We’ve all heard the idiom “make up your mind.” An idiom is a group of words with a meaning that can’t be deduced from the individual words. According to the dictionary, make up your mind means to make a decision! But recently, I had a life-altering moment with the idiom make up your mind. I started looking at the individual words and it helped me to understand it on a deeper level. And, it helped me to overcome a big challenge — losing weight!
Allow me to explain how “making up mind” helped me
Recently on John Garey TV, we launched the Summer Body Challenge. It’s a 4-week program to help you look and feel your best and starting it before you shed your clothes for summer seemed like the perfect time to us. It was also my personal tipping point. The past two years have been full of stress for me personally.
We moved to Wheaton, outside of Chicago, and I was running my studio in Long Beach from here. Traveling out to Long Beach at least once a month and running a business 2000 miles away was really stressful. We were also ramping up JGTV, my other full-time job. And, I was continuing to travel around the world teaching instructors. It was a lot, to say the least. I was not paying attention to my diet, and I was gaining weight.
In February of last year, we started a sales process for the studio that took nine months and we sold the studio in October. That was a very stressful period for us. And then this past July, our dog Rocco got suddenly ill and passed away. He was my shadow and also a very popular Internet dog.
EVEN THOUGH I WAS FULLY AWARE OF ALL OF THE STRESS IN MY LIFE, FOR THE FIRST TIME, I SEEMED UNABLE TO HANDLE IT ALL.
I gained more weight. And that started to add more stress. I tried a number of times over that 2-year period to get it under control, only to fail time after time. This was a new experience for me. I’d never had problems with weight gain before and I started to think, “Well, I’m in my upper 50’s now and that’s just what happens.” But, I also didn’t believe this at my core. I knew deep down that I could get this under control and I had to get this under control.
Setting my 2020 health goals
At the start of 2020, I set my annual goals and losing weight, getting healthy, and looking and feeling my best were at the top of the list. I wasn’t sure how I was going to accomplish something I seemed to keep failing at, but I wanted it at the top of my priorities for 2020.
So when we launched the 4-week Summer Body Challenge in January, it was perfect timing for me. I was ready, or so I thought. I completed the challenge and had completed all of the workouts, cleaned up my diet (for the most part), but didn’t lose any weight. I was discouraged but knew exactly why. I started eating better foods and exercised regularly, but I was missing a crucial step. In order to lose weight, there’s a simple formula. You need to take in fewer calories than you burn. I wasn’t paying attention to those numbers. I was eating good food, but also some not so healthy foods. I was still having wine at night, something I started during a stressful period, to help me relax at night and destress. Drinking a couple of glasses of wine led to poor choices in late-night snacks, etc. I wasn’t really counting those, because after all, I had eaten great all day. I was breaking my own rule about weight loss being 90% of what happens in the kitchen.
You can’t out-exercise a bad diet!
But I was also working on something else during this time. I started working on my mental health and personal growth. I surrounded myself with positive influences in my daily life. I started listening to podcasts and reading books about people who achieved great things and overcame obstacles. I have very eclectic tastes when it comes to podcasts and books. I’ve been reading books such as Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and listening to podcasts like Ru Paul’s Master Class.
And listening to the latter is when it happened. News alert! Ru Paul helped me lose weight! Seriously. During his Master Class, Ru Paul talks about how he stopped using drugs and alcohol at one of the lowest points in his life. He woke up one day and made up his mind to be present for his life. That’s right. He made up his mind. That phrase struck me and I couldn’t stop thinking about how this seemingly simple act changed the course of his life. And reading about his journey changed the course of my life as well. I understood not only the idiom but also the individual words that make it up. Yes, he made a decision about his life. But he also created what he wanted in his brain. He “made up” his mind.
I’D NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT BEFORE, BUT WHEN WE MAKE UP OUR MIND, WE ARE CREATING.
We are seeing life, or the situation, the way we want it to be. For me, at that moment, I made up my mind to lose the weight I had gained, take control of my life, and create a new version of me at 58 years old. I made up my mind to create the best version of myself physically and mentally as well.
What actions you can take to reach your goals
Making up your mind is just the start of course. Next, you need to take action. And that’s what I have done since that week in February right after the Summer Body Challenge. I’ve taken action on what I created when I made up my mind. There’s a quote I love by Goethe that goes, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” And I have applied the knowledge I have about success and healthy weight loss with the steps I know I need to take. I measure my food for now because I need to fully understand how much I’m eating. Put simply, portion control. I’ve stopped drinking wine or any alcohol during my weight loss journey, because I know it leads to bad food choices for me. I’m taking time to meditate to help destress, instead of drinking alcohol. I’m journaling daily so that I stay accountable, and record my victories and challenges. Journaling is powerful!
ONCE YOU PROVE TO YOURSELF THAT YOU CAN DO SOMETHING, I URGE YOU TO KEEP A WRITTEN RECORD OF IT.
It’s a way to help rewire your brain for success. I’m able to withstand temptation, because I know I’ve done it before. I can read about it when needed in my own writing. And that has helped me to make up my mind over and over along the way. I choose to make the best choices over and over again to achieve my goals. I realize that the reward is much greater than the sacrifice. I’m not at my final goal yet, but I have succeeded in my smaller goals consistently and that’s how you achieve the larger goal.
I could have given up, after multiple tries at losing weight. I could have considered it hopeless. But I knew I could do it… can do it! I’m still doing it. I’m rereading a book titled Mastery by Robert Greene. And, he covers so many people throughout history that have mastered their craft. It’s amazing how many of them failed over and over again until they didn’t fail. So, I know to never give up. I’m now halfway to my goal. I’ve made up my mind to finish this challenge.
I MAKE UP MY MIND EVERY DAY TO DO MY BEST AND TAKE THE STEPS NECESSARY TO ACHIEVE MY GOAL.
I keep this idiom, “I’ve made up my mind,” on my desk, so I can remind myself every day and throughout the day that I’ve made up my mind to succeed.
If you want my support on your fitness journey, I’d love to be your guide. Check our JGTV and see what level is right for you: All-Access, Mat Only, Reformer Only or Fitness.