Maybe youve been struggling with your weight for a long time. Maybe its a more recent problem where as you age, you are discovering you cant eat whatever you want like you could many years ago. Whatever your weight loss challenges, know this: successfully losing weight and keeping it off comes down to making a few important shifts in your life.

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How do I know? A few years ago, I weighed more than 300 pounds. Today, Im happy to say I now weigh 175 pounds and Im in the best shape of my life. The old me scoffed at a few minutes on a treadmill, and now Ive completed two full marathons and just signed up for my third. Mentally, physically and emotionally, my view of life has exceeded what I ever thought was possible. I went through a lot of ups and downs on my weight loss journey because it really isn’t easy! The hardest thing for me was seeing the sagging skin appear as I shed those unwanted lbs. I noticed that my bra size decreased dramatically too, but the skin was still there. After some doctors visits and even finding out the breast augmentation cost, I decided to undergo the knife to remove excess skin and give my body some shape again and I’ve never felt better! Without the loose skin, I can now exercise even more freely.

Heres the changes I made to successfully lose weight. Im sure they can help you, too.

How bad do you want it?

woman exercise exercising weight loss successfully lose weightMany people say they cant successfully lose weight. Unless there is an underlying medical cause for this, losing weight comes down to how bad you want it. If you truly want to lose the weight, you will. When I was 300 pounds I would say I want to lose weight but then never could. Thats because I didnt truly mean it. When I meant it for good and I was really ready, then I started dropping pounds.

Dont overwhelm yourself

One of the biggest mistakes I made when I was 300 pounds was trying to do too much too soon. I quickly became flustered and overwhelmed. What worked better was trying to slowly incorporate change into my routine. I started slowly incorporating more fruits and veggies. I started slowly engaging in more physical activity. Instead of looking at the big picture focusing on the more than 100 pounds I needed to lose, I broke it down into small 10-pound increments. This made the process much more manageable.

Develop your willpower

Most people struggle to successfully lose weight because theyre not ready to standup to the challenges that come along the way. This is where your mental fortitude and willpower come into play. Temptations, cravings and emotional eating are just a few of the obstacles youre going to have to standup to. This is where youre going to need every ounce of willpower to stay on track.

Find what works best for you

There is so much advice out there and so many different diet and weight loss programs. Its not a one-size fits all equation. Your weight loss journey is going to be different than mine or anyone elses. Find what works best for you and stick to your own plan. Whether you want to try an over the counter Phentermine alternative or healthy eating, do what’s best for you and your body! I worked closely with my nutritionist and trainer who helped develop a program for my specific body and goals.

Write it down

One of the biggest things that helped me lose weight was writing about it. It was one thing to say Im going to consume better foods or Im going to hit the gym. But, when I put pen to paper, the words were staring back at me and really sunk it. I encourage you to write a list of adjectives that describe how you want to look and feel. I also wrote down every food and beverage I consumed to look for patterns. I noticed certain times when cravings would kick in, so I would replace the snacks with water.

Celebrate every win

Losing so much weight was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Rewarding myself (not with food) and recognizing each victory along the way is important for goal setting and momentum building. Each pound you lose represents your mental fortitude. So, congratulate yourself for every victory, without ever getting complacent.

Get around others with the same goals

The best way to accomplish anything in life is to get around like-minded individuals. Its no different when it comes to losing weight. Get around other people who are in the same boat and support one another, share your frustrations with each other, push each other through the hard times and celebrate the victories together. Its a lot easier when you have someone doing it with you.

Dont fool yourself

Alignment is the key to progressive health and unless all the dominos are in line, the expected results will never come. I went to the gym three days a week during the year that led to my peak of being 305 pounds. But, due to food choices, alcohol-abuse and lack of strategy, I stayed busy while heading in the wrong direction. When attempting to design a healthy life, every part of each day must be examined and all actions that go against the intentions must be monitored closely. Without handling the details, we will never get to see the best of the big picture.

The takeaway

Losing weight is no easy feat, but it is doable. Not only will you look and feel good, every part of your life is going to improve. Dont just say you want to lose weight, instead, make a game plan and review it daily. Be ready for the physical and mental challenges youre going to face. All growth comes with moments of discomfort but reaping the benefits of your commitment will make it all worth it.

Kinja Dixon went from more than 300 pounds to 175 pounds. He re-created his life picture and now helps others along their journeys. He is author of Re-Creationism: The Art of Shaping Reality. http://re-creationism.com/and http://www.kinjadixon.com/

Feature photo: Ivan Torres / Unsplash