Hint: It’s not “How much weight do you want to lose?
We love setting goals. It’s almost addicting. The prospect of setting out to do something challenging and actually doing it is so exciting, especially in the beginning. Most of the time, the goals we set can be measured by specific results. If you are trying to lose weight, this usually means a number on the scale.
That’s not a bad thing. Having a measurable goal to strive for is good. You know exactly what you’re shooting for. But here’s an interesting thought:
Once you reach your goal, then what?
I remember when I was at my heaviest. I weighed over 300 lbs. I decided to make a change and do something about it. I was going to lose the weight. So, I asked myself the question:
How much weight do I want to lose?
When I started, I knew I needed to lose at least 100 lbs. So, that was the goal I set – to get to 200lbs. I weighed myself every morning. Recorded each day's number, and kept pushing forward. I was so driven to see that elusive number on the scale.
Then one day, over a year after I started, it happened. I stood on the scale one morning and it read 200lbs. I was overjoyed, ecstatic, and relieved.
Well, for a few days, at least.
Then the excitement started to wear off.
So, not really knowing what else to do, I set a new goal. I could still stand to lose at least 20 lbs. from this point. My new goal became to reach a new, never before seen number on the scale: 180lbs. I pushed forward, became laser-focused again and set out to achieve my goal.
5 months later, I stood on the scale, and that hard-earned joy came over me. I got on the scale three times that morning just to make sure. The same number blinked back at me each time: 180lbs.
I did it. I finally made it. It was almost too good to be true. I never thought I’d reach this weight. I was thin and fit, and even had abs. A far cry from the 300lb.+ person I used to see in the mirror.
Then something I never expected happened. After all the excitement wore off, I started to feel strange. It was almost like depression. I felt a little lost. I thought maybe I just needed a new weight loss goal, but all the extra weight was gone. Something else was missing. I thought the extra weight on my body was the real problem in my life. Turns out, it was just a symptom. Now, with the weight gone, I was face to face with the person I was afraid of confronting. The person who had been hiding underneath the weight. It was the wounded version of me.
As I wandered in this bewildered state, I slowly started gaining weight again - 40lbs. over the next 6 months actually.
The question I should have asked.
That question I asked above (How much weight do I want to lose?) was a good question, and needed to be asked. But I should have asked another question first.
When I started the journey to lose the weight, I didn’t really know why I was doing it. I kept looking forward to the way I was going to look. I would be able to wear the clothes I liked and they would actually fit right. I would be “good-looking”, finally. That was the motive behind my goal. What I didn’t realize until I had reached that point is that “looking good” didn’t fill the void I felt deep inside.
With the weight gone, I was left with the void, and it made me miserable and feeling hopeless. Weight loss wasn’t the answer to the deep question in my heart. I was just a thinner version of the same person. I wasn’t the person I longed to be – that person who was speaking to me from deep inside. I wasn’t the real me.
You see, the question I should have asked before losing a single pound or asking another question was this:
Who do I want to become?
The reason I got overweight in the first place was because something was wrong. I wasn’t living life as the person I was meant to be. I was living as someone else – someone who was afraid, avoiding pain and anything that looked like it. If I felt “uncomfortable” I used a drug (food) to fix the feeling. If I was stressed, I coped with what I knew. If I was sad, I coped. If I couldn’t control life – the one I had built as a fake version of me – I coped. I had slowly pushed my life down a safe, predictable, pain-free life. I had lost my way.
My brain changed. My beliefs about life changed. My beliefs about love changed.
My body suffered for it.
I was no longer me. I was some confident imposter, faking his way through life – lost.
Losing the weight on the outside didn’t fix that problem. I was still the same person, just better looking.
When I set out on the journey to lose the physical weight, I should have first realized that I needed to lose the real weight. I needed to become me again. When I finally came to grips with this reality, I decided to take a new journey. I decided to lose the real weight. I decided to finally become the real me.
You can do it, too. Losing the weight on the outside won’t matter if you don’t lose the weight on the inside. You need to fix the real issue. You need to get rid of the version of you that you’ve created as a result of coping with life. You need to live life as the real you again.
Quit putting it off. Start.
For real this time.
If you’re ready to start, then get the Lose the REAL Weight Guide. It's a step-by-step path to figuring out where things went wrong and how to get the real you back. And it's absolutely free.