Heed my Spanish lesson and lose fat faster!

Want to lose weight and get in shape so you can start living the fitter, healthier and happier life you want? Learn from my recent Spanish language slip-up to realise you’re much closer than you think to getting the results you’ve always wanted, says New Body Plan fitness director Joe Warner

I’ve just realised something that I think will help you get in to shape. And it’s this: trying to learn a language is just like trying to lose weight. Here’s why.

A couple of years ago I decided to learn Spanish. I signed up for an online course and have done daily lessons since.

It’s been great for reading and writing. But it’s not done much for my speaking and listening.

Confidently chatting with a native speaker was, like most people, my driver to learn a language. So I was dejected. And doubted whether I’d ever habla español.

Then, out of the blue, an email from the course provider. It now offers live online lessons with a Spanish teacher. You can do as many classes as you want. Doing two per week works out at just £2.50 a lesson. It was one of those bite-your-hand-off offers I’d be mad not to grab with both hands.

But I didn’t. The reason why? Well, you might understand if you’ve ever wished to lose weight but never seen the results you want.

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Speaking no sense

The classes sounded perfect. Live, interactive, lots of listening and speaking and, best of all, cheap. So why didn’t I sign up on the spot?

Because I told myself I wasn’t good enough to do these classes. Not yet. Instead I’d sign up once I was a little more proficient and confident.

A couple of days later it hit me how mad (and self-defeating) my mindset was. I was saying to myself: “I want to get better at Spanish. These classes are the best way for me to get better at Spanish. But I want to be a little bit better at Spanish before I start these classes.”

You see the problem? The only way for me to improve is to do the classes, but I’m not confident enough to take them. So I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing, stay at the exact same level, and never achieve my ambition.

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Don’t delay making a change

You might recognise this mindset. It’s one that stops so many people from ever achieving the health and fitness outcomes they desperately want. Has it ever stopped you? Have you ever had this conversation, either with yourself or with a friend or partner?

“I want to lose weight. Exercise is the best way to lose weight. Bu I want to lose a little bit of weight before I start to exercise.”

If that line of thinking sounds familiar, don’t worry – you’re not alone. But you do need to realise it’s going to be very difficult to achieve that initial weight-loss result without adding some exercise into your daily routine. So you face the very real risk that without exercise you’re never going to shift the weight you’re desperate to lose.

Get out of your comfort zone

The point of my email to this: if you want to lose weight but aren’t seeing results then you need to do something you’re not yet doing. And that means moving out of your comfort zone.

Don’t worry if the thought of going to the gym or joining a running club or whatever else you could do makes you a little nervous. That’s a good thing!

Why? Because feeling a little bit apprehensive is a very good sign you’ve identified what it is that you need to do. Now all you need to do is take that first step. Because once you do, the second step, and each one thereafter, will be so much easier.

So if you want to make a real change to your life, remember this Spanish proverb.

No dejes para mañana lo que puedas hacer hoy.

Or in other words, don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today. Now that’s speaking my language.

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