Beyond The Scale: 10 Things You Must Lose Before You Shed Pounds


You’ve tried repeatedly to lose weight. Often, you’ve been "that friend" who can’t have anything off the menu because you’re giving up this, that or the other on your diet. How is that working out for you?

It’s not boosting your ego, supporting your weight loss goals, improving your life or winning over your friends.

That much is for damn sure.

At its core, dropping the pounds is not about what you are giving up, but rather the quality of life you will gain.

If you’re ready to slim down, here are the first 10 things you need to lose — and they’re not pounds:

1. Clutter.

External clutter is a sign of internal clutter, and resolving one helps resolve the other.

More often than not, it’s the behavioral patterns of that internal clutter that are building up the external clutter and extra weight on your frame.

Go through your kitchen and begin the decluttering process. Throw out old diet products, toss expired foods and organize all the clutter that's taking over your kitchen counters.

Make some side money selling the kitchen gadgets that you will honestly never use.

Recycle what you can as soon as possible, instead of allowing items to become another pile to deal with later.

Keep going. Declutter your home, car and office from top to bottom. Sort things as "trash," "recycle," "donate" or "sell."

When all is said and done, you may have found the resources you need to pay for a professional nutritionist, personal trainer or 30 other things that will help you lose weight.

Best of all, deep cleaning triples as soul cleaning and exercise.

2. The ‘Tude, Dude.

Stop complaining about how hard it losing weight is or vilifying the food industry.

Your complaints may as well go straight to your derriere, darlin’. They’re surely not improving your figure, mood or blood pressure.

Swap “I have to” for “I get to,” and miracles will happen. In all honesty, you get to work out and eat healthily. There are millions who aren’t so lucky.

You also get to have more friends and happiness when you stop with all the negative thoughts.

3. Toxic Food Additives.

Rant all you want about the rotten, illusive “American food industry,” but in all honesty, it's just doing its job: Bringing a bigger paycheck home to ourselves and our families.

It doesn’t matter what the job title is; at the end of the day, that’s all of our mission statements.

Agreeably, it would be ideal for those individuals to do their jobs without putting toxins in food, but let’s deal with what we can change at this time: You.

You can’t undo all the rotten chemicals you have put in your body, but you can be more aware moving from this day forward.

My advice to every client, every class and every crowd I’ve spoken to: Avoid four and live some more.

It’s nearly impossible to remember every awful food additive out there, but it’s really easy to remember four common ones, which in turn, will help you avoid many more.

Don’t purchase or consume foods containing the following four food additives:

1. Monosodium glutamate, AKA MSG

2. Artificial food dyes, including caramel coloring

3. High fructose corn syrup

4. Partially hydrogenated oils, AKA trans fats

If avoiding these toxins makes it seem as if there is nothing left you can eat, add “narrow horizons” to your list of things to lose.

There are thousands upon thousands of different foods in this world that we get to enjoy.

A sweet, free tool to add to your slimming bat belt is The Center for Science in the Public Interest’s handy app, Chemical Cuisine.

It's color-coded for quick shopping ease and loaded with information you can read at your leisure.

Caution: some food additives are a million times more terrifying than anything Stephen King ever penned.

4. Starvation Mode.

Going long periods without food, intentionally or unintentionally, is not doing you any favors.

Trying to accomplish anything while you’re hungry goes against everything in our nature.

When you’re hungry, you’re tired. You're not thinking straight, your stomach feels awful, your bowels are loudly grumbling and there are a slew of metabolic processes in the body not going as planned.

Trying to cut out a meal or worse, going a day or two sans food, will result in over-compensating at your next opportunity to eat.

This also messes with your metabolism and encourages your body to stash the excess next time.

5. Unhealthy People.

The adage goes that you are the sum of your five closest friends.

You don't need to choose between lifelong friends and your health; however, take a moment to reflect on your circle of friends.

If someone makes your life less healthy or awesome, cut the cord. True friends build you up, not break you down.

From the acquaintance filling your social media feed with depressing rants or the coworker belittling your packed lunch, these health saboteurs need to go bye-bye.

Ain’t nobody got time for that. Go Rambo "First Blood" on that negativity!

You have gains to make and goals at stake. It’s easier to get where you’re going if you’re not carrying dead weight.

6. Negative Mindset.

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” — Henry Ford

This is excellent food for thought. If you want to be successful, you need to believe that you will be successful from the get-go, and be dedicated to repeatedly bringing your thought process back to the positive.

If you had any idea how powerful positive thoughts are, you’d never have a negative one again.

Someday, I’ll scientifically prove that negativity sticks to your ass, but until then, know that negative thoughts don’t serve you in any way.

Let go of anything that doesn’t serve you and move on. Hitting the gym is a great way to work off this negativity. Sweat it out and let the endorphins rush in.

7. Trash Talk.

Thoughts become words and words become our reality. If you’re constantly tearing yourself down or talking about how horrible losing weight is, you won't reach your goals.

Fact: If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.

This goes back to replacing “have to” with “get to,” and once you do, watch as you start to reach one goal after another.

Since you’re a straight up goal-digging gangster now, stop calling yourself fat, lazy or stupid.

Exactly none of that will help you, but rather, all that nastiness can harm your efforts.

8. Sleep Deprivation.

Plain and simple, if you’re not sleeping well or enough, your health will suffer.

Sleep is the body’s time to heal from the day and prepare for the next day. Not having time to do one or the other leaves you ill prepared to do your best.

When you’re tired, you’re not thinking straight, affecting your judgment and responses.

Sleep deprivation also causes your body to find alternative sources of energy, like simple carbs.

By the time you get to the gym, you’re in a foul mood, stressed out and bloated from inhaling several old donuts in the breakroom.

You don’t have the energy to give a workout your all, and you’re probably excessively sore from the workout before.

Not getting enough sleep also causes weight gain in the abdominal area.

It’s a cruel joke, really, that we spend so much time and effort in pursuit of flat stomachs, and the best thing we can do is go to bed.

Everyone has a lot on their plates these days and it’s hard to find time to do it all, but don’t sacrifice your sleep.

It’s one thing if it happens every now and then, but if it becomes the norm, you have a problem.

If you’re looking to lose some inches in your waist ASAP, go to bed. A few nights of good sleep is all you need to start seeing a difference.

9. Taking Treats For Granted.

A quick way to knock out excess calories is to stop having treats as an everyday norm.

If your once-a-week sugary coffee has doubled in size and become your daily, you know your body is growing and your wallet is shrinking.

We all want nice things in life. We want money in the bank, leisure time and nice clothes draped over our hot bodies. Welcome to being human.

But, it’s hard to see that treating yourself morning, noon and night may be robbing you of the dream, bro.

It's even harder when it doesn’t seem like a treat, but rather a given.

10. Dieting.

As I mentioned before, losing weight is a healing process. There is no other aspect in our lives where we take unhealthy, injured tissue to a healthier state and don’t call it healing.

For perspective, last season Aaron Rodgers injured his calf during playoffs.

In repeated acts of sexy virility, he powered through pain and despite great plays, further injured the calf.

Plus, he had a giant opponent "accidently" stomp his calf. Rodgers never mentioned the injury. He did mention his leg was healing well. In the off season, those tissues have repaired and he healed.

When a person loses weight, the excess adipose (fat) tissue surrounding the organs of the body — impairing hormone regulation and taxing the joints — decreases.

The organs begin to function better, hormones return to normal and the damage in the joints decreases and repairs. That sounds an awful lot like healing because it is. Yet, we call it “dieting.”

Choose to say that you’re healing, getting healthy, taking better care of yourself or training for life, and you’ll be successful in your weight-loss efforts. I’ve seen this to be true with hundreds of successful clients.

If you continually carry on about how you’re losing weight, dieting or giving up something, you’re Ndamukong Suh-stomping all over your efforts.

Don’t banish your potential to one of the worst-ranking teams in the NFL for the last 12 years. Focus on healing, not dieting.

In Suh-mation, if you’re looking to lose weight, lose the negativity. Clean up your home, mindset, language, food, friends and lifestyle, and you’ll be golden.