Editor’s note: Dr. Holly Wyatt is the medical director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Colorado and for season four of ABC’s “Extreme Weight Loss.”
(CNN) — You see it on TV all the time: People losing hundreds of pounds, going from couch potatoes to athletes, transforming themselves into different (and happier) human beings.
How do they do it when most people struggle to lose 10 or 15 pounds? Big weight loss requires big lifestyle changes that stick for more than a few weeks, and it almost always involves a true life transformation.
Yes, learning to eat very differently and move more — a lot more — are required, but that alone doesn’t always produce extreme results.
Do you want to experience a big life transformation? Here are five strategies to get you on your way. And none of them are about how to eat or how much you need to exercise:
1. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Transforming your life requires stepping out of your comfort zone. Let’s face it, being comfortable and doing the behaviors you do right now got you to the weight and place you are today.
If you are OK with that, keep doing what you are doing. If not, you need to prepare yourself for true change — and this means being willing to embrace feeling uncomfortable.
No real transformation happens inside your comfort zone.
2. Get your mind right.
Eating right and exercise are critical pieces to any physical transformation, but a mental transformation is just as important.
People who succeed develop an optimistic or positive attitude about their new life. They expect success; they believe they can and will succeed. They concentrate on what they get to do in their new life, NOT what they can’t do. They savor positive moments, and enjoy the journey!
3. Figure out your deeper ‘Why?‘
True transformation requires powerful motivation. This motivation comes from linking your new lifestyle to the things you most want to accomplish.
Look a little deeper and consider your purpose in life. Is it to run your own company, keep up with your children, help the underserved or be a better spouse? Identifying how your new lifestyle will help you achieve these things is what will get you up at 5 a.m. or allow you to pass up your favorite dessert when necessary.
Linking your new lifestyle to your passions makes a transformation permanent, not temporary. Successful transformers spend time peeling back the layers and determining why they really want to lose weight, to better understand who they really are inside!
4. Be the hero in your own movie.
Only you have the power to change you. One of the most important steps in any transformation is deciding to stop playing the victim role. Realizing you have the power to write your story is critical to achieving true transformation.
Things do not happen TO you anymore; YOU create opportunities and direct your new life. You are empowered to choose what you will do and how you will react.
5. Pay it forward.
Successful transformers appreciate what they have been given and how their lives have changed for the better. They want to help others change their life and experience the power of transformation, and by doing this, they help themselves. It’s contagious!
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