How do you move from “should do” to “can do”?
If you’re like most people, including me, you have a lot of “should do’s” on a mental bucket list. Near the top of that “should do” list is losing weight and/or getting in shape.
In fact, a 2011 Gallup poll found that two-thirds of adult Americans consider themselves over their ideal weight. And although women (55%) are more likely than men (41%) to worry at least some of the time about their weight, the gap is closing. In 1990, those percentages were 46% and 21%, respectively.
Yet, the same Gallup poll found that fewer than half of persons interviewed who said they wanted to lose weight were seriously trying. I’ll bet the same statistics apply to just about any fitness goal. The problem is moving from “should do” to “can do.” Which, of course, leads to “will do.”
Before I joined Ultimate Results in the spring of 2012, I had more than one of the usual reasons to lose weight and get in better shape:
- Health. Everyone knows that excess fat is bad for your health. We’ve all heard the litany of problems that can result -- diabetes, heart disease, cancers, even infertility. Other conditions, such as arthritis, aren’t caused by excess weight, but they sure are exacerbated by it. In my case, an old injury and a history of arthritis were stiffening my lower back; I was facing a future of drastically reduced mobility if I didn’t take charge now. (My doctor put it to me just that bluntly; don’t wait for yours to do the same.)
- Looks. Let’s face it, you’re more attractive – to your mate, potential mates and even friends – if you look fit. Sure, part of that equation is a culture obsessed with an unnaturally narrow definition of beauty. But it’s also a simple fact that a healthy weight and conditioned muscles do look better than the opposite. At the point when I found Ultimate Results, my 23-year-marriage had recently ended and I was out on the dating scene again. Was I interested in men who only cared about how I looked? No. But whether we like it or not, first impressions matter.
- That internal “glow.”There is a sign outside the Ultimate Results gyms that reads, “Most just don’t know how great being fit and healthy feels.” It’s true. Achieving your healthiest weight, strengthening your muscles and fitting into clothes that showcase both puts “bounce” in your step and confidence in the square of your shoulders. In my case, I wasn’t only dating again, I was looking for a new job. When you’re over 50 (as I am), it’s critical to convey to potential employers (or your current employer, for that matter) an aura of health and high energy. That “sparkle” is a significant side benefit of being fit.
Note that my goals were a mix of “pleasure-seeking” (looking great so I could meet the right kind of man) and “avoidance of pain” (fear of being disabled or rejected by an employer). It’s important to do a little introspection to understand just what most motivates you.It’s not enough for someone to tell you that you looked so much better five years ago when you were thinner (as one boyfriend was undiplomatic enough to say) or even for your doctor to warn that you should lose a few pounds. Ultimately, the conviction that finally pushes you to “can do” has to come from within. And that is the mysterious “x” factor.I found that inner drive. Nine months after I joined Ultimate Results, I had lost 45 pounds, dropped three clothing sizes and reduced my BMI (body mass index) from 28 (officially overweight by national standards) to 21 (well within the normal range). Although x-rays continue to show degenerative arthritis in my back, the symptoms are virtually gone. I am more active than I have ever been. I am dating a man who thinks I’m “hot” (yes, he has other, equally important qualities!). And although I have not yet found a job, I know I am able to present the most positive image possible.And guess what? I had all of the obstacles to achieving my goal that others face. In the next posts, I will confront the reasons most of us cite for never moving from “should do” to “can do” when it comes to weight loss, and tell you how I overcame them.I’ll also share the stories of other Ultimate Results clients: Learn from us and be inspired! You can do it too.