, fine-boned body. Better still, find two pictures. Place one in a prominent spot where you will see it every day, and carry the other one with you wherever you go. When you find yourself heading for a fast food drive- thru, stop and pull out the picture. Using this technique will help your goal become even more firmly embedded in your mind.
It does not matter at this point how you are going to achieve your end result. The important thing is that you be able to see in clear detail exactly what your desired outcome looks like. As you will soon discover, the how will start to take care of itself.
Don’t get derailed
When you were a baby, you knew exactly what you wanted, and you were very insistent about it. When you were hungry, for example, you would cry until you were fed. In a sense, you were pursuing a specific goal, loudly and without inhibition, until you got exactly what you wanted.
Then you learned to crawl, and fueled by curiosity, you would crawl around a room towards all the things that intrigued you the most. Never did you hear a little voice in your head that said, “You can’t have that!” You were still clear on exactly what you wanted, and went after it.
As we get older, we begin to hear negative messages that inhibit us in the pursuit of our goals. “Don’t touch that!” “Eat everything on your plate, whether you like it or not.” “Life isn’t easy.” “You can’t have everything you want just because you want it.” “Money is the root of all evil.” “Can’t you think of anybody but yourself?” This conditioned thinking becomes embedded in the subconscious mind and impacts our ability to set and achieve goals without us even being aware of it.
Realize that these thoughts are nothing but other people’s beliefs. Be careful not to take them on and auto- matically accept them as true. We will work more in-depth with questioning your beliefs later. For now, just remember that you have the power to choose what you believe.
We may also unwittingly take on other people’s goals as our own. People often pursue things that they don’t truly want for themselves, just to please someone else. Did you earn a business degree because that’s what your parents wanted you to study? Did you get a “real” job instead of pursuing your dream to be an actor? Sometimes the influ- ence is more subtle. We fall into a “pack mentality”. Maybe you don’t start your own business because everyone else in your circle of friends has a “traditional” job. Or maybe everyone in your family is overweight and inactive, so it’s easier for you to stay that way too.
Do not allow yourself to get derailed on the way to your dreams. You must take control over yourself, and decide exactly what you want, and who you want to become. It’s time to stop making other people’s needs and desires more important than yours, and make your life your own.
Stick with it!
I often see people adopt a new strategy and come close to achieving results, but they lose patience and quit. They may start a new diet or try out a new fitness program for only a week, then decide, “This doesn’t work!” Remember, the excess weight did not come on overnight; it’s not going to come off overnight either. To achieve results takes repetition over time. Commit to using your new strategies long enough for them to begin to work. Once you see even a tiny bit of success, you will be excited and motivated to stick with it.
How many things have you enthusiastically started, but then let slide over time? Anyone can start something, but the real winners are the ones who stick with it. The people who get the rewards in life are the ones with the staying power to achieve their goals. Think about people who are in great shape. They keep on following through, day in and day out, and they get results.
How often do you hear about someone’s great new business idea that has the potential to make them rich? The average person actually has three great ideas a day. That’s like holding three winning lottery tickets in your hand every day! But the ones who actually follow through on their ideas are few and far between. Follow-through is critical to your success.
I can give you every strategy I know in this book, but you must put those strategies into play, and follow through. If you don’t follow through with your new personal program for weight loss success, you will get exactly the same results you always have in the past. You will have the roadmap you need, but you will be no closer to your destination. One year from today, you will think the same, look the same, and be in exactly the same place you are now. It’s all up to you. You have the power to transform your life. So take action right now!