The Real Secret to Losing Weight AND Keeping it Off

Alright, it’s that time of year again when cupcakes and pies weigh supreme and oversize sweaters and leggings (stretchTASTIC) take over our closets.  Last year, threeLOL launched its first ever ‘25 Days of Fitness’ challenge and we’ve decided to make it an annual tradition.  And we’re inviting you to join us!  Tune in each Monday for tips on healthy living AND thinking!

I’ve learned over the past umpteen years of dieting that diet’s never work.  Sure, you can restrict your food intake and workout like a possessed demon, but that type of activity isn’t sustainable—trust me, I know.

I’m currently re-reading (or truly reading for the first time) a “diet” book that I highly recommend which has really enlightened me to the source of my own fitness challenges:

The key to fitness and healthy living isn’t so much about what we do, but what we think.

Marianne Williamson’s A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever captures this point brilliantly.  There is no food list, workout schedule, or recipe in this book.  Instead it teaches us that the source of our excess weight is steeped in our innermost feelings about ourselves and others, so must begin our weight loss journey by looking within, rather than being distracted by the “external things” that we blame for throwing us on/off our health game.

I used to think dealing with my weight was as easy as saying “well, I eat too much and enjoy cocktails”.  But it has occurred to me that discussing the “what” without facing the “why” is like jumping out of plane without a parachute.  In order to get our bodies “right”, our minds need to be prepped for the journey as well.

I had this aha moment a few weeks ago when I had the pleasure of facilitating an advocacy workshop for the ladies of GirlTrek, a nonprofit organization that inspires and supports African American women and girls through walking, to live their healthiest, most fulfilled lives.  The fabulous co-founders of GirlTrek alongside their Class of 2012 Trailblazers serve as “walking role models” who engage in life-changing health adventures (like running marathons and becoming certified yoga instructors) and share their inspiring health stories with their communities.

Simply put, we each have to connect with our own personal health stories in order to improve our health trajectories.  So, the first goal of the 25 Days of Fitness Challenge is to uncover our health stories and write them down.

Tip 1: Uncover Your Personal Health Story.  Ready to start your 25 Days of Fitness?! Begin to sketch out your personal health story by answering the questions below and reflecting on your story:

  • Why is healthy living important to you?
  • What has prompted you to take responsibility for your health?
  • What does healthy living–mind, body and soul mean to you?
  • What have been your perceived barriers to attaining the healthy life you desire?

Tip 2: Create a Health Adventure for Yourself.  How do you want challenge yourself physically and emotionally over the next month and into the coming year?  Sign up for a 5K walk/run, learning to swim, or pledge to do yoga for 40 days straight?    Creating your health adventure is like donning a couture dress—it should fit you perfectly!  So pick an activity and just do it!

Now, I understand that no one reaches and sustains their lifetime fitness goal in just 25 days.  The rewards of this challenge won’t just be the results you see in 25 days—the greatest reward of long-term health and wellness is steeped in the journey, and every great (health) story begins with a single step.

Entering the 25 Days of Fitness challenge gets us off the couch, out of our heads, and to the starting line of our journey! Here’s to the beginning of a beautiful relationship…with yourself:-).

Check back every “Let’s Move Monday” for posts on healthy living AND thinking.  Join the conversation on Twitter beginning December 1st @threeLOL for daily tweets on living light with the hashtag #PolinistaFitness

Musical Inspiration after the jump… No one works harder then Bey!

Double dose of Queen Bey: Get your mind, body and spirit moving… (peep Brittney from Glee in the background…werk!)