July 8, 2017
A couple of years ago, I was a complete mess. I was grossly overweight (borderline obese), constantly tired, and felt strained in my relationships with family and friends. Plus, I was the king of excuses — telling myself that after we raised our Series A, I’d lose weight. Then it became after I got back from vacation. Hell, I even once told myself during the next solar eclipse would be the perfect opportunity (in retrospect, I still don’t know why). In yet, despite my best efforts, that day never came…leaving me feeling sunken and practically worthless.
Honestly, I wish I had some sort of miracle, “ah-ha!” moment, but that’s overhyping something that never came. No, the biggest thing I started to realize was that what you do on a day-to-day is going to affect you no matter what. It was this idea that fitness is a lifetime goal, and as such, there wasn’t going to be a one-stop shop for success. However, taking the lessons I learned from starting a few endeavors, I knew the road that was ahead of me was going to be a long one.
The result? Not only did I look and feel better, but I became a better entrepreneur because of it.
A New Sense of Confidence
At first, after my weight loss I was honestly a little disappointed with myself. While I thought that all the sudden, a wave of positive emotion would be beaming on me all the time, that wasn’t the case. Quite simply, I was still the same person, which took some getting used to.
I learned that although I thought I was the odd one out, this phenomenon was relatively normal. As clinical psychologist Ed Abramson, Ph.D. notes:
“Many people attribute life disappointments to the fact that they’re overweight, and they think, should they lose the weight, everything will be miraculously improved, But the reality is, you’re still you.”
Honestly, it took a little getting used to “being me.” Sure, I felt the same, but others’ perceptions had changed, especially in the office. According to a collaborative study by Frontiers, employees have a much deeper respect for an in-shape leader over a smart one. As bad as that sounds, psychologically it makes sense. After all, people gravitate towards those that they feel like they want to become. And as most folks believe they could improve a little bit on their physical self, I became a symbol they could say “I can do that too!”. Which, anytime you’re able to motivate your employees to be better versions of themselves, it’s a win-win.
More Energy, More Brain Power
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons I got so addicted to exercise is the amount of productivity I was able to churn out by exercising. According to a study by the University of Nebraska on the relationship between exercise and mental health, exercise can help reduce stress, increase confidence, and improve your mood. And once I found out how to tap into that consistently, I was well on my way to require it as a daily habit. Plus, (as noted in a study by The University of Georgia), exercising helped increase my energy levels during the day, which got to a point I was doing a quick push-up set in between meetings.
Even though this phenomenon is nothing new, I dedicated myself into saying that if I’m a vital part of my business, then I need to be at top performance, which only exercise and diet could help me do.
Adjusting to the Future
Some people might say that losing the weight is the hardest part of the battle. However, I beg to differ, instead opting that keeping it off is even harder. The problem here is that I (like many others) get complacent or lazy, thinking that the fat will never come back, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
Even though I still keep a strong exercise regimen, my diet has fluctuated. Quite simply, I love food, and I’m not always cognizant of staying healthy with it. One strategy that’s helped is adapting the Military Diet, which allows me to eat whatever I want four days out of the week while being incredibly lean for three. I know it sounds silly, but the program has not only helped me maintain my weight but I actually keep shedding pounds, too.
While everyone’s weight loss experience is different, I can say that mine helped me be way better at not just being a leader, but just by being the best me. Like I said, the roads going to be long, but sometimes the best things in life take the most work. The question is- what’s stopping you from being your best you?
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