Walt Disney had a weight problem, you ask? Not that I know of, although it’s possible. Actually, this title is based on an inspiring post by Catherine Lawson about Walt Disney’s early life struggles and the traits that carried him through to success. If you love inspirational true stories like I do, you’ll really enjoy it.

When I read Catherine’s post, it immediately made me think of how the traits she listed that helped Walt Disney succeed in reaching his business goals could be applied to weight loss. While she wrote this article to apply to motivation in growing a business, 5 of them (I changed 1) relate perfectly to your goals of weight loss and fitness.

Below are Catherine’s points, with my comments added to apply them to weight loss:

1. Never give up. I’d say that this is the most important trait that you must have in order to achieve your goals of adopting a new lifestyle to lose weight and get fit. It’s true that you will have your ups and downs, and you might even reach a time when it seems like you’ve given up on yourself, but as long as you hang in there and don’t lose complete faith in yourself, you truly can change and lose weight. Not only can you change your lifestyle and lose weight, but you can also maintain your loss for the rest of your life.

2. Ask for help the right way. Instead of waiting until you are in trouble and about to throw in the towel, ask for positive support up front. This can be a family member, friends, or an online support group. Get that support lined up in the beginning, and also consider whether or not you do better by hiring a personal trainer, or joining a workout group at the gym. Just don’t wait until you are discouraged or feeling like quitting until you ask for support; establish it in the beginning to ensure your success.

3. Get help from people with skills that you don’t have. A certified personal trainer or a nutritionist could be very helpful to you if you’re not sure how to get the most from your workout, or how to put together a healthy eating plan. Additionally, it’s always suggested that you check with your doctor before changing your diet and level of exercise, and you could benefit from psychological therapy if you are an emotional eater.

I’ve never had a personal trainer, although I did buy one in a box when I purchased the Six Week Body Makeover. Michael Thurmond, a certified physical trainer (and body builder) created it and I’ve learned a tremendous amount about how to work out smarter and eat for optimum, healthy weight loss. It would be very motivating to have your own personal trainer, though. 😉

4. Turn negative situations into something positive. Most of us would agree that being overweight qualifies as a negative situation, however there are many positives that you can gain from it when you apply yourself and take action to get healthy. You have the opportunity to strengthen your qualities of commitment, persistence, determination, and a raise in self-esteem from accomplishing your weight loss and fitness goals.

Each of these traits can be applied to other areas of your life and can benefit your positively when you are striving for your other life goals.

5. Don’t just focus on the scale. It is so important to get your mind off of the scale and instead focus on your overall health and fitness. Yes, of course the scale does come in handy (I recommend weighing only once a week) to chart your progress, but if you are only working on losing weight to see that scale move, you may not be going about it in the healthiest manner.

Instead, if you are also doing regular cardio (30-60 minutes 5 times a week), strength training exercises, and eat a diet consisting of healthy whole foods throughout the day, then there are other benefits that you will receive from your efforts that go beyond the scale: endurance, strength, higher level of energy, better sleep, and possibly dropping some medications and experiencing less pain in your body (depends on individual circumstances).

(This point was originally listed in Catherine’s post as “don’t just focus on making money”, which I changed to fit the topic of weight loss. Here’s something interesting to note however, regarding weight loss and money.)

6. Dare to be different and avoid negative people. If you have been living an unhealthy lifestyle filled with processed and fast food, little physical activity, and bemoaning your overweight with others who are living the same way, you will find that when you begin to make changes you will be seen as different from the rest of the pack. You might need to make some new friends who support your new lifestyle, but you must remain strong and embrace your “differentness”.

It takes courage to live a healthy lifestyle in the midst of today’s processed food society, but it can be done. Actually, there are more and more people every day who are waking up to how unhealthy that processed, prepackaged, additive filled food is for them, and if your current friends are trying to bring you down with their negativity, either you will end up being an inspiration for them in their lives, or you will naturally gravitate towards others who share your health consciousness.