We are now tired of being overweight and have made the decision to lose excess body fat and get to a leaner place.  Our clothes don’t fit and we struggle to go up stairs.  We avoid getting our photo taken and we spend way too much time thinking about our weight and why we aren’t doing anything to get thinner.  We eat lean at one meal only to blow it at the next.  We do well all day and then consume 70% more calories in the evening and night.      

We know what needs to be done, but are struggling to get started and consistently do it.  Does this sound familiar?   We must realize and understand that thinking about the problem and making small intermittent efforts will not lead to any meaningful success.  Day after day, week after week, and month after month pass and our weight is not dropping and in fact may be going up.  We are spending our time going through the motions in our head, but not taking the action needed to get the job done.      

Let’s look at the big picture.  Our body is just doing what it has been programmed to do.  We are not at fault.  We just live in a time where building fat is easy.  What used to be a survival mechanism for our distant ancestors has now become a disease process.  It’s time we stopped the blame game and focus on the actual tasks we need to perform daily to get the job done.  There are several steps which each of us can do, that when done each day and with consistency, we will dramatically improve our health and our weight.      

The steps are: 

1. Eat 4-6 times daily with small snack-like meals that are higher in protein and lower in carbs.  (I didn’t say high protein and low carb)                                

2. Perform some physical activity daily above our usual activity                               

3. Drink water until hydrated                               

4. Get 8 hours of sleep daily                               

5. Write down what we eat, do, and think about daily (journal)                               

6. Get help with any underlying medical or hormonal issues

When we look at these six steps, they all seem easy.  Nothing is too hard to do.  I realize we can all make excuses as to why we can’t do them, but those are just excuses and we know it deep inside.      

The Big Picture requires that we honestly access our effort.  If we are not ready to commit, then so be it.  If we are ready, then let’s not play with it.  Let’s not negotiate with it.  If we needed our appendix out we would not negotiate with the surgeon.  Can we wait until Monday?  Can I take a pill instead?  Can we just wait and see what happens?  Of course this would be silly.  We must treat losing excess body fat like we treat losing a bad appendix.  Get it done now.      

The Big Picture requires that we get serious and committed to the weight loss endeavor.  This is not something that can be done part time, or half way.  We must stop dabbling at it and treat it professionally.  Show up for work everyday.  Do the job everyday.  Be prepared for trouble everyday.  Make better decisions every day.      

The Big Picture requires that we measure our progress.  No matter how we choose to measure it, it must be measured.  Checking the scales intermittently or measuring percent body fat routinely are great ways to verify that we are moving in the right direction.  Noticing our clothes fit and our energy level can indicate positive progress.  Find a way to measure progress and do it routinely.  It will keep us on the path of positive progress and re-direct us when we stray.      

The Big Picture requires that we review our plan and modify it regularly.  Others around us have wants and needs and we must incorporate that into our plan to get thinner and more fit.  We have to be prepared for what others will need or want from us.  We can’t go through each day concerned only about ourselves. (Unless you’re a recluse).       

The Big Picture is about our long term health.  This Coronavirus Pandemic has shown us that losing weight and getting fit is a critical factor in having a long and active life.  Many of the people who succumbed to the virus were in poor health.  Some due to age and some due to our own neglect.  We can’t solve the aging issue, but we can resolve the weight and fitness issue.  A bit of effort and planning each day can save our lives.  Exercising 150 minutes a week can reduce our annual risk of dying by 47%.      

Dropping over 10% of our body weight can reduce the risk of Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart disease, Stroke, Lipid abnormalities, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimers, and many other adverse health conditions.  What we do now will affect us for the rest of our lives.  We can make these changes at any time and on any day.  Today is a good day to start.  If you need mental prep, then tomorrow will work.  Start with one step and take it.  Next, add another of the steps.      

Moving from step to step and adding consistency to the effort will reward us in ways we never thought possible.  The time to look and act on the big picture is now.  No need to wait.  The first step is as important to the journey as the last step.  Take it now.