Advice for Entrepreneurs: Don’t Focus on Losing Weight — Focus on Just Being Happy

Being an entrepreneur is a wonderful path — but it sure as heck isn’t the easiest. Sometimes we don’t take as good care of ourselves as we should.

I know this because 35 pounds crept up on me when I wasn’t looking, along with a circulation issue from sitting down too long at my desk.

How did I not realize it?

I guess I just wasn’t looking? There was a 2-year time frame I had lost myself.

I went from wearing suits to sweatpants and some days PJ’s.

It’s funny how I would go out and see people I hadn’t in a while, I could feel them judging me. “Oh my, she has gained weight.”

Admittedly, when I started seeing the income flowing in, I could pay my bills and finally breath again — I missed my clothes. I also missed dinners out with friends, but none of my clothes fit.

Buying new clothes meant committing to the size I was — I wasn’t ready to do that.

Thank goodness for Old Navy — cheap clothes that looked cute. They were cheap so it wasn’t a real commitment. Right?

So I started the dieting thing. I did the military diet. I did the Adkins diet. I did the cleanses — you name it.

I would lose 2 gain 4. Lose 5 gain back 3. Yadda yadda yadda.

I was thinking I have never managed to lose more than 5lbs ever BUT then I decided that wasn’t actually true — I have lost 5lbs about 10 times. That is 50lbs!

I decided I only have one problem with diets. They don’t work.

The analytic person inside me decided diets are a short-term solution for a long-term problem — the math doesn’t work.

I Needed a Different Approach

One day I thought to myself, “Okay apparently I suck at this dieting thing but I am great at business. I will try a business approach.”

“I just need a different strategy, what I am doing is failing.”

I happened across the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Every entrepreneur should read it!

I decided I needed to stop thinking about dieting, instead I would focus on building a habit. I cross referenced Charles’ book with many other resources.

Research states you need to do something every day approximately 66 times for it to become a habit.

I said to myself, “Okay Tammy, you can eat anything you want as long as you exercise every single day for 66 days.”

I told myself, “It’s a deal.”

I live in a great location for it! My neighborhood is full of steep hills so it’s a fantastic workout.

I Developed a Robot Mentality

So I started the next day — every day without fail I walked my neighborhood from corner to corner. It’s a 2 mile walk but a large majority is incline. Even the days I felt like a crap sandwich I still did it.

I hate to say this but I almost adapted to a robot mentality about it. I just did it. I didn’t think about it. If I gave myself a chance to think about it I would have created an excuse not to.

I should mention I struggle with depression from time to time. I’ve never been medicated for it, but my doctor was encouraging me it was time to give in. I was starting to struggle with it more than normal.

I also was experiencing a ton of brain fog around the time I started exercising. I was thinking perhaps it was due to menopause being at my door?

So I was overweight, I had a circulation issue, I was depressed, and I had serious brain fog which was interfering with my work.

Yep, I was a hot mess.

Three Weeks In

After 3 weeks and I started seeing some changes. First of all I lost 5 lbs with very little effort. My eating habits aren’t terrible, I eat like a grown up most of the time.

However, I was still sitting in bed at 9 pm with my laptop and my pint of Häagen-Dazs, whatever my current flavor obsession is that month. I would count my bites though, I would get exactly 10 with my small spoon then I had to put it away. Actually I would hand it to my husband, he is usually nearby waiting patiently for his turn.

I was also still having a glass(glasses) of wine if I wanted it.

I started noticing I could bend down to my lowest cabinet to get a pan and it didn’t hurt. I could actually hold my weight in that position for while — it didn’t hurt.

My body was changing. This was starting to get interesting.

6 Weeks In

I had walked my neighborhood every day for 42 days at this point. I had lost 9 lbs with very little effort except for making myself exercise.

The funny thing is, the weight loss is not the best thing that happened to me.

My brain fog was completely gone. My depression, although not completely gone, was much smaller.

I was happier. I had more energy. I was a better person.

Holy shit, now I understand.

Those Annoying Healthy People

I’m sure you’ve met one of those annoying health nuts in your lifetime. You know, always happy and trying to shove their newest recipes down your throat.

Going on and on about the hike they did over the weekend and how they want you to join them. You always say yeah of course next time hit me up, but you know you’re not going to return the text.

I just want to tell them to go suck on some granola and go away!

But now I understand what all the fuss is about. I was now one of THEM.

A Completely Changed Perspective

I am so glad I took my journey the way I did.

It opened my eyes to a totally new perspective. Because I wasn’t focused on dieting and just the exercise I was able to see what was really important.

I started my journey merely because I wanted to get back into my skinny jeans. Now, truthfully I could care less if I get back into them or not.

My entire attitude has completely changed. I wasn’t focused on being skinny. I was focused on being happy.

I felt amazing.

When you’re healthy and happy guess what else happens? You’re a better person overall. A better mother, a better wife, a better friend, and yes, especially, even better at my business.

My New Habit — My New Life

So the habit thing is true — exercising is a huge part of my life. It’s something I just do every day. I don’t do it because I have to. I do it because I love it and it makes me happy.

Occasionally, I will miss a day for whatever reason and when I do I always feel that something is off that day. I feel uncomfortable. It’s almost like skipping brushing your teeth, it feels yucky.

Did it become a habit? I guess so.

It’s funny how my neighbors wave at me every day and often come out to talk to me and compliment me on my effort.

I often hear, “I really need to do that too.” However my neighborhood hills are still a lonely journey, which I am more than okay with.

Once at the market one of my neighbors approached me which scared the crap out of me. I had no idea who she was yet she was certain she knew me well. She said to me, “You look so wonderful, I am so jealous of your energy. But why do you do it every single day?”

I asked her if she had medication she took daily, she replied yes. I said well exercise is my meds. She replied “oh”, but gave me a strange look, a look that as I type this I still don’t quite understand. Oh well, who cares.

I have changed my eating habits as well. No more sitting at night with my ice cream, just on special occasions. But I assure you, I am not suffering.

I have learned how to cook some fabulous meals which are healthy but also delicious. My husband has lost weight too.

Both us have become more health conscious, it is definitely a lifestyle choice.

One Year Later

I started integrating a 10 minute kettle bell workout into my routine after I walk. It’s amazing how my body has changed. It’s funny, I still weigh more than I did before but I’m carrying it differently so I don’t look like it.

I’m no longer focused on what I weigh. I don’t care about the number.

Creating my habit wasn’t easy, it did take a huge effort I won’t lie.

Once I got to the other side and realized how it impacted my life I was hooked.

However, I promise if you ever see me in person I won’t go on and on about amazing my lifestyle.

That is, unless you want me to. :-)

More About Me

I create marketing strategies for small businesses. You can visit my website www.perfectmarketingequation.com.

I also create education courses to teach entrepreneurs about marketing and creating a lucrative home-based business. You can check my education website out at www.tammyhawkbridges.com .