For a long time, like many, I’ve had a difficult time losing weight and keeping it off. A major part of the issue was my decision making. I always opted for the foods that weren’t good for me and given the option, I always chose steak…it’s my weakness. Couple that with a lack of motivation to be active and my health was literally a Molotov cocktail ready to explode.
Growing up and all throughout school, I was always rail thin. I played multiple sports and was always on the run, but as soon as I became relegated to a desk for 8 hours a day, my habits changed. What was once an athletic build able to conquer the world became a soft body unable to resist the temptation of sweets and soda. Large shirts became XLs which became XLs that were too tight because I was too stubborn and refused to wear an XXL.
I had lost weight on a few occasions and at one point dropped 35 pounds to reach 200 for the first time in years, however the bad decisions reared their ugly head and I ballooned back up to 255.
On March 19th, 2018, I finally decided to get it right and try again, only this time with a method I had only read about, but didn’t know anyone personally who used it. On this diet, I can eat most of the same food without making too drastic a change to turn me off of it, but it would also require me to start running again. I actually love running so it’s become an added bonus! By the way, who the hell says that? Anyways, it’s called intermittent fasting and there’s different timing methods in which one can fast. The most popular is a 16:8 fast. This means for 16 hours you fast and don’t consume any calories. On the flip side of the coin, the ‘8’ means you can eat during this window. This would allow for a small lunch and a dinner. I won’t bore you with the details of the diet, but google it if you’re interested in learning more.
If you know me, you know I don’t do anything by the book, but instead more on the extreme. I ignored starting a 16:8 fast and I went straight for the gusto and made myself work with 23:1 fast, but with good reason. Knowing that I could only eat in a 1 hour window has kept me honest with myself and helped to not snack throughout the day. I’ve now also added daily running to the routine.
As a result of it all, I’ve lost in 65 pounds in 12 weeks! What I think is important though is the process that got me to where I am. It’s funny and mildly ironic, but most of the key elements of my journey can be applied to different aspects of life to help one better themselves or their situation. Looking even closer, they can be applied to business in general and really help to start focusing on getting your business back on track, much in the same way it got my health on track. Here are 4 practices that I learned on my journey:
The first 5 days are the hardest.
Making a change is incredibly difficult. Most people fear change because it forces them to get out of their comfort zone and go to a place where they feel they have no control. Personally, changing eating habits has been the hardest hurdle to overcome. Cravings drive the body’s desire for unhealthy eats and to revert you back to your old ways, but with a strong mind it can be overcome. The same can be said for your business practices. It’s easy to go back to the way things were and put a stake through the heart of change but you have to get your head right. You have to battle the temptations and give change enough time to run its course. Too often we try to analyze or quantify results too quickly without allowing our new process enough time to take hold and run properly. If you’re able to make it through the first five days of change without reverting back, it becomes easier to adapt to your new way of thinking and doing things. Which brings me to my next point:
Patience really is a virtue.
Losing weight while fasting is not something that happens overnight. Although I lost a lot of weight in what one would consider a short period of time, I focused on the granular details of my diet and activity and in reality; it wasn’t a short period of time. The only way though to truly reach your goal is through balance and consistency. This is true for both your diet and also to hold yourself accountable for the other activities it takes to make it happen. Like fasting, your business too needs consistency and balance. Whether it’s marketing, prospecting, advertising or social outreach, you cannot neglect one aspect of your business to work on and build another and expect to win. You need a balanced strategy and consistent attention throughout all the areas of your business. Only after the granular details are taken care of on a consistent basis will you see new business and sales come to fruition.
Stop worrying about things that don’t matter.
We all focus too much time and attention at work on things in our lives that don’t mean jack to the bottom line. Unfortunately I cared too much what other people thought about my means of losing weight and getting healthy. Some people thought I was crazy, some told me I was starving myself. Others told me to be careful because they thought I was pushing myself too far. There were times that I actually started to wonder if what I was doing was bad for me. By worrying about outside distractions, I lost a little confidence in what I was doing. I shook it all off and remembered that I did the research and I fully understand the science behind it. How dare anyone question what I know? I’m the expert of my situation! At the end of the day, it’s our responsibility to grind every single minute if we want to achieve our goals and dreams. Don’t worry about things that don’t mean anything to you or your goal. Drown out the negative thoughts of those who are not putting in the time or effort. This is your goal; your dream. Be the hardest working person in every single room you walk into and screw what others think.
You will fail.
Staying consistent with a diet and working out regularly is difficult. If it were easy, we all would do it. There are days I feel I need to eat more, or I feel too tired to work out. Most of the time, I push through and finish the day as it should be, but there have been times that I failed. I’ve broken my fast too early and even skipped work outs. I ate food I shouldn’t have, and I paid for it on the scale. As prepared, hungry and as dedicated to your craft as you think you might be, there will be a time that you lose a large account, miss out on what you perceive to be a once in a lifetime opportunity or even bomb a sales presentation that you thought you had in the bag. Nobody has a perfect track record in business and you’d be doing yourself an injustice to think that you do or you could. You’re not. It won’t happen. It’s important for you to embrace your failures though because you’ll learn more from them than you will any school. That’s a fact. Nothing tops first-hand experience. Most importantly, you have to remember the teachable moment, but to forget that you lost. Who cares you didn’t get the sale. You’ll have plenty more opportunities. Plus, you got the experience instead and moving forward you’ll never make that same mistake again.