I am often told that the reason I was able to lose the weight I lost and get fit was because I have the mindset of a winner. This struck me as strange, because I never thought of myself as a winner. I’ve been in competitive sports as a kid, but my events were all individual, and while I did my best, I didn’t have a very motivated mindset. I just did what I had to, tried my best, and hoped that the results were worthy of the effort. I didn’t always win, and I used to wonder what it took. Later in life, I realized that when I didn’t win something, it was usually because I didn’t put in the requisite effort.
What is the mindset of a winner? I think what people are referring to is actually called perseverance. Winners are people who put in the work, but then put in a little more effort. When studying for a test, practicing a skill, or preparing themselves physically for some sort of match or competition, people who are winners go the extra mile. When it comes to losing weight, there’s not much extra studying, preparation, or extra miles that will help you lose the weight. What does it is a mindset of not allowing yourself to cheat.
If there’s any one piece of advice I would give to anyone who wants to be successful at losing weight and getting fit, it’s that you have to stick with the plan. Give it time to work. Give yourself the best chance of succeeding by not varying from the diet, by doing the exercise every day you have a planned workout, and don’t let anything get into your way.
It’s easy to come up with excuses for not doing something. I can justify just about any reason to not run, and sometimes, I allow myself to do just that. Of course, I feel guilty about it, my muscles actually ache for movement, and my run times (and distances) suffer for it. It’s because of those negative results that typically, I just put on the shoes and running clothes and hit the pavement.
To do anything less is letting myself down. I don’t want to fail myself, and I don’t want to put myself into a situation where I need to do a lot more work to catch back up to where I was. I’ve lost 150 lbs: I don’t want to have to lose it, or any large portion of that, ever again. Therefore, I eat right, I exercise, and when I go off the plan, I get back on as quickly as I can and work hard to keep on the path as best as I can.
So, do I have the mindset of a winner? I don’t know about that. But I do know that I don’t allow myself to fail, I prepare as much as I can and as much as I need to allow myself to succeed, and I don’t accept anything in my diet or behavior that is contrary to me being healthy. If that’s the mindset of a winner, then perhaps I do have it. I just call it wanting something more than the alternatives.