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"Biggest losers" have things in common.


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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No secret diet, no magic pill. I’m sure we have all realized this by now. All the people who have successfully tried to lose weight and have managed to keep it off, Sparkers or non-Sparkers, managed to find their own unique combination of healthy eating and exercise. Each one of us is a different person, with different needs, who needs a different approach to weight loss.

But we have things in common. Looking back at my own weight loss journey and browsing through blogs of other people’s successful stories, I think I have pinpointed some attitudes that seem similar, sometimes even identical. And I believe that if these attitudes are put together with our own individual ways of eating and working out, they can easily pave the road to success.
So, these are the things that most “biggest losers” have in common:

- They realized they had to make permanent changes.

Most of them had been tortured by diets many times in the past. Some of them hadn’t. But they all knew that a small period of eating differently and a month of exercise in a year of complete absence of activity would bring changes that wouldn’t last. Sooner or later they would go back to their old habits. It would be like a drop in the ocean. It would only affect the surface of the problem. Only if they changed their habits permanently could they hope for long-lasting results. And this realization was critical to their success.


- They moved on by trial and error.

What worked for me won’t necessarily work for you. People who successfully lost weight were ready to accept failure. They tried many things that proved to be wrong and many times they would bring them back to square one. They just researched and found another way. A new way of exercise, a new trick to deal with cravings, new menus, new breakfast ideas, anything they had a hard time with, they would just replace it with something new. Eventually they found what worked for them.


- They created a support network.

Struggling is part of everything in our lives. Sometimes we struggle with our jobs, with our studies, with our relationships. A weight loss attempt couldn’t be an exception to the rule. There will be difficult days. Days that nothing will seem to work. Days that all our will-power and motivation will have vanished somehow. And when we struggle, we need someone who can relate. A friend or many friends who can put themselves in our shoes, give us a pat on the back and help us move on. Most of the people who managed to lose weight had their own support system. One or more Sparkfriends, a gym buddy, a family member on the same weight loss journey, they all played their own role in someone’s success story.


- They constantly motivated themselves.

What did you think? That all these people lived in gyms and never missed a workout? Or they had hired a 24-hour nutrition expert who cooked all their meals for them? No, they lived in the same world we all do. Where everyday life issues continue and smaller or bigger problems come up and draw our attention away from our personal goals. And, of course, motivation is diminished. But those people didn’t let their motivation meter reach zero. They would motivate themselves weekly, daily or whenever they felt it was needed. They would make visuals, read success stories, browse through motivational pictures, reflect on inspirational quotes, blog, do anything they could to keep the spark alive. And their constant vigilance rewarded them with success.


- They put “health” in the equation.

Vanity reasons are good. Who doesn’t want to look good in skinny jeans or swimsuits? We all do. But there’s a problem with vanity motives. They can easily be postponed for …later. This way: “Well, I still have my baggy T-shirt to hide in. I’ll try for the tank top tomorrow. Now bring me those donuts!”
But when the factor “health” appears, things change. When you know that your unhealthy way of eating and your non-existent activity levels are kindly inviting Mr. Diabetes in, you don’t get lots of time to postpone your decisions. When cholesterol and blood pressure have started using the elevator and are flirting with “the upper floors” of their values, you have to act. All those people who managed to lose weight didn’t necessarily have a health problem. But they educated themselves on health statistics and they measured the odds. And they decided that to the extent they could, they would get in control of their health.


- They wanted it badly.

Probably the most important ingredient in the “weight loss success recipe”. The key attitude. A strong desire. The starting point of all achievement. They wanted to reach their goals and they wanted it badly. So badly that they refused to quit no matter the obstacles. They would always get up no matter how many times they fell. They had the visual of their goal in mind and they never let go of it. And, in the end, they made it happen.

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There are so many success stories on Sparkpeople. Have a look at the strategies of those people and you’ll soon realize it’s all a matter of the right attitude. They say that attitudes are contagious, don’t they? Well, I believe you’re in the right place to “catch” them!




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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONELUCKYSUSAN 11/15/2012 2:29PM

    Thank you, Elle! Your motivational post has given me some great points to ponder, especially at this stage of my life; I've started and stopped so many times yet I've gained and now find myself a mess physically...and emotionally, as well, when I think about it.

Your points on what has meant success to the biggest losers are logical, inspiring and spot on. I'm looking forward to reading future posts of yours, for the inspiration and the example of success.

Best wishes on the remainder of your journey to health and who knows?? Perhaps we'll race that incredible Marathon in Athens together one day!

Thank you for sparking my day! emoticon

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DIXIEWORKHORSE 11/15/2012 10:03AM

    emoticon emoticon

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RUSSELL1960 11/11/2012 7:11PM

    Thanks. What you shared resonates with my experience too. I had many of these "pieces" in place but still didn't experience success. When I added into the mix the daily motivation provided by Spark Coach it put me over the top and I am now a bit surprised and delighted with the good results. It is possible that some discouraged people are very close to success but lack perhaps just one ingredient or one small change in their lives to tip the balance toward progress.

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PEZMOM1 11/8/2012 10:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PENSIEVEGAZER 11/6/2012 10:11PM

    Really like the summary of tips!

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ANNANN63 11/6/2012 8:36AM

    Awesome.

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JANEMARIE77 11/5/2012 10:08PM

    sounds about right

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COCHRANE0511 11/4/2012 6:36PM

    Thank you for your blog, it was very interesting information.

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SHAZG321 11/4/2012 1:07PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NEWMREY 11/4/2012 10:26AM

    Thank you for your blog and for sharing all of your hard won knowledge! It gives me so much to think about and absorb as I am learning my way to maintenance.

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ELAYNE39 11/4/2012 10:16AM

    Fantastic post!

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NASFKAB 11/4/2012 7:37AM

  awesome blog put what I think in words so beautifully THANKS

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ANNARUTH2 11/4/2012 6:07AM

    Good words!

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 11/4/2012 4:22AM

    great post

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ARIZONA33 11/4/2012 1:32AM

    Amazing blog. Thanks for sharing and reminding us that we all have things in common but that we need to find our own unique combination in order to make things work for truly work for us!

And, you are so right--attitude is everything!

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REENIE131 11/3/2012 10:46PM

    Thank you for a GREAT blog!

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DETERMINED_ME 11/3/2012 9:23PM

    Thank you so much for sharing...You are right, as I think of the motivational blogs I have read they do read similar. Definitely puts things into perspective.

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NOTSOFLUFFYDAD 11/3/2012 8:05PM

    Wow!!!! Talk about an eye opening blog!! It really puts things into perspective!! Thanks for sharing!!

Paul

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TUBLADY 11/3/2012 8:04PM

    Another great blog. I agree each of the points you made play a part in my weight loss and my success in maintaining. I really believe you have to want it so bad that nothing will deter you from achieving your success..
It all comes down to mind, your attitude. You are either ready to commit and make the changes needed or you aren't.
It doesn't happen over night. It's a process.
I wish everyone who is on that well traveled road to health and fitness reaches their destination.
Be strong, stay positive.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BIERMA 11/3/2012 7:32PM

  I think you summarized very well what we all realize but needed you to put it into words. Thanks...very inspirational and motivating. emoticon

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SUSUSUZZZIE 11/3/2012 7:32PM

    Love your blog!

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LAWANDMUSIC 11/3/2012 6:05PM

    I really learned a thing to two in your post. Thanks!

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NAOLEE 11/3/2012 5:31PM

    Thank you and well done.

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MARYGOLD5 11/3/2012 3:47PM

    Great blog. Several great ideas that I sometimes forget and needed a reminder of. It is easy to give up if we don't keep our focus and realize that we are worth being healthy. emoticon emoticon

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POINDEXTRA 11/3/2012 3:26PM

    Great points. For me, the main thing has been just sticking with it. Sometimes it's easier than others, and sometimes it's harder, but perserverance is the key.

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DEBLYNN323 11/3/2012 2:39PM

    emoticon ...great blog!

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FALLNTENN 11/3/2012 12:25PM

    Great blog!

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SHOAPIE 11/3/2012 9:39AM

    emoticon

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MANILUS 11/3/2012 8:38AM

    Good points!

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THOMS1 11/3/2012 8:22AM

    emoticon

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STEPH-KNEE 11/3/2012 5:17AM

    So true!! Great advice!! :D

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MARYJEANSL 11/3/2012 2:07AM

  Very well said. You put a lot of things together in a clear, concise way. I need to print it - thanks!

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MARTHAWILL 11/2/2012 8:51PM

    Well written! Everytime I think I've heard it all, I hear a refreshing new perspective. Thanks!

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ONEKIDSMOM 11/2/2012 7:25PM

    A lot of TRUTH here! Thanks for capturing it so well! It needs to be shared and shouted from the rooftops...

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SUSIEMT 11/2/2012 5:47PM

    WooHoo to you lady! Another good insightful blog. Thank You! Keep it up!

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JEWELMOTI 11/2/2012 3:23PM

    emoticon

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MILLIE5522 11/2/2012 3:05PM

    emoticon Great blog!

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ADRIENALINE 11/2/2012 1:57PM

    This is a great blog! It's great to see so many simple truths in one place. You knocked the ball out of the park!

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MELINA3582 11/2/2012 1:54PM

  what a great blog,Elle! thanks for sharing and have a good day!

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MISSB8604 11/2/2012 12:51PM

    You hit the ball out of the park with this one, especially the part about wanting the weight off badly. When I knew I was only 5lbs away from goal there was nothing I wanted more than to see my goal weight on the scale. It fueled my passion, fueled my fire to reach a goal for myself. Sure, I wanted to give up plenty of times, but deep down I knew I never would because I DESERVED to have the body/lifestyle I wanted.

We all deserve the life we want to live. We all deserve to be happy.



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GERMANIRISHGIRL 11/2/2012 10:42AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LJCANNON 11/2/2012 10:35AM

    emoticon I believe you Nailed It!! Each of these things -- Added to Individual Needs -- Really Will make a Huge Difference!!

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OOLALA53 11/2/2012 10:29AM

    Props for sure. emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/2/2012 9:50AM

    Spot on. When I look back at why I have been successful this time as well as what it will take to keep the weight off for got, it comes down to those things.

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DAISYBELL6 11/2/2012 9:11AM

    Your blog was right on! Without all these factors combined, I know I would have quit at the first roadblock. Now, when I goof, I just dust off and do it again!

Thanks for your thoughtful summary!

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ISHIIGIRL 11/2/2012 8:59AM

    Hi Elle, you really made some excellent points with this blog and everyone of them is true. i think anyone who is successful at maintaining their weight loss incorporates all of these into their new lifestyles. You did an amazing job of summing them up. Great job!

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62NVON 11/2/2012 8:51AM

    Brilliant thoughts and so very true.
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LOGOULD 11/2/2012 8:51AM

    emoticon insisghts and so right on! There are so many more facets to living healthy than just dieting. It REALLY MUST become a lifestyle, your lifestyle, my lifestyle. We need to take ownership of ourselves and what we want for ourselves. That is KEY!

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TORTISE110 11/2/2012 8:50AM

    You nailed this. Great job.

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WATERMELLEN 11/1/2012 8:15PM

    Another fabulous blog! I'm so glad to have been introduced to your excellent writing . . .

Vanity can be effective short-term motivation . . . . but HEALTH is the biggest factor in sustaining motivation for life-long maintenance: gotta agree with you from my own experience.

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