Changing from the inside out
When I share my transformation story with others I’m often asked a provocative question: If I could do it all again — meaning lose 200+ lbs and become a fit, healthy and in-the-equation girl — but only keep ONE of the gifts of transformation, which would I choose?
What they mean is. Would I choose to keep the external, physical transformation of a 200-lb weight loss OR the internal transformation (the mindset and behavior shifts that garnered the happy, healthy and WHOLE life I describe in those speeches)?
For me, it’s a “no brainer.” I would absolutely choose the internal transformation — hands down!
Some are surprised by my answer, but here’s why. It’s because of my internal transformation –– changing my limiting beliefs and self doubts, learning to really love and accept myself, believing I’m enough exactly as I am, embracing my imperfections, having the courage to push past fear, learning to let go of what I cannot control — that I KNOW I could lose the weight again!
It was the limiting thought patterns and beliefs that I learned at a young age and practiced most of my adult life, that had me turning to food as a source of comfort and put me on the path to weighing 381 lbs. It was those very same limiting beliefs and thought patterns that kept me working like a crazy person to prove my self worth, cutting myself off from love and romance, and ultimately limiting my universe to things I thought I could control. Life got small as I got bigger. It certainly wasn’t what I now call a WHOLE life.
So, yep, it’s a “no brainer.” The physical weight loss without the internal transformation would have me right back where I started, putting the weight right back on. In fact, I am not sure I could have even achieved a 200 lb weight loss, had I not simultaneously tackled my mindset.
I often say, it isn’t the physical weight we have to overcome, it’s what’s behind it. That’s what I mean when I talk about changing from the inside out. And it’s why I think so many weight loss programs don’t work long term. It’s also why I decided to start coaching people to success (learn more here).
When we approach big change in our lives from the inside out, it means we unearth, understand and then begin to address the thought patterns and limiting beliefs about ourselves and our world that got us here. That’s really how and when we begin to change the behaviors that we adopted as a result of that thinking that are no longer working for us. That’s when we begin to unlock our power and address the underlying problem and not just the outer symptoms. And that’s when we are truly able to create long-term change.
It’s when we become more aware of what we’re practicing that is no longer working for us — letting it in to our conscious mind — that we get uncomfortable and we’re usually forced to do something about it because it gets so uncomfortable that we know there is no turning back. We’d never be the same. The change process has already started once we become more aware of what we want, why and what we’re currently practicing in our lives that’s not working for us.
It’s then that we’re challenged to start addressing those limiting beliefs and our excuses that accompany them. Or, the alternative is often to stay stuck.
When we embark on any significant change in our life, we’re asked to push past our fears to embrace the change we want, to ask for help, to set ourselves up for success, to go 100% all in, and to really get in touch with our WHY — that WHY is our internal motivation and will keep us going when the going gets really tough. (Click here for my 5 principles for creating transformative change in your life.)
It’s not easy, but it is absolutely, totally and completely wonderful and life changing. This is what I mean when I say, weight loss — or any big change in our life — happens from the inside out. And the really great news is that we all have within us the power, strength and can develop the skills to do it!
But we can’t forget the external, physical piece either. I believe it is important to embrace both and embark on both at the same time — so we see results, we feel momentum, we prove to ourselves — YES WE CAN!
Internal and external changes go hand in hand
It’s not as simple as saying change the inside and the outside changes happen. Change your mindset and the weight comes off. At least it wasn’t for me. I had to be brave enough to tackle both simultaneously and found they were totally related. I had to START addressing the physical changes in weight loss and see progress — the scale dropping, my physical self getting leaner and stronger) WHILE I was working the inside — my head game.
Internal change and external for me had to go hand in hand, complimenting each other. As I embarked on my weight-loss journey and got ready for boot camp, the internal stuff came up and begged addressing. Big time!
FEAR was the first up and perhaps the most powerful.
Once I made a decision to really do something about my life, those old thought patterns and limiting beliefs came out to play. I was afraid I would look stupid, would fail and couldn’t complete the boot camp. I was afraid of what people would think if they heard I went to camp and quit. I was afraid of wearing a swimsuit at 360+ lbs in front of other people and doing the pool workouts. I was afraid to leave my business in the hands of others and focus on myself for two full weeks. I was EVEN afraid of success — what if I lost the weight and got thin and fit? I didn’t know how to live like that or be that girl?! Would I attract men and attention for the first time in my life? How would it affect my business? …
Why I am so passionate about my internal transformation and addressing health and well being – and weight loss – in a holistic way?
Because, for me, it’s the only way to creating life-long behavior change. It’s how I’ve kept my weight off and my life happy, healthy and WHOLE for four and a half years, and especially when the going gets tough. And, perhaps the coolest reason, it unlocks the greatest potential and best life for each and every one of us. Wouldn’t it be cool if everyone on the planet lived their very best life as their best self — however they define it?!
On the flip side, I know for me just giving me a Fitbit and telling me to move more. Or an educational seminar on nutrition, or even giving me the best diet program in the world as the key to weight loss — wouldn’t have worked had I not at the same time sought counseling support, had a mentor and worked just as hard on my internal crap. And I defintely wouldn’t be writing this blog today maintaining my weight loss and continuing my internal journey.
Real change happens from the inside out. It is the greatest gift. And I believe it is available to each and every one of us.
That’s the really great news on this #motivationmonday!
If you are seeking help or want to chat, connect with me here.
Cheers peeps! Remember, we’ve got this!
#motivationmonday #intheequation #yesyoucan!
P.S. If you connect with me via my blog or email firstname.lastname@example.org and have not heard back from me, check your SPAM folder and make sure you accept emails from this address. I respond personally to every message. Or, call 612-341-4185.