11 powerful lessons from 10 years of yo-yo dieting

I’ve been many shapes and sizes over the years. Dieting and exercising became an obsessive focus at the height of my chronic stress. It was a distraction from fixing issues that went much deeper.

I convinced myself I’d be much happier if I could just lose 10 pounds, life would be so much better. However, I was so stressed out it was difficult to lose weight, I’d beat myself up, feel miserable, drown my sorrows vowing to do better when I started a new restrictive diet on Monday.

I’ve maintained a healthy weight now for the last 5 years and I wanted to share some of the insights that really helped me get to this point. This isn’t just about weight loss, so many of these lessons are applicable to life in general!

1 – Don’t leave it until you’ve lost weight to do all the things you want to do. Do them now, don’t wait because tomorrow is not guaranteed. Don’t risk looking back with regret at all the things you missed out on.

2 – Confidence and happiness don’t come from a number on the scales. Don’t spend your life forever feeling half a stone away from happy.

3 – There are no quick fixes, you might get incredible results but it will be short-lived. You’ll gain it all back and then some. You end up blaming yourself: you’re a failure, you can’t control yourself around food and you don’t have any willpower which is not true. Small changes lead to big wins that you can maintain, while still enjoying yourself and having flexibility.

4 – Focus on health first, nourish your body because you love yourself and want to make the most of what life has to offer you.

5 – Invest in getting some help and support, you’re worth it. The feeling of achieving your goals, getting healthy and happy is priceless.

6 – Manage stress, it can have such a devastating impact on health if it becomes chronic. It will sabotage your efforts to lose weight and keep you stuck. Don’t be afraid to say no or ask for help if you’re struggling to cope.

7 – Stop comparing yourself to others, it’s a complete waste of time.  You are good enough. Focus on being the best version of you, which is already fabulous.

8 – Upgrade your beliefs and the stories you tell yourself. This has a huge impact, they shape our lives and our achievements. Stories/beliefs create thoughts which lead to actions that drive reality and results. You control your thoughts and beliefs, and you have the power to create new ones.

9 – Exercise can make you feel amazing and invincible, so find something you love doing. If you don’t like the gym or you hate running don’t do it.

10 – Be kind to yourself you’re doing the best you can. Celebrate every small win and success, don’t wait until you’ve achieved a big goal. It’s so important to recognise every positive step you’re making towards your goal and to see the progress, however small. We all spend far too much time focusing on and beating ourselves up for the few things that don’t go well rather than celebrating the huge amount of stuff that did.

11 – Don’t suck all the fun out of your life because you’re on a boring restrictive diet, doing endless hours of cardio in the gym. Are those the kind of memories you want to look back on?

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