Seven years ago, I set out on an adventure that radically transformed my life. I took the leap and started my weight loss journey. Over the course of less than a year, I managed to lose 150 pounds.
As anyone will tell you, a weight loss journey isn't exactly painless. It’s one of the most difficult things I’ve done. However, I learned many worthwhile lessons during that time in my life, and I carry them into maintaining 125 pounds of that weight loss these last six years.
I managed to put many of these lessons into short mantras, and use them as constant reminders and motivation when circumstances feel out of my control, when I face resistance and when I inevitably fail at something. They've empowered me to graduate from college after previously being a high-school dropout of 11 years, to train for marathons, to climb a mountain, to jump out of an airplane, to get remarried and and to transition from a comfortable government job to being my own boss.
At first glance, you’ll notice these mantras aren’t about eating or exercising. Instead, these mantras ought to conjure up a sense of curiosity, abundance, freedom, love, adventure, self-worth and joy — all things necessary for a full life.
Yes, of course you can lose weight without any of these mantras! But a healthy, sustained weight loss only happens when the attitude and mindset have shifted to match these feelings and experiences.
So here are my 16 mantras, one for every waking hour of the day. Use them as needed.
1. I test the boundaries of my comfort zone and I experience euphoria as a side effect.
2. I don't hide my happiness away from others out of shame, guilt or the need to fit in.
3. I exhibit generosity in the actions I take because I know there's more than enough to go around, and I'm content to share and be a giver.
4. Confidence pushes me into unknown territory and humility carries me when I've stepped a little too far.
5. I have the resiliency to bounce back from every challenge.
6. I see the "shoulds" and "oughts" of life and say, "Yeah, maybe."
7. I trust my inner guidance to find meaning over the rules and release any guilt about not living up to someone else's expectations.
8. There's no authority holding me back from achieving my wildest dreams.
9. I own my life.
10. I embrace new opportunities.
11. I don't seek out perfection in anything; I embrace diversity instead.
12. I never place conditions on my happiness.
13. “Oh well” is a way of life.
14. People can wait.
15. I know the "rules" are a guide, not the song.
16. Today, I hit the jackpot. I will allow myself to feel like the biggest winner.
Do you have your own mantras that guide your day towards healthier choices?