It’s well documented that I was able to drop 85 pounds off of my NFL playing weight. In the coming months, I’ll be laying out exactly how I accomplished that and will do my best to help you lose the weight that you NEED to lose. Yes, I said NEED. I get asked all of the time how I did it. There are some structures that I incorporated into my life that helped. There are some essential rules that I followed that made the weight loss possible. But, none of the weight would have gotten off, and more importantly stayed off, had it not been for two things.
The secret to weight loss for me comes down to two things:
- Will Power- Weight loss is not easy. There are plenty of times that weight loss is not going to be enjoyable. Only one thing will get you through the doldrums of weight loss, and that is will power. Will Power is an intangible. You can not quantify Will Power. It’s impossible to create if it doesn’t exist. It’s what separates success from failure. It also plays a major part in the next key to weight loss.
- Discipline- If you are ever going to lose the weight that you NEED to lose, you have got to keep it on the rails. There is no time for falling off the wagon. You have got to find pleasure in the discipline of limiting consumption, eating at appropriate times, going to bed, not imbibing when others may do so. You are on a mission, and that mission will never be accomplished if you do not maintain a laser-like focus created through your discipline.
Some feel like Will Power and Discipline are thrown in the category of either you have it or you don’t. That’s simply not true. You can create will power. You can create discipline. These are skills like any other intangible (i.e. leadership) that can be created through repeated small victories and building confidence that you will succeed over the long haul.
How can you create Will Power and Discipline?
You have got to turn your WANTS INTO NEEDS.
Sure. Everyone WANTS to lose weight. Hell. I want a lot of things in my life that are most likely not going to happen. Think about this… Things only happen in your life when you NEED them to happen. Yes. I wanted to be a parent. Then I had a child. Then I realized that wanting to be a parent was simply not enough to keep me invested in the child’s life (and to keep me married). I needed to be a great parent. I needed to transform myself as a man in order to handle the demands of this new responsibility. Yes, the first four to 12 months of parenting were painful. Ask any parent and they will tell you that their world as they knew it was completely upended when their first child came to being. It’s wildly challenging, but also manageable because it is a NEED. You need to be a good parent or your child won’t live. Most parents will also tell you once they make it out of the early difficult stages that it is a transformation that they are so grateful daily to have gone through.
Weight loss is no different. You are breaking old habits. You are developing a new mindset. You are putting priorities that were once at the bottom of your list and moving them to the top of your list. You can only do this if you mentally make the shift from WANTING to be healthy, to NEEDING to be healthy. Just like I needed to be a good parent for my children, it is up to you to determine why you NEED to lose weight. I NEEDED to lose weight to:
- Live a Long and Fruitful Life
- I need to be there to raise my kids
- I need to be the guy that lives happily and healthfully into my 90’s
- I need to be there to witness my grandkids grow older
- Alleviate some of the orthopedic damage caused from 11 years in the NFL
- Reduce the stress on my neck and back (as a great side effect, I grew 1 inch and a half due to creating more space in my vertebral column when not carrying a giant weight vest around all day)
- Combat arthritis that has already set in
- Every additional pound of body weight causes and additional 3-4 times the stress on lower body joints (hips, knees, feet)
- Imagine that! It’s like taking three to four hundred pounds of weight off of your lower body!
- Reduce the Stress on My Internal Organs and Glands that Were Stressed from Carrying So Much Size Around
- I had forced myself into Hypothyroidism through years of bad dietary choices to help maintain that playing weight
- It’s well documented how much harder organs have to work with excess body weight
- I needed to look like I had looked before and have the physical capabilities and endurance that I once had before my life in football
Find your NEEDS. Identify them. Mark them somewhere visible. Remind yourself why this weight loss journey is worth it daily. Make it about more than you. Think long term. Turn your WANTS INTO NEEDS and you will transform your body and your life.