Natalie L. used changeanything.com to lose twenty-five pounds and become the happy and healthy person she always wanted to be.
Over the past eight years, I used a variety of fad diets and exercise approaches in an attempt to lose weight. My biggest problem wasn’t that I couldn’t lose the weight. It was that as soon as I’d start to have success, I’d grow lax on healthy behaviors and fall off the wagon.
When I turned forty-five, I realized I had failed to take care of myself while climbing the corporate ladder. I loved my job, but my hard work only resulted in more assignments and hours spent at the office. I had nurtured my career but ignored my health. I realized I needed to spend more time on me.
That’s when I was introduced to changeanything.com—a website that helps people create and execute change plans mapped to their most pressing challenges and desired goals. I wanted to introduce the site to my company for use in corporate wellness, but realized I needed to put it to the test first.
The first step in my change plan was to clearly define my goals. What I thought was simply a goal to lose twenty-five pounds became a more important goal: to be truly healthy. I wanted to feel energized, confident, and happy.
The next step was to identify the vital behaviors I wanted to influence,the behaviors that if done consistently would lead to my success. My vital behaviors included:
- Tracking daily my caloric intake and exercise using an application on my iTouch.
- Planning my exercise routine before scheduling work activities.
After I identified these vital behaviors, changeanything.com helped me create a six-source plan to reach my goals.
Source 1: Love What You Hate — I needed to change the way I thought about success. Part of me didn’t believe I could reach my goal. To overcome the doubt, I visualized what it would actually look and feel like to step on the scale and see my goal weight register. These daily visualizations helped me not only change my underlying negative perceptions, but also stay motivated.
I also turned to a popular podcast called “Inside Out Weight Loss” to stay motivated. The host encouraged listeners to be realistic about weight loss and realize that, while everyone falls off the wagon, the goal is to decrease the frequency of your falls as well as the amount of time and intensity with which you get off track.
Source 2: Do What You Can’t — Changeanything.com helped me track my weight loss goals and strategies. I also turned to a popular workout program that taught me how to perform exercises that used muscle confusion to increase calorie burning.
Sources 3 & 4: Turn Accomplices into Friends — Through changeanything.com, I invited two valuable coaches to track my progress. Both of my coaches held me accountable to reaching my goals. I reported to these friends whether I succeeded or failed, so I was really motivated to do the work and give a positive report.
The winner of The Biggest Loser Season Four was one of my coaches. He reviewed my change plan and encouraged me to break up my twenty-five-pound goal into realistic five-pound increments. His coaching was instrumental in keeping me on track. He also encouraged me to increase the intensity of my exercise routine.
Source 5: Invert the Economy — I stayed motivated by planning rewards for each five-pound increment. For example, I posted a new outfit I wanted to buy on my change plan so my coaches could encourage me to earn that reward.
Source 6: Control Your Space — I realized one of the largest barriers to my success was the extra time I spent at work. So I prioritized my time at work and became very protective of even small pockets of time I could reserve for exercise. I even learned to build fences and say “no” in order to protect the time I had set aside for my health.
I also learned that when I drank coffee after 3 p.m., I had a hard time falling asleep and woke up tired and exhausted. My coffee breaks were also an attempt to raise my energy level by consuming additional calories. When I stopped drinking coffee after 3 p.m., I saw tremendous improvement.
When I put all of these strategies into play, through the help of changeanything.com, my goals became reality. I not only reached my goal of losing twenty-five pounds, but I also became the happy and healthy person I always wanted to be.
Editor’s Note: If you have an inspiring story of personal change, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and include “Change Anything Story” in the subject line of your e-mail.