Weight loss is a challenge for the majority of Americans, more than 70% of the population struggles with weight and diabesity. There are many reasons for this including a toxic diet, overloaded with all the wrong ingredients designed to incite overwhelming cravings, along with a lifestyle of distraction that makes it easy to pack on ½ pound in the time it takes to open the package.
There is a lot of great information out there on the toxic food supply, the need for exercise and other issues that relate to losing weight. In this article, I want to focus on an innovative solution that is practical and will help you get to the bottom of your struggle.
For 20 plus years, I have helped individuals and organizations disrupt status quo. As a performance expert, I have used a 3 prong approach with my clients for consistent results. As I pondered my own weight loss challenge, I realized these principles will help you disrupt your status quo around weight loss. Thise principles are:
- High Expectations.
- Incremental change.
These 3 principles can be instrumental in breaking through your past failures related to weight loss. I recently found myself confronted with a challenge to lose weight, having noticed a tendency to gain weight as I age. Instead of falling into a toxic mindset that blames age for everything from weight gain to fatigue to hair loss and any other ailment, I decided to use the tools I use every day to solve other people’s problems and explore weight loss.
I highly recommend following along and applying this process to whatever challenge you may be dealing with, personally. You will be pleasantly surprised!
Step 1. FOCUS.
Define the problem. The inability to lose weight is not really the problem. It is a symptom of a larger issue. The problem is more likely overeating, stress eating, or lack of movement. Spend 3 days keeping a log of what you eat, when and how you feel. Notice a pattern?
Use the 5 Why’s to get at the root cause of your weight (or other behavior that is sabotaging you).
Too often, people jump to a particular diet before they explore the contributing factors of their weight gain. Just like in the workplace, when you jump to a solution and it doesn’t “work,” there can be a mad dash to jump to another solution until you are so overloaded with solutions; you give up, in despair, eroding any confidence in your ability to achieve success.
Not only have you lost momentum, you are a few steps back because of the confusion. It may be harder to see through the emotional cloud of despair and explore why you are not losing weight.
Step 2. High Expectations.
There is no doubt; this step requires a big mindset shift. I have spoken to many leaders who are hesitant, even afraid, to demand more of their staff, “Because they are already working hard.” You may be of the same mindset. “How can I lose weight when I am working so hard?”
High expectations do not mean working harder. It means you are setting the bar high in order to motivate yourself. Without a high enough goal, why bother? Low expectations tell your team, you do not really believe in their ability to achieve the goal. If you don’t believe they can do it, why should they even try? If you want to “get healthy,” how can you know when you have achieved your goal?
It is a well known fact that lifestyle is responsible for most of the health challenges we face, yet, there is little resolve and low expectations to actually make a difference in the risk factors related to being overweight. Blood pressure, heart function, diabetes, osteoporosis and many other symptoms can be cured with lifestyle changes.
Think big. I have a plan to help you achieve your goal.
High expectations do not mean unreasonable expectations like, “I will lose 30 pounds in 3 weeks.” High expectations mean you hold your intention for your weight loss goals despite setbacks. Keep working on it. This takes us to the 3rd pillar of my approach.
3. Incremental Change.
Simplicity is genius. It is completely overshadowed in this digital age of information overload, multi-tasking and speeding up to get more done. Incremental change is when you break your goals into milestones, and measure and monitor the incremental changes that will advance your agenda.
Incremental change is not the same as gradual change. Gradual change is a code word for status quo. Nothing really changes when your mindset is locked onto a gradual process.
Incremental change is deliberate, measured, and specific. It requires you to think through the small steps in the process you are using to bring about your change.
Each step builds on itself. It all begins with focus. Simple does not mean easy and while these steps, when followed will transform any change effort, it requires you set up a plan.
Would you like to learn how to use agile lean sigma tools to breakthrough your status quo? Whether it is weight loss or challenges at work, this process is an innovative way of thinking that changes behavior.
Join the Resilient Leader Facebook Group and learn more about agile, lean and all things leadership!
Cynthia Howard RN, CNC, PhD works with savvy professionals and executives who want to have a bold impact in all areas of their life.
“Great performance starts with simple steps, things you do every day. Begin now. No excuses.”