Are you tired of dieting to lose weight, only to gain it back again—and then some? Would you give an arm, leg, or some other body part to get yourself on the path toward becoming thinner, healthier, and having more energy for the rest of your life? If so, there is one very important step that can take you in that direction, all while keeping your body parts (but not your fat) intact.

It Isn’t What You Think

At this point, you’re probably wondering what one tip will begin your final journey down the weight loss road. What could possibly be so powerful that it ends your lifelong struggles once and for all? Here’s a hint: it doesn’t involve diet or exercise, so if that is what you’re thinking, you might want to dig a little deeper.

Certainly, what you eat and the amount of physical activity you get are important to your overall health, but that isn’t where lasting weight loss begins. If you truly want to drop your excess weight, conquer your binge eating, improve your mood, banish your fatigue, squelch your bloat, enhance your digestion, and balance your hormones, then you need to do something else even before modifying your diet and exercise. You need to admit your part in the process that has placed you right where you are.

This isn’t to say that your current physical condition is due to your lack of willpower or weakness toward food. And admitting your actions also isn’t intended to guilt you into weight loss or blame you for everything that isn’t right in your life as none of this will do you any good. It is nothing more than being honest about what you do…and what you don’t do.

Be Honest About Your Unhealthy Behaviors

Accepting responsibility means owning up to the behaviors and habits that you have that aren’t advancing you toward your goals. It involves admitting when you make poor choices and having the courage to know when you need help.

What are some behaviors that a lot of women engage in that ultimately hurt their overall health, wellness, and fitness? Here are just a few that you may realize that you do as well:

  • Constantly taking care of others, like children and parents, even at the expense of yourself
  • Eating mindlessly, such as eating lunch while at your desk and answering emails, or any other time you are not paying full attention to the foods that you put in your body
  • Using food to help you deal with a wide variety of emotions, from happiness to sadness to anxiety or depression, such as “I’ve had a bad day at work so I deserve this dessert
  • Choosing foods that are void of nutrition on a fairly regular basis; having too many unhealthy fast food lunches or getting snacks from the office vending machine just to make it through
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle, avoiding exercise if at all possible
  • Not drinking enough water to properly hydrate your body
  • Putting more time and energy into your career than you do your relationships
  • Being more focused on curing health problems as opposed to preventing them
  • Using alcohol, nicotine, or drugs to cope with your life

Do any of these sound familiar? If so, now is not the time to beat yourself up. Now is the time to admit that you do these things as you cannot change what you don’t acknowledge. You have to be willing to be completely and totally honest about your actions that have gotten you where you are today if you want to begin to make positive changes.

An “Exercise” to Begin Your Weight Loss Success

Right now, I want you to do a little exercise so that you can begin your journey to weight loss success. I want you to sit down and make a list of the things that you do on a fairly regular basis that are inhibiting your ability to reach your goals.

As you write these things down, do so without judgment or belittling yourself. Remember that the goal isn’t to chastise your actions, but simply to acknowledge them so that you realize that you have the control to change a lot of behaviors that will ultimately transform your life.

YOU Hold the Power

While it may be easier at times to blame our weight or health on outside forces, the reality is that we are largely in control of our bodies and the condition they are in. This is good news because it also means that we have the ability to make the changes necessary to achieve a higher level in life.

Once you are truly honest about what you do and don’t do that you know you should or need to do in order to reach your weight loss goals, then you have taken the first step to not only losing weight, but losing it for good. You will put the power back where it belongs—right in the palm of your own hands.

Of course, there are some things beyond your control, like your genes or certain medical conditions, but you can either use those as excuses to stay where you are or motivators to get you where you want to go. So, the real question is, where do you want to see yourself in one, five, ten, or twenty years?

Admit where you are right now and you’ll be one step closer to getting there!