Giving Yourself An A

Remember the days of being graded? There's one grade in particular that can help you in your weight loss journey, and that's the highest grade of all: A.

In The Art of Possibility, Benjamin Zander, composer of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, talks about the traditional grading system as something that encourages competition rather than mastery – grades only signify how well you performed in relation to someone else, and the prospect of being graded can fill you with anxiety and self-doubt.

So what happens when you begin with an A grade? Zander uses an example from his classroom: he gives every student an A at the beginning of a music course that he teaches. He asks them to write him a letter explaining how they achieved an A, outlining all that would happen to them between the start and end of semester – their insights, milestones, and attitudinal shifts – as though it had already taken place. The results? The students fulfil their own prophecies. Everyone gets an A.

By banishing the anxiety that dogs a performance you know will be graded, and reflecting instead on how you are capable of being the very best you can be – regardless of anyone else – you can achieve mastery over your own weight loss journey, and recognise why and how you're capable of winning your weight loss war. Now is the time to give yourself an A for weight loss.

Picture yourself 26 weeks in the future, when you've lost weight, transformed your body and mind, and adopted long-term healthy lifestyle habits. Give yourself an A for your efforts. Now, just like the students in the above example, write yourself a letter detailing exactly how you did it:

Dear ________,

I achieved an A in my weight loss journey because...