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When it comes to weight-loss journeys, we firmly believe that it’s more about the life lessons and habits you gain versus the inches or pounds you may lose.

Each success story is unique, as everyone comes from various walks of life and their own set of experiences and circumstances. However, all healthy way of life journeys involve some level of realization that it was time for a change, the need to conquer deeper obstacles, and a metamorphosis into a healthier, more authentic version of self.

In the thousands of weight loss success stories we’ve had shared with us from members who participated in our flagship 60day Challenge program, there are a few common threads that we’ve seen consistently emerge as crucial elements to enabling them to reach the finish line.

1. The End Goal is Not a Number

When going after a weight-loss goal, most initially think of defining what success looks like by a certain scale weight.

While having an approximate range to target for a goal weight can be helpful for some, there are significant downfalls to focusing on one specific number you may have in mind. Without purposeful intention to prevent it, the scale can hold an unfair amount of power and take over your mindset with just one unfavorable reading or output.

True happiness won’t ever be found in a scale reading. And using that as your go-to success barometer can be both unfulfilling and very misleading.

It’s important not to disregard the true pride-worthy accomplishments of consistent healthy nutrition choices, quality workouts, and prioritized sleep all because the scale doesn’t show expected results after a given weigh-in. Otherwise, losing 10, 20, or 30-plus pounds can quickly turn from an insightful, objective metric to a negative mental and physical battle with yourself when the inevitable blip on the weight trend line occurs.

When we examine our motivations deeper, there’s always an underlying meaning behind our hope to lose weight. Finding out your inner “why” — the one that’s truly unique to you — is a much more rewarding goal to prioritize.

Your deeper “why” may be that you want to avoid the negative health outcomes you’ve seen your parents or grandparents struggle with. It could be that you want to have the energy and stamina to volunteer and help others in need, even after a long workday. Or it could be as specific as the one of one of our previous 60day Challenge winners, who wanted to have the strength and flexibility to participate in a mother-daughter dance recital.

Any of those reasons is going to provide you with an infinitely more significant drive toward your goal than simply the notion of “I want to lose 10 pounds.”

If you have a target weight in mind, be sure to do some self-reflection and exploration to determine the true end goal that’s behind the number.

2. They Don’t Go It Alone

In business, careers, hobbies, and organizations, you’ll find that most successful people are not driving an initiative alone. The greatest accomplishments require a shared vision, community effort, and teamwork.

Weight loss is no different.

It’s unfortunate to think about how much pressure we place on ourselves to function independently when it comes to weight loss. While you may know a thing or two about how to work out correctly or eat healthy, the truth is, we can all benefit from having a coach who can give us a personalized, science-based program.

Our most successful members often credit their achievements to the fitness professionals they’ve surrounded themselves with. Not only are they there to lift them up, coach them, and support the ups and downs of their healthy way of life path, but they also can provide assessments along the way and fully customize their plan to them as an individual.

Having that definitive action plan, exercise program, workout partner, accountability holder, and person who is always there for guidance and support is what sets their endeavors apart from the rest. Those fitness professionals often become like family — a true lifeline to supporting success from the inside-out.

Having people to lean on is crucial, and the more ways you can integrate others into your journey, the better. If you currently are or are about to begin making efforts toward a goal, ask yourself: Who am I going to enlist for support?

3. They (Finally) Make Themselves a Priority

I was tired of putting myself last.

This self-discovery is quite revolutionary when it finally hits home for people. For some, it sparks the need for a dramatic change in their priorities to protect or address their health. For others, the epiphany comes after putting in weeks of consistent effort, only realizing then how much they were previously neglecting their own needs for better physical and mental health.

Each year, we hear how individuals have not only transformed into a healthier and happier version of themselves, but also how their relationships with others have improved: they feel as though they’re a better parent, a more loving and attentive spouse, or a more committed working professional.

Think of the airplane oxygen mask analogy: you can’t help others before you help yourself. It’s not selfish; it’s truly beneficial to everyone around you. When you are healthy, happy, and balanced, you can serve others and benefit their well-being as well.

This inner struggle of making time for yourself each day exists in all of us to some degree. The first few days you may experience guilt, shame, and other negative self-talk for using precious family time to go for a run or train at the gym. However, the realization you will quickly learn is that one hour can turn into much-needed rejuvenation for you to show up with more energy and positivity the other 23 hours of the day.

4. They Begin With a Nutrition Jump-Start

There are various ways to first approach getting healthier. Some prefer to implement one new healthy habit at a time (such as taking a daily multivitamin) while others choose a radical lifestyle overhaul upfront.

Each method has its own benefits. But a common theme for many is that if they do not experience results relatively quickly after first putting in honest effort, they are unlikely to continue with those healthy behaviors (such as eating more veggies or regular walking) each day.

We’ve seen a lot of Life Time members find success with using our 14-day D.TOX reset (included in membership) as a way to propel their efforts. It’s been a popular approach to provide needed motivation at the beginning of a program, as well as when used as an occasional catalyst to implement along the way. Many find it helpful because it has a clear-cut nutrition approach to follow, including easy and satisfying optional shakes to help you stay on track.

It’s mindfully designed by dietitians to help ramp up your intake of quality protein, healthy fat, and nutrient-dense foods, while eliminating common underlying sensitivities. Although it is a time-based program, the approach is one that can be followed long-term as well.

The goal is not to follow this approach and then go back to old habits starting on day 15, but rather to use the step-by-step guidance to launch (or relaunch) consistency with important nutrition and lifestyle behaviors to drive long-term success.

5. They Continue to Challenge Themselves

Some of the best success stories come from those who use time-bound, group challenges as a catalyst for a longer-term lifestyle change.

We’ve seen countless transformational weight loss success stories from members who have used programs such as our 60day Challenge as a ladder to set goals, achieve milestones, and select the next target. As these members crushed goal after goal, they started to realize how much they needed something to work toward. With each milestone met, a new one is born on the horizon.

The people who choose to continuously to live out their healthy way of life rather than treating it like a fad diet or short-term phase are the ones who reap the most rewards.

While these five tactics don’t paint the entire picture of every success story, they do consistently emerge as what we see being the foundation for a lifestyle and body transformation to take off.

Keep the conversation going.

Leave a comment, ask a question, or see what others are talking about in the Life Time Health Facebook group.

The Life Time Health Team

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