Welcome to the Dojo!
I get tons of emails every week from people who stumbled into the Karate Geek’s Dojo. The most common question, after ‘are you really as sexy in real life as you are online?’ (the answer is YES), is: ‘How did you lose so much weight and how can I do the same?’
Most of the time, people are trying to find some secret short cut to weight loss. They think I found the hidden answer and am keeping it to myself. Well, to be honest, I did.
Do you want to know what the secret was? The one thing that allowed me to finally drop down from a massive 450+ pounds to a far less massive 205?
Are you ready? You sure?
Ok. Here it is: I got out of my own way and stopped trying.
That’s right, for years and years (decades), I had been ‘trying’ to lose weight. I tried diets. I tried working out. I tried vomiting after meals. I tried acupuncture. I tried different drugs and medicines. I tried a lot of things…the problem with trying was that I knew, deep down inside, that those things would never work. So they didn’t. And when one thing didn’t work, I knew they next one wouldn’t either.
So, over time, my attempts at weight loss were really just lip service to those around me. Whenever someone would mention that I looked unhealthy or had gained weight or got winded after a single flight of stairs, I’d mumble something about trying a new diet or workout routine or whatever.
But I knew better.
My breakthrough, the thing that allowed me to finally not only start to lose weight but also keep it off, was to realize that the biggest thing standing in my way wasn’t my weight or that diets didn’t work or whatever. No. The thing that was my biggest barrier to getting healthy and fit was ME.
I couldn’t lose weight because I wouldn’t let myself do it.
That realization was absolutely stunning to me because it was so incredibly obvious and simple. I was never going to lose weight because I always went into it assuming I was going to fail. With that kind of an attitude, there was no way I would ever succeed.
I wound up looking at myself — and my kids — and decided that I could do it. Other people have lost tons of weight and I knew I was at least as smart and at least as stubborn as they were. If someone else could do it, then so could I. That let me get out of my own way and accept that I could do it. Once I had that in my head, it was all just a matter of making a plan and following through with it.
And that’s the advice I give to everyone: get out of your own way. Let yourself accomplish your goals because you CAN do it…and I am living breathing proof of that. If I, after 40 years of being fat and unhealthy, could do it then so can you. Period.
From there, it’s just about making a plan, setting short-term and easy-to-achieve small goals, and allowing yourself to celebrate the small victories. Those small victories will add up into something amazing if you give them the chance. Remember: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step (Lao Tzu). To begin that journey, to take that first step, get out of your own way.
Give yourself permission to succeed and you will. This is true in every aspect of life – fitness, business, personal, and anything else you can imagine. Stop getting in your own way.
-Mat Nastos, The Karate Geek
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