Life Lessons I Learned from Losing over 40 Pounds

Drawing of me
Alan Yang3 min read

As of today, I have lost over 40lbs of weight since the end of April 2020. Although it was not easy, it was well worth it and along the way, I learned a few important lessons that not only apply to weight loss but can also apply to many other aspects of life.

Change is not only physical

I lost most of my weight by mainly just changing my diet. However, with this change, I developed other good habits. I began to cook daily, drink more water, have a more regulated sleeping schedule, and I even began practicing intermittent fasting. I had a routine. Having these changes and training myself to keep consistent during COVID-19 required a lot of mental coaching and discipline, at least for me. There were many times that I just wanted to give up or had people try to derail me, but I knew I had to keep myself in check and stay on the right track.

There is no shame in not knowing

Nobody has all the answers and there is no shame in saying that you do not have the answers. We learn as we go and what works for someone may not work for you. When it comes to food, there is so much information about nutrition and cooking. I did a lot of research and asked many different people for their advice before deciding to diet and lose weight.

Progress is not linear

While many people expect the number on the scale to consistently go down while dieting and exercising, it just does not work that way. There were times when I stepped on the scale in the morning expecting to see a lower number but instead was greeted with a higher one. Many different factors can affect one’s progress on a day-to-day basis. For weight loss, specifically, this could be sodium levels, amount of water, and time of day when weighed. It is important sometimes to look at the big picture.

Setting small goals is important

Large, long-term goals are exciting, but they can also be set for failure if the goals are too big to achieve. Breaking them down into smaller goals that can be worked toward systematically is usually a better process. Small goals tend to be easier to achieve and can help with building better habits. I did not go into this expecting to lose over 40lbs. Instead, I set small weekly goals and it felt great whenever I met or exceeded those goals. These small wins boosted my motivation and my mental, which in turn kept me going on my journey.

Treat yourself occasionally

In addition to setting small goals, it is also important to occasionally treat yourself. Treating yourself occasionally will help prevent things like burnout and prevent binges of bad habits. Whether it is a cheat meal from your diet or a small break from working, balance is the key to a lot of things.