Mindset. It’s a powerful thing. It’s built billion dollar companies. It’s put a man on the moon. It’s created some of the world’s most powerful nations. For March’s member of the month, it’s led her on a cross country journey of health, happiness, and adventure. And on the way, she’s managed to lose over 70lbs in 2 years, even though that wasn’t her goal.
If Genece Hamby would have walked into our gym 2 years ago and proclaimed she was going to lose 70lbs over the next 2 years, we would have gladly taken that bet. It’s nothing personal. It was a bet placed purely on statistics. She had every possible excuse to fail: 1) she had just turned 60 years of age. A young metabolism with balanced hormones was not on her side. 2) Since 2007, she had lost her mother, father, stepmother, stepfather, and both of her cats. To say she had an excuse to be stressed and depressed would have been an understatement. 3) She was a female (obviously). From a physiological (not chauvinistic) perspective, women have a harder time losing weight than men, especially as they age. 4) She had moved from the San Francisco Bay area where organic, healthy food was on every block. Eating healthy was convenient and normal. In Illinois, it sometimes takes a 45 minute drive to find an organic supermarket. 5) She knew no one at the gym. She was alone on her journey. Studies continue to prove that working out alone leads to less success than working out in a group, hence the popularity of personal trainers and group classes. If she needed an excuse, she had plenty to choose from.
For most of us, just one of those roadblocks would have stopped us from reaching our goals. Not Genece. Her mindset, much like Abbie’s, doesn’t accept excuses. It accepts challenges. As Genece said, “I’ve given myself permission to have ups and downs on my journey. As my friend once said, ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’” That same mindset convinced her to pack her bags and head out West during the tech boom and start a successful consulting business. And then again, it convinced her a few years later, after moving back to Illinois to care for her mother, to become a successful artist, poet, and inspirational speaker. It’s no wonder she succeeded in dropping 70lbs in 2 years. Mindsets matter!
People with the growth mindset understand that there’s a huge difference between winning and succeeding. Winning satisfies our need for short-term gratification. It’s a destination. It’s superficial, and never lasts. It’s based on outcomes that contain too many uncontrollable variables. If you’ve ever played team sports, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Success on the other hand is about long-term development. It rewards persistence and hard work. It’s a journey. It starts deep within, and fosters continued growth and learning. It expects setbacks, as they provide feedback that we’re constantly stretching ourselves to the limits of our true potential. The difference between the two is as striking as the difference between night and day. Winning is a one-hit wonder. Succeeding is a lifetime achiever! Genece is a lifetime achiever.
So how has her mindset prepared her for success? “My biggest asset is first and foremost my deep commitment. I am determined that fitness is the highest priority. Crucial to losing weight is attitude. Focusing on pounds and the scale always set me back so I put my scale away and decided to care more about my tape measure, measuring once per month.”
Most importantly Genece says, “Permission is the golden word for successful and rewarding weight management program. The more you can give yourself permission to appreciate and value your body each step of the way, the easier it gets. The more you can give yourself permission to have ups and downs on the journey, the easier it gets. The more you can give yourself permission to keep your goals simple and bite-sized, the easier it gets. The greatest gift we can give ourselves on any program is to be gentle, kind, and loving towards our progress and setbacks.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself!