In November 2011 I signed up for NaNoWriMo, an annual event that connects people around the world while they each write an entire 50,000 word novel in one month. Although at first glance this may not seem to have anything to do with weight goals, what I realised is that my month 'ordeal' was remarkably like trying to lose weight.
This article gives you 7 tips on how to reach your weight goals, each of them informed by my book-writing month.
Tip 1: You always need support when you're trying to lose weight
Although my task of writing 1,667 words every day was self-inflicted, it's because I thought that joining fellow writers around the world as part of NanaWrimo would give me a huge amount of motivation to continue. It's a quirky little set-up, and I like the funny pep talks and cool stories that are on tap for when I need a morale boost.
Like weight loss, getting support from a network of peers or friends is really important to keep you motivated.
Tip 2: Having an imminent goal is really important when trying to lose weight
The goal for this writing project was 50,000 words and if I reached that by the end of November, I could call myself a 'winner' and boast and brag to everyone I knew. Having this goal proved really invaluable on the days that the words didn't flow. If I hadn't had my daily goal, I'm quite sure I would not have completed the 50,00 words (which I did!).
It's the same in weight loss: you need to set yourself little goals (Not ALL weight goals) so you can keep motivated to take a step-by-step approach and acknowledge your successes.
Tip 3: Don't take desperate measures just to try to hit a weight goal
I used every single word I wrote towards my word count. Along the way I read about some very creative ways to get to the total count, the best of which was giving a character a triple-barreled surname to get two extra words per mention. Although this isn't strictly speaking cheating, it's really a 'grey area' of reaching a true 50,000 words.
Trying to reach a weight goal can also sometimes lead to desperate measures, such as skipping meals, replacing real food with shakes and spending hours at the gym. Although this isn't strictly speaking 'cheating', it can lead to coming unstuck at the next steps (see below).
Tip 4: Start now. Don't put if off until tomorrow.
I'd wanted to write a book for quite a while, about 20 years to be exact. I always had a whole fridge full of reasons why it wasn't the right time. I came across NanoWrimo at about the time I realised I would never find the perfect moment to get started. This prompted me to sign up and spend October mentally preparing myself to write 50,000 words the following month.
There's always a reason that you can't lose weight, but it's important to remember that life is never perfect and you're going to encounter obstacles along the way. Accept this, and just get started.
Tip 5: Celebrating when you reach a weight goal is vital.
When I completed my 50,000 words I was delighted, ecstatic, exhausted and proud. I reached my goal, my job was done and it was time to celebrate!
When you reach a weight goal, it's really important that you acknowledge yourself. That's why having small goals, achieving them and then celebrating (not with chocolate cake!) will help you stay motivated to reach the finish line.
Tip 6: You must put in some good habits along the way (see tip 3 above), or your target weight will feel like a hollow victory.
Did I say finish line? Although I'd finished my 50,000 words, in reality that was just the start. I needed to bring the 50,000 words to life by doing an extensive edit, rewriting entire sections and being disciplined enough to keep working on my novel outline.
When you reach your weight goal, you must also remember that this is a stepping-stone toward phase two, which is keeping your weight off. Phase two is just a big a task as losing weight, but it's often overlooked. Keeping weight off involves some lifestyle habits that you can continue in different situations and through life's ebbs and flows.
Tip 7: True weight control comes when you can 'survive' any situation.
Once my book gets off my computer and into the hands of others, I know my pride and joy will need to stand up to criticism, knock-backs and, let's hope, some compliments. Success at this point in the game will be less about the word on the page and more about the confidence I've built up through the writing process.
Without new lifestyle habits and some work on your Inner BMI (beliefs mindset imprint), you'll come unstuck in situations that are outside of your comfort zone. That's why weight control is about working on your mindset and your motivation, as well as what food you put on your plate.
If you're interested in writing a novel in a month yourself, check out NaNoWriMo.
Tora has written a Pocket Guide to Weight Control which outlines the 3 BMI formula for weight control. This BMI formula shows you how what you eat must be balanced with mindset changes and learning how to get and stay motivated. You can download this free guide on our site here:
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