Weight-Loss Secrets: 3 Subtle Influences That Dictate Your Health Journey's Success

Permanent weight loss occurs within the context of our lives, which can be unpredictable at times. (Max Pixel/Public Domain)

Here is a true story: I gained 100 pounds after high school.

I didn't just wake up one morning with an extra 100 pounds on me.

It happened slowly, subtly.

I once did the math. It took me 20 years to gain 100 pounds. That works out to just five pounds a year!

When people start a weight-loss program, they typically focus on just a diet or exercise. But our lives are so much more than that.

Permanent weight loss occurs within the context of our lives, which can be unpredictable at times.

The reason people can fail with weight loss is that they try to confine weight loss to a temporary project.

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But consider this: Your weight gain wasn't a temporary project, was it?

Rather, it occurred over a period of time while you were living your normal life!

That goes to show you the power of time. I call time "the great multiplier."

  • Small disciplines practiced every day bring success.
  • Small errors in judgment practiced every day bring failure.

So it is critical that you pay attention to the following three influences every day to ensure that you set yourself up for weight-loss success consistently.

  1. What is in you.

I think this is the biggest factor in your weight loss success because it speaks to your mindset toward change.

Consider two people who are working on their weight-loss goal.

  • Person No. 1 embraces the effort of changing their eating and exercise habits to improve their health.
  • Person No. 2 resents the effort of changing their eating and exercise habits, viewing this as a punishment and a burden.

Which person do you think will be more likely to continue the habits necessary to maintain a healthy weight?

Let's look at another scenario. These same two people mess up with their program on a certain day.

  • Person No. 1 views the event as a learning experience, valuable information they can use to adjust and move forward.
  • Person No. 2 views the event as a failure, a reflection of their personal worth. Since they don't want to keep feeling bad about themselves, they want to quit the whole thing.

Which person do you think will be more likely to continue the habits necessary to maintain a healthy weight?

Proverbs 23:7 speaks to the principle that as a person thinks, so they are.

The more positively you approach the daily effort to change, the more likely it is that you will receive a positive result.

2. Who is around you.

The Bible warns about the power of wrong influences around you:

Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals" (1 Cor. 15:33).

Evaluate the people closest to you. Are they people focused on living a healthy lifestyle, or do they pay little attention to their own health habits?

While you certainly wouldn't brand them as "evil," you do need to be aware of their power to influence you.

Now you might see this video and say, "Oh Kim, those are just children. Of course, it would be easy to influence them."

However, I don't believe we ever outgrow the desire to fit in with others. We all long for approval and acceptance.

It's easier to go along with the crowd. Plus, many people fear rejection if they don't go along.

When you have negative influences around you on your weight-loss journey, just be aware that it may require some adjustments in your existing relationships or the addition of new people into your circle so that you can add the positive influences you are lacking.

For example, you may have someone in your household who is tempting you with junk food constantly. You may have to ask them to keep it out of your sight when they buy it to avoid tempting you. Having that conversation may feel uncomfortable so you have to prepare yourself for that.

If you need to add positive health influences, it could be as easy as walking for exercise in the mall and seeing other people doing the same thing or joining an online group of people focused on health and weight loss.

The bottom line is: Do not underestimate the power of influence in your weight-loss success and adjust your life to take that into account.

3. What is around you.

I was looking for some images to use on this website and was shocked to see a pattern at the photo repository I use: I saw many images in which the people practicing gluttony looked blissfully happy. At the same time, I saw pictures of people eating healthy foods looking miserable and deprived.

What message does that send?

It's a small example of how society makes what is bad appear good and what is good appear bad. Images are subtle, but they make such a difference.

You too need to pay attention to the images around you. Do you have images that encourage you to succeed and stay on track?

For example, I have pictures of active, fit people in my exercise area that inspire me on my health journey. I have an inspirational image as my computer wallpaper.

I set up my environment to make it easier to eat healthily. I have exercise videos of various lengths so that I can fit a workout in at my convenience, whether I have 1 hour to exercise or 10 minutes.

I want to ensure that my environment helps me to maintain a healthy lifestyle so that maintaining my weight is almost automatic.

In summary, permanent weight loss does not happen in isolation.

  • Success is intentional.
  • Failure is accidental.

Evaluate what is in you, who is around you and what is around you to determine which influence you may need to adjust so you are moving in a more positive direction.

Once 240 pounds and a size 22, Kimberly Taylor can testify to God's healing power to end binge-eating. She is an author and the creator of the Christian weight-loss website takebackyourtemple.com. Visit today for inspirational health and weight-loss tips.

This article originally appeared at takebackyourtemple.com.

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