Watching “Extreme Makover: Weight Loss Edition”, I sympathized as the star of the show struggled to make the decision to lose the weight he had gained over the last few years. There’s something comforting about holding onto the known, regardless of how frustrating or bad it is. He wanted desperately to lose the weight and become the husband and father he was meant to be, but taking on the challenge meant making sacrifices he didn’t know he was ready for, losing the weight meant owning a lifestyle he didn’t know if he was capable of, and trying to lose the weight meant he could fail!
We’ve all been there, when we start trying to make decisions that can profoundly affect our life. Heck, I fret about making the decision to purchase an airline ticket. “What if I change my mind”? One of the things that helps you to make that big decision, where you say, “It’s time”, is believing you can accomplish this goal, believing everything will be okay. The one thing that I have found helpful in making a big decision is knowing I can figure out how to execute the decision first. The best way to do that is to look at the big picture, but then step back (before you get overwhelmed) and look at the little steps to get there too. On the show, Chris challenged the contestant Jonathan to lose 250 pounds in one year. He said, “Crazy, right? Or is it?”. Pause. That was the big picture. It can be incredibly daunting and in that moment, you have to stop for a minute and look at what the past was and what the future can hold when you make this decision. You have to have your why, as to why you want this. Your why has to be strong enough to help you make the leap, and to help you keep going as you face challenges ahead.
Together Chris and Jonathan mapped out a plan. They set a first goal of 135 pounds in three months! As someone who struggles to lose 5 pounds in three months, I was amazed when the goal was accomplished. What helped? Most important, he made the decision. Next he mapped out a plan of how to get there, he had the support he needed, he knew the reason he wanted to accomplish the goal, and he had a reward when he accomplished his goal.
The next three month goal was to lose 85 pounds! Almost a piece of cake, right? Wrong. Even though he had most of the same fundamentals in place, he lost momentum. The first three months was like the honeymoon stage. The second three months brought into focus the realities of life such as living back home, and going back to work while continuing his workout and meal plan. Expect difficulties and obstacles along the way. The third stage he refocused on his goal and by the end of the year he celebrated his success. So make the decision, set your short and long term goals, and then start tackling them one by one, and success will be yours too.