Yeah, you heard.
You can, and you will.
I’m British, so I find myself thrown a bit by big displays of self-confidence. It makes a little part of me cringe, because my standard setting is a bit awkward, and mildly self-deprecating.
So it’s with a tiny bit of embarrassment that I write this post, tanked up on a cheap Americano and half a pack of cashew nuts, on the train back from a weekend at home with my family. However, I just got busted grooving to Robin Thicke by the lady knitting in the seat across the way, so I’m already pushing the bounds of acceptability today. Let’s go with it.
I am an unintentionally affirmational kinda girl. This is because, over time, I’ve come to realise that generally, when I really want to do something, I can, and I will. The only barrier to getting stuff done is mental.
So I say to you today, having taken three years to figure this out: you can, and you will. I’m saving you some serious time here, so I’ll be referring you back to this post one day if I ever need a kidney. Just sayin’.
You can do anything you set your mind to, if you want to. You’ve just got to take it one step at a time. Want to lose 10lbs? Do it one at a time. Want to lose 50lbs? One by one. Want to lose 100lbs?
You know what I’m going to say.
One at a time.
It is the only way. The only one. But check this out – three years ago this weekend, I was disabled, morbidly obese, depressed, and addicted to dihydrocodeine and pizza. I was a UK size 28, and had a BMI of 49. For reference, more than 30 is generally considered to be obese. And I wore a size 7 shoe. Here’s what that looked like:
Yesterday, three years to the day since those photos were taken, I bought a size 10 dress. My BMI is currently 26.5. One and a half iddy biddy points from a “normal weight” – so although I do place limited importance on the BMI, I’m nearly an official, bona fide healthy person. And I’ve lost so much ankle weight, I’m now walking in a size 4 stiletto. For comparison – this is me and my lil’ sister celebrating her getting a first in her degree on Friday (hence the bubbly):
But it took me ’til earlier this year to really believe that I could, and I would. I still can, and I still will.
I had an inkling, because I seemed to be doing pretty well… But I didn’t believe it. It wasn’t something I knew to be true. Since I’ve realised that, it’s been infinitely easier to make it happen.
Of course, I’m insanely lucky in that I get to see myself reflected in other people – which means it’s easier for me to believe it’s possible for me to do amazing things. For a start, I get the incredible support of people like Tom Dyer, whose focus on consistency and attitude as key to success are definitely super motivational for me.
But I also get amazing emails from you guys, and check this out for a crazy fact that I just this moment calculated:
(Drum roll please…)
Between just the people who’ve emailed or messaged me in the last eight months, 2531lbs have been lost. Two and a half THOUSAND pounds.
According to Google, that’s more than an elephant, a hippopotamus, or a 2002 Volkswagen Beetle.
You are frickin’ awesome.
Reading back through these emails, two things seem to unite all these people. First of all, there’s that belief, that realisation that if they believe in themselves enough, anything is doable. They’re living proof. They’ve done this, in their respective countries, states, cities and towns, because they realised they could and they went with it.
Secondly, though, there’s the acceptance that this thing takes a while. It’s not a case of one big change, but a whole bunch of small ones. Better food, more exercise, a thousand tiny victories of will-power over cake – the practical side of success is an accumulation of tiny things.
But there’s one big thing you can do that’ll make all these little things seem pretty simple. You need to tell yourself this one thing, because if you say it enough times, it’ll become true:
You can, and you will.
Believe that, and you’ve got it all figured out. You can do endless amazing things – not just with regards to weight loss, but to life in general. Go out there and believe you can do stuff. Believe that even when it doesn’t look like it’s going your way, you can and will make your life amazing – even if it’s in unintended ways.
This openness is important, too. When you’re making steps towards a positive goal, no matter what it is, you’ll inevitably discover other positive things along the way. I started out wanting to lose some weight because I was newly single and a bit glum about it.
As it turns out, I’m still single. My victories turned out to be hella more amazing. Now, the fact that I can walk – in stilettos, no less – is something I’m thankful for every day when I get out of bed. The fact that I’m alive and living in a real, meaningful way, rather than in a sad, opiate-centred haze is unbelievable. The fact that I don’t have heart palpitations when I roll over in my sleep… The relief of that is something I can’t even put into words. I was too scared to go to the doctor about that sh*t, but you don’t need a decade of medical training to know it’s not a good thing.
And the fact that it’s possible for me to be this happy – when it took a long time for me to realise how desperately unhappy my situation was – well, that gets me a bit emotional. I never, ever would have thought my life would be so different.
That is, until about six months ago, when “I can, and I will” became my big belief. Decide that today, and I’m willing to bet you’ll save some time. Write it on a post it note, say it into the mirror after brushing your teeth, think on it when you’re deciding whether to squeeze in a workout or not – just believe it.
And then go out and change your world. You’ll amaze yourself.
Because you can, and you will.