I still remember the day I realized that my life needed to change, vividly.
My mind had already been made up about how I was going to look and feel for the rest of my life: Deeply uncomfortable in my own skin, struggling to manage a dysfunctional relationship with food, and always hating how I looked.
But the thought of fighting to change all that seemed like such an impossible, uphill battle... so I chose not to do anything about it. I resigned myself to settling into my new 'normal': Overweight, insecure and unhappy.
Until a close friend, who'd been watching me slide down the slippery slope of defeat, asked me if I had given up on myself. At the moment, all the fears that I'd been giving in to started running through my mind. It was also in that moment that I realized how ridiculous they were, so one by one, I began loosening the death-like grip they had on me so that I could break free.
Overcoming them didn't happen quickly -- it took me a year to lose the excess 22 pounds I'd been carrying around on my tiny frame, and the old fears I had still pay me an unwelcome visit every now and then, but I've learned to acknowledge them and keep putting one foot in front of the other regardless.
I want to help you do the same by showing you how to talk yourself out of believing and giving into these fears:
Fear #1: You don't have what it takes to succeed.
Yes, you do. Every one of us does.
The biggest differences between you and someone who's succeeding are these three things: Belief, skills and action.
It's this combination of belief, knowledge and continued action that gave me the confidence to keep moving forward in the face of uncertainty and fear.
All these qualities can be learned, nurtured and strengthened, and can be learned by anyone, including you.
Fear #2: The cookies, cake and ice-cream are off limits....forever.
Getting to a weight and shape that you love and reflects your true self doesn't have to involve getting rid of all the foods you love forever.
It's about understanding why and how you overeat, and knowing how to change course whenever your overeating triggers are activated. At the core of all this is building the habits that support a lean, healthy and balanced body, and allow you to maintain it for the rest of your life.
There's no magic formula for achieving this, only practice and consistency.
Fear #3: You need to wait until you know everything to start changing your life.
When I first started out on my weight-loss journey, the last thing I felt was ready because I didn't know everything there was to know about nutrition and fitness. If I had waited until I knew everything, the urgency that I'd felt would have worn off, and I would've ended up not changing anything.
If there's one thing I've learned about making meaningful life changes while coaching hundreds of people who want to improve their fitness and diet, it's that the individuals who reach their goals start 'doing' with what they know now, despite not feeling prepared or knowing what the outcome will be.
The more they do, the more ready they feel to step up to even bigger goals, and the more they learn along the way.
What actions can you start taking with what you know right now?
Fear #4: You're not worthy of getting what you want.
So many of us have limiting beliefs that keep us thinking, but never doing.
For example: "I'm not good-looking enough", "I'm not smart enough", "I just don't have the willpower to do that", or "I don't know how". The belief held me back for a really long time was "you don't deserve to have any more than this."
Once you've got it written down, ask yourself this question: Is it really true? If your answer is yes, what can you do to change things? If your answer is no, why are you holding on to it?
Fear #5: You need to find the perfect diet and exercise more to see results.
You don't need to go on a particular diet or fitness program to start losing weight, and for two good reasons: One, diets don't work for most people and two, you can't out-exercise unhealthy eating habits.
No eating or exercise plan on earth will work if you skip the crucial steps of zeroing in on why you overeat or binge in the first place because you'll likely end up falling back into your old habits when things get rough.
A simple and effective weight-loss strategy that you can start using today is this: Figure out what the biggest contributing factor to your weight gain is, and focus on fixing that. Move in a way that helps you have fun and reduce your stress for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
No complicated diet or workout required. Just small, simple tweaks that you can make every single day to keep moving forward and show those fears who's boss.
Remember: You have what it takes, are worthy, and don't need to know everything or do everything perfectly. You've got this.
Are you ready to stop yo-yo dieting and face the fears that are holding you back from getting the body and life you want? Let me help you break past those barriers and start getting lean, happy and healthy this year with my free, Lose 4 Pounds in 4 Weeks Without Going On A Diet email course.
Photo credit: Eli DeFaria