If you are trying to lose weight, you need to ask yourself if you have the “grit” to do it. Grit is what sets apart the truly successful from the rest of us. I’ve started thinking more about grit — and if I have enough of it to get to goal — after watching a Spartan Up podcast featuring Dr. Angela Duckworth, a top expert on all things gritty.
What Is True Grit?
Duckworth describes grit as sustaining passion and perseverance toward a singular, long-term goal. Gritty people by nature are optimistic and doggedly tenacious in pursuit of their quest. They understand that the payoff for their efforts is many years away, that set-backs happen, and the rewards for their efforts come later.
What I loved in the podcast was Duckworth’s explanation that gritty people focus on what they can control and ignore what they can’t. This rang a big bell with my weight loss journey.
Focus On What You Can Change
Too many times my weight loss was all about that scale. Am I up or down this week. I can’t tell you how many meals I’d skip because I thought I’d have a better weigh-in. I never dawned on me that I had no control over the scale. It took me years to stop fretting about that damn scale and zero in on those things within my power: eating processed or real food, building good eating habits, tracking and measuring everything, and learning how my body processes foods. In other words, eating right. The weight loss was an awesome benefit.
Long Haul vs. Quick Fix
One of the big takeaways from this podcast is the idea that no great achievement exists that doesn’t have thousands of hours of work behind it.
Let that sink in a moment.
True grit means being in it for the long-haul. Gritty people see more clearly and can push past setbacks. They aren’t in it for the instant gratification.
This is the complete opposite of my past weight loss efforts (all failures, I might add). I gained the weight slowly, but wanted it off at warp speed. Any little pump in the road — eating a cookie, a bad day at the office, plateaus, or a bad weigh-in — and I’d give up. It just wasn’t working.
Our society is so obsessed with the quick fix. We don’t want to do the hard work anymore. This is especially true with weight loss.
Recently I posted my new “after” photo on Facebook. The majority of questions I got focused on how long it took me to lose 138 pounds, not what I did.
But its not like I’m this zen weight loss warrior this time around. There are times I get impatient and frustrated with myself. That’s why I constantly keep reminders around me of how far I’ve come to combat these down times.
None of us are born special. We all can achieve greatness, but only if we apply ourselves and work towards it. Michael Jordon wasn’t born with any special talent to dominate in the NBA. Nope. He worked at it for years…decades. He showed his grit with thousands of hours on the court in the school yard, college and pro level.
Well the same goes for weight loss. There isn’t a magic pill, miracle food or 14-day plan when it comes to sustained, healthy weight loss. You want to lose weight? Do the work. For thousands of hours. And even when you lose the weight, you still have to keep working to keep it off (something that all of us who struggle with our weight forget about).
Once I understood this, I could start developing the grit needed to lose nearly 140 pounds.
So, how gritty are you?