I was planning for my daughter’s first birthday.
First birthdays are meant to be special, a huge fanfare and above all something that should sing CELEBRATION loud and clear.
I had big dreams for it.
Though, the reality was my life was in no way supporting that dream.
I was battling depression, was caught up in relationship issues, learning the ropes of single motherhood and was struggling to visualise how I’ll survive the day let alone plan a grand event a few days from then.
I remember writing in my journal that the only thing I truly wanted was for my daughter and me to have FUN.
I went on to define what having FUN meant to me.
Having fun was doing something I love, where I laugh a lot, enjoy every minute of doing whatever I was doing and best of all that left me feeling G-O-O-D long after it was over.
This was my guiding light.
It was the only thing I was sure of that I wanted my child’s first and every birthday thereon to be FUN because that’s what really mattered in the end.
I’m so glad I paid attention to my true wishes instead of falling into the trap of perfection.
As a recovered perfectionist (or so I would like to believe), I cannot help but always wonder what perfection would have made me do.
Perfection would have dictated a fancy, Instagram worthy celebration.
But the fun version I eventually created was a low-key family affair with home-cooked food, a simple birthday cake that I baked and me having endless reasons to laugh, cheer and play with my baby.
The success of that day sings loud in my memories because I feel AMAZING even when I reflect on those moments. And that has been my driving force in every choice (well, almost) I made from that day.
Many years later, when I decided to lose weight and transform my health, I was guided by the very same principle. To have FUN doing it.
If you’re tempted to do a little bit of an eye roll at this moment, because of how crazy this idea of actually having fun losing the weight you want to lose sounds, I get it. I hear you. I’ve been there.
Because here’s the truth, for the most part when it comes to losing weight, especially the seemingly most stubborn kilograms, fun is about the last word that comes to mind.
But today, I’m going to make the case that not only does this approach make for a better experience, but in fact, it is way more effective and efficient to have fun while doing it.
What keeps us from having fun losing weight?
I’d like to offer the three main things that keep women from being able to enjoy and have fun with the process of losing weight.
- Assuming failure
- Being in a hurry
Think about it,
If we weren’t in a hurry, wanting change and wanting results to be happening faster than they are.
If we weren’t doubting, constantly assuming failure, not believing it’s possible and then feeling pointless.
And if we weren’t comparing ourselves to others, we could truly have fun and even feel excited and enjoy the process of losing weight.
We could feel fun pursuing next-level results and achieving breakthroughs.
I promise you this is possible.
And by the way, I do believe this is true about any next-level goals in any area of our lives, but of course including weight loss.
I want you to look around you, in your own life.
There are examples all around us of how possible it is to learn new things, even harder things and have fun, all at the same time.
When my daughter first started twirling, her favourite destination was the dresser. She would run-up to the dresser and look at herself in the mirror with awe and admiration while twirling to flaunt her dress.
Often the glimpse lasted hardly a second or two before she’d fall but that was enough to unleash a wide grin on her face flashing her tiny baby teeth and the sense of pride she felt even when she fell, was something that never failed to warm my heart.
It was while watching her lose her balance, laugh, fall, get up and try to catch a glimpse of herself again I realised one thing. She was often falling and sometimes even hurting herself in the process, but she was having a time of her life and was determined to do more of that.
She wasn’t bothered about what happened along the way, all she cared for was to twirl, have fun and keep doing so again and again.
I have often wondered at what age do we actually lose our ability to enjoy learning new things?
When do we stop doing things in a way that we enjoy them instead of feeling miserable doing them?
Because the whole point is,
Learning anything new is always a process, a journey. And when we’re trying new things there are bound to be failures and missteps.
And while we are at a project, on a journey, investing our time and energy, why not enjoy it?
I sometimes feel this idea drives energy from my belief that life is a gift and it has to be enjoyed in all its colours and hues.
Irrespective of what season of life you are in, there is always room for enjoyment and fun if we are determined to make that happen.
Look at how the Christmas cheer adds colour, joy and many shades of comfort to the otherwise cold, dreary and blue winters.
Look at how involving kids in learning through play and dance and music keeps them wanting to learn more and more.
Something similar is possible for us in our weight loss journey.
So many of us women feel miserable about our weight loss journeys even before we start. Part of it is because of the pain, restriction and suffering we have experienced in the past but mostly it is in anticipation of going through a painful process, self-doubt or assuming failure that makes us panic and filled with dread.
Imagine, if we dreaded trying new things as children how far in life would we have come?
Children are always learning and if we watch them as they’re learning they are amazed, they are in awe. They are enjoying the process.
Can you imagine a baby thinking Oh my God! I have so much to learn.
If they thought about it that way. Can you imagine the amount of dread and how exhausted they would be already thinking about how much they have to learn during their years in school, college and beyond?
And that’s what we tend to do as adults.
We create so much misery and dread and the total opposite of enjoyment as we are learning new things.
One thing that I’ve learned in my own weight loss journey, and also currently as I am pursuing next level goals in my weight loss coaching business is enjoying the process.
Shifting into enjoying the process of learning new skills is so much the better option.
I want you to entertain that idea today.
The idea, that the process of learning how to lose weight and maintaining the loss for the rest of our lives can be an enjoyable process and it doesn’t have to be one of martyrdom and misery and impending dread.
I remember my daughter learning to stand, learn to walk. She used to fall on her palms, fall on her bottom and then giggle and laugh and even if she would cry if she was hurt, it wasn’t long before she would be back doing the same things she was doing before.
It’s fascinating how kids can take falls, hurts, failures, missteps in their stride. They effortlessly laugh and think it’s silly and keep trying, keep going, keep exploring and keep having fun.
In my weight loss journey, during the process of creating new results, I experienced a shift when I stopped struggling with the obstacles in my path.
I approached it in a new fresh way of thinking.
Instead of beating myself up at every overeat,
Instead of being self-critical every time I plateaued or regained
I decided to address the situations with curiosity and compassion.
And that truly feels very different from beating ourselves up and constantly doubting ourselves.
When I added patience to the mix, it got easier for me to believe that I was indeed determined to lose all my weight because I was willing to keep going no matter how long it took.
Hurry robs us of the enjoyment.
Rushing keeps us from having fun along the way.
Just as kids take their own time to learn and we are always gracious about allowing them that opportunity, it is key to allow the same grace and permission to take our own time in losing weight.
When we give ourselves the space and time to learn and to enjoy the process of creating change, we allow ourselves the opportunity to create unimaginable success.
This paradigm shift of shifting from craving quick results to allowing room for our body to adapt and transform at its own pace is the key difference between losing weight and losing weight in a way that we would sustain the results long-term.
The first step is the willingness to learn how to create those next-level results, to be patient for that to take time.
I want you to take this to another level with me. I want you to just entertain the idea and the possibility of this.
What would it be like to have fun changing this part of your life?
What would that require you to think about differently?
Most of us take losing weight way too seriously.
We make it mean so many serious, dreadful things about ourselves.
I understand the role society and cultural beliefs have played in this. However, we women (I am 100% with you on this) have had to shoulder too many responsibilities in our lives and we do not need to add the emotional drama, the suffering of making weight loss miserable for us.
When I suggest not taking weight loss too seriously I do not mean that consistency and commitment aren’t required. Of course, they are important.
The only unnecessary part is the emotional drama.
The idea of taking our weight loss efforts personally.
The thought of making weight gain mean that we are a failure or have no self-control.
We make all of this way too seriously in the sense that we create so much drama for ourselves when the results that we want aren’t happening as fast as we want them to in the way that we expect them to.
Can you imagine if at about a few months into being a human our children were just like,
What is wrong with me? This is so unfair.
I’m never going to be good at crawling.
I’m probably never going to be able to walk.
I’ve struggled so much already.
It’s probably never going to happen.
I know these examples could sound a little extreme but think about it this is exactly what we’re doing when we create so much drama and suffering about our weight loss process.
This kind of thinking about learning creates so much unnecessary suffering.
I want you to take a moment and reflect,
Do you do that with your weight loss process where you’re thinking –
I’m never gonna get this I’ve struggled so much already.
It’s probably never gonna happen.
What’s wrong with me?
Why is it taking so long?
I have been there, done that and finally found a crazy, innovative idea that I could have fun with this, be filled with awe and wonder and enjoy this process.
So here’s the question that I want to offer:
Here’s what’s very much possible.
We show up and we are committed.
We are consistent, we show up to create the results, but we make it a point to enjoy the process.
When the obstacles of a plateau and weight gain and confusion and self-doubt pop up
We just keep doing and doing and doing showing up being consistent enjoying the process of getting stronger, the process of building the strength, the process of developing new skills along the way.
For this to be possible, there is one major thing that has to change.
Instead of assuming failure, we have to start assuming success.
That’s the difference when we think about the babies showing up getting up falling standing up again.
They’re just assuming – Hey, I’m just going to learn how to crawl one day and I’m just going to learn how to walk one day like that’s just it and so, I just keep showing up. I just keep doing the thing. I have fun, I laugh I giggle because all of this is so much FUN.
They are showing up assuming that that is what they’re going to be able to do that they are building that skill.
They’re developing it and they will master it.
When we start assuming that kind of success.
We show up, we make the choices we need to succeed, we do the things.
We can enjoy the process because we know that as long as we keep showing up consistently, and we’re committed and we just keep showing up to do the things make the choices, we are eventually going to succeed.
If you’re stuck experiencing emotional drama about your weight loss and not enjoying that process of creating change, it might be because you are not believing in yourself and you are assuming failure, which almost ironically, leads to not showing up, not making the choices and not choosing to do the work.
These are the questions I want you to ask yourself,
Am I willing to believe and to assume in total success?
Am I open to enjoying the process of losing weight?
Am I ready to enjoy the process of learning to lose the last stubborn kilograms that I want to lose?
Am I willing to assume success?
When our answer is yes.
Then we will be able to enjoy the process of losing the weight that we want to lose.
And to address the other two reasons why we women struggle with weight loss-
How different would our weight loss process be and how different would it feel if we weren’t in a hurry?
How different would our weight loss journey be if we weren’t comparing our results to anyone?
For me, the moments I felt demotivated and struggled to keep going was mainly when I was in a hurry or filled with doubt or comparing myself to others.
I had a breakthrough –
When I stopped being in a hurry.
When I stopped comparing.
When I stopped constantly doubting myself.
It changed everything.
I started having fun and started making progress.
The weight loss journey started feeling exciting.
I started seeing results I’d never seen before
I started having breakthroughs I had never had and never even dreamed were possible.
The day we start having fun losing weight, something shifts in our environment.
Imagine the joy, the comfort people in our life would feel if we were comfortable in our choices and were enjoying the transformation.
If only we would embody the joy of getting leaner as we make healthier choices, how relaxed our families would be around mealtimes.
The panic, the paranoia that so many of us exhibit while making healthy changes (as if they were a capital punishment) is for the most part the reason why our families dread us deciding to embark on a weight loss journey.
If we are truly having fun doing something, we attract others with our joy and energy.
And our body transformation doesn’t FEEL good on the inside, it is time to question – is this sustainable in the long run?
Because what doesn’t feel good in our body today, will keep making us feel miserable until we stop doing it. And when we stop doing what helped us lose weight, we can very well guess that will result in us not maintaining the lost weight.
So having fun actually works both ways.
Firstly it makes our weight loss journey comfortable and enjoyable.
Secondly, it ensures we make only the changes that feel good in our body to be able to maintain the weight long-term.
If we’ve already decided we’re going to go for it and we’re going to lose this weight.
Why not have fun while we are creating our healthy life?
How can we make our weight loss fun?
There are a ton of ways to make weight loss fun. To get you started, here are a few possibilities:
- If you are short on time to work out and if you’re a mom make your playtime with kids make for a workout. Cycle racing, running, Hoola hooping, doing Zumba together, anything that your family loves.
- Catch up with friends by going for a walk together or doing yoga together every evening
- For every 8 weeks that you stay put working on your weight loss goal reward your efforts with something that takes you onward on your health goals. Gift yourself a set of glass storage boxes to help you prepare your meals or a music subscription to workout with or a subscription to a meditation app to help you relax and unwind.
- Buy for yourself a beautiful water bottle that you love carrying around to stay hydrated and be reminded of your consistent efforts, even when the going has been tough.
- Reward yourself with a weight loss coaching program if you’ve made a consistent effort to lose weight and are serious to let go of the last few stubborn pounds in a sustainable way.
The possibilities are endless.
All it takes is our willingness to make things work and mix it up with our true wants to come up with creative, fun ideas.
Are you ready to create next-level results in becoming your leaner, healthier and stronger self?
I want to invite you to join my Be Healthy Be You program where you’re going to lose weight, be done with the struggle and know exactly how to maintain and enjoy those results with unapologetic confidence. It’s time to stop dreaming about the results you want and start enjoying them.
If you’re at the start of your weight loss journey, begin with the strategies that have helped lose 60 pounds and that I teach my coaching clients to achieve sustainable results. Take the FREE Weight Loss Ownership Course.