A familiar Chinese proverb is ‘A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step’. This saying teaches that even the longest and most difficult ventures have a starting point; something which begins with one first step.1
We’re all familiar with the feeling of making a decision and wanting (even expecting?) an immediate result. You want new shoes? Go and buy them. Need a massage? Ring around until you can get an appointment today. These require only one or two steps to become a reality. But losing 10 kilos? Hmmm. That’s a journey of a thousand miles, and it has to start with a single step. And then another, and another…
In all honesty, nobody expects to be able to lose 10 kilos today. People want it, for sure, but don’t expect it. They often do expect, however, that they’ll be able to achieve this in a very short space of time. What happens if the result takes longer? They get disillusioned and so give up.
An analogy might work to explain this. Imagine you have a credit card debt of $10,000. Can you pay it off today? Of course not, otherwise you would not have had the debt to begin with. It’s a large amount of money and it feels quite scary, but without making a start to reducing the debt you know that you’ll end up owing even more. Interest is pain, right!
You need to carefully plan your money and slowly but surely pay off the debt – without having any spending binges that send you backwards. It will take time.
Bills and unexpected expenses will arise and must be paid, so your plan may stall briefly from time to time. Getting straight back on track gradually chipping away at the balance is what makes the goal – being debt-free – a reality.
Losing 10 kilos – or any amount of weight – is no different. The ‘big picture’ goal can be daunting and may feel impossible, but without making a start you’ll end up weighing even more. Daily habits and lifestyle will ensure it.
You need to have a plan for how you’ll lose weight, and this plan must suit your body, your tastes, and your lifestyle. It needs to be something you can sustain because losing the weight is going to take some time.
Mistakes will be made and challenges arise that makes your weight loss stall briefly, but getting straight back on track and chipping away at your weight is what makes the magic happen.
Like paying off a debt, weight loss happens incrementally. 100g becomes a kilogram; a kilo becomes five. Viewing weight loss in a similar way to paying off a debt might be helpful: it’s a journey of a thousand miles that starts with a single step.
Unlike paying off a debt, however, when losing weight you don’t have to do it alone. You can, of course, but anything that takes time is better spent with like-minded people. Most people find that having support and accountability helps them achieve results far more reliably, easily, and quickly than doing it alone.
We’ve provided support and accountability for thousands of women in their “thousand mile” journeys, and we’d love to help anyone who wants to take the first step in their own journey.
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