Starting out as an apprentice, I have learnt many new skills, for both work and life, over the past 3 years. With the direct guidance and support of the Simplyweight management team, I have been provided with a cheat sheet for life and work that I continue to hone and develop 3 years on. It has not always been smooth sailing for me but life isn’t designed to be like that, so now I simply go with the flow!
I am grateful to be receiving training in skills that will be useful for my career as a digital marketer/designer but even more fortunate to learn the kind of skills people just don’t make the time to teach you, skills that have helped me grow personally as well. With this being my first real job, going to work was a whole new adventure for me. The things I learnt really changed my mentality and looking back I feel like a different person to the one who walked through these doors 3 years ago.
In this blog, I will share the top 10 things I have learnt (so far) at Simplyweight! I feel that all of these lessons can be very helpful when applied to any weight loss journey. I will explain what I learnt and then make the comparison to weight loss in each lesson.
1. Approaching problems with the right attitude
Everyday, we face problems as this is the real world and not a video game. There is no respawn or “go back to main menu” option. We face problems and have to understand the problem in order to resolve it and move on. When I initially faced problems or issues at Simplyweight, I would pretty much give up straight away. I had the mentality of giving up or not bothering spending time to figure out the issue I was facing. I instead would turn to my team leaders and ask them to help me or tell them “I can’t do it”.
I soon began to learn that actually, it was not because “I can’t do it”, it was because I was letting my mind crush my own will, taking away all my own power. I was allowing past negative experiences or failures to dictate my current thoughts and actions, leading to further disappointment and failure. However, one day, something clicked and I soon realised that actually, I can do it and I will figure out how to do it even if it doesn’t appear possible at first. I’ve experienced first-hand the frustration of being given short, unhelpful responses from other support teams, so I decided that I would make sure I behave differently. I would be determined to find a solution and this mindset alone helped guide me to all the right places to research. It was also important to recognise when to ask for help too. Sure enough, this approach worked wonders.
In any weight loss journey, you will naturally get ebbs and flows of successes and setbacks. However, when you do face problems in weight management such as hitting plateaus or even regaining a bit of weight, be kind to yourself and accept that is a normal part of the process. You can then focus not on the setback, but on moving forward to better outcomes. It may take a little time to let go of any negative feelings about the problem, but the more you continue with your regular routine, you’re sure to get back on track and succeed.
2. Letting anxiety take over
I never considered myself to be an anxious person but we often can’t see our shadow unless circumstances bring them in front of us. When faced with real life work and accompanying day to day challenges, I realised that I do have anxiety. However, this doesn’t mean I was going to let anxiety take over my life. It took me a while to come to terms with it and didn’t tell anyone until almost a year later, which in hindsight was a mistake as there is no shame in asking for help!. In my view, my anxiety was created due to my own patterns of thinking. Something would occur and I would get anxious thinking I am in the wrong or I did something to cause a negative reaction however, this is just my mind spiralling out of control.
I overcame my anxiety by being honest with myself and changing the way I think about each situation. Simplyweight has taught me how to handle challenging circumstances with a balanced and detached perspective. However, this didn’t mean avoidance or failure to deal with or rectify any mistakes. I had to be forgiving of myself whenever I had episodes of anxiety and try to understand the underlying cause before proceeding to address it.
3. Don’t go for shortcuts.
At Simplyweight, I have realised that if I decide to do a shortcut with my work, I actually end up spending more time fixing the quick fix! I will explain what I mean.
If I have design tasks to do, I may try to achieve the result as quickly as possible so that it passes as “okay”. Nothing special, nothing inspired, just “okay”. However on reflection, I never felt proud of that work and more often than not we ended up not using them in favour of something better. I knew that I was perfectly capable of producing high quality, creative designs but didn’t have the drive to do more and push myself to excellence. Thankfully the team supported me heavily in this aspect and looking back, I realise how much time had been wasted on mediocre or bare-minimum output when a little extra care and effort could have made all the difference.
How can this lesson be applied to weight loss? Many people come to Simplyweight after trying various diets or weight loss programmes that promised miracles or fast results. They were unable to keep off the weight in the long run. Had we been able to help them first, we would have taken a holistic and balanced approach to help them achieve lasting results. Not to mention saving a lot of time, energy and money over the years! Anything that’s worthwhile and lasting will take more time and effort, so don’t go for quick fixes.
4. Never be quick to react
In some situations, I would speak first and think later. Whether it’s a personal situation or a professional one, this type of behaviour can only serve to cause misunderstandings and damage good will. All because I didn’t take a moment to pause and consider my words a bit more, or to take time and understand what the other person is actually saying to me.
I’ve seen this type of behaviour in various others too, especially if they are prone to being defensive and unable to handle constructive criticism or altering views in a healthy way. Others may just feel the need to get their views across regardless of what the other person is saying.
Over time I slowly learnt how to take a moment and understand the full picture, then be sure that I am saying what I really mean to say. This required me to improve my listening skills too which has been helpful in more ways than one. Simplyweight has taught me this lesson repeatedly and continues to teach me how to handle various situations and to remain compassionate in my responses too.
This piece of advice is gold for anyone looking to improve the quality of their relationships, personal or professional. Listening a bit more to each other and pausing instead of reacting can go a very long way.
5. Focus on the present to avoid stress
Stress, stress and more stress. Stress has crept up many times in journey as an apprentice and employee. When faced with many tasks on my to-do list or an approaching deadline, I would simply not be able to handle it. Stress is the enemy of peace. I learnt that my mindset was the root cause of all the stress I invited into my life. I created barriers to my work needlessly with negative self-talk such as “it’s too much”, or “I can never get this done on time”, when really it was perfectly possible.
My way of dealing with this was learning how to slow down the racing mind and take one thing at a time. I worried too much about what could go wrong in the future or too many “what ifs” when it came to my work. Instead, what I needed to do was be present in the task at hand and put my full attention on that one task. Meanwhile I remained positive that even with little ups and downs, eventually the tasks will get done and in the worst case, I was always able to communicate any issues with the team and get them resolved straight away.
This is a valuable lesson for weight loss. We may see a mountain to climb before us if we have a lot of weight to lose. This can be really off-putting and overwhelming, both of which will lead to stress. Instead, take things one day at a time or one week at a time. Focus on what you’re getting right that day or that moment. Then repeat. Doing this bit by bit will not only help you avoid needless worry but you will actually enjoy the process more and live your life the way you deserve to!
6. How to take criticism
Criticism is something I used to struggle with and did not like it. Someone would provide me constructive criticism with my work and I would try to justify why I am still right. As you can imagine, this didn’t go very well! However, I eventually managed to let this go once I understood that the team really do care about my development and want me to excel at my role, the results of which I am seeing week on week. When you recognise someone is a true well-wisher, you view their communication differently to others. The kind of things you may not wish to hear from others, you happily accept from the right people as you know it’s all in your best interests.
I learnt to become more humble and my improved attitude towards feedback allowed me to receive endless guidance on bettering my skills. All of this has paid off significantly and continues to do so.
So if someone tells you how to do something better or explains what you did wrong, you should avoid the urge to get defensive or argue with them in the need to be right. Instead, thank them. Medicine can be bitter, but you get the results you want. Just be careful that you do not pay attention to those who criticise you due to their own negativities such as jealousy or hatred. You do not need to tolerate or accept criticism in this case. As long as you know they are well-intentioned, let’s not let our egos hinder our success.
7. Compassion towards others
This is an area where I lacked. It could be due to a lack of support in my own life but compassion is something I was really bad at. I could not understand how to be compassionate towards others and not recognise situations in which compassion was greatly needed. As I continued at Simplyweight, I gained more responsibility which led to me training newbies too, which was interesting!. The issue was, I did not understand how to provide them feedback or criticism with compassion.
I slowly learnt that I need to be a lot more sensitive to people, especially new people as it may affect their approach to work. I should be forgiving with them as they can’t be blamed for not knowing how things are done in a new place of work. I should have more tolerance for mistakes and recognise when it’s appropriate to be more assertive, but even this should be done in the context of helping someone be better and not to put them down. From the day I started to this very day, Simplyweight’s management team has been very understanding with my mistakes. In return, I should show the same compassion to others. I still have a lot to learn about this but have come a long way in my understanding.
8. Be open minded
This is one of the most important lessons for me as being close-minded can really reflect on the kind of person we are. When facing something out of my comfort zone or new, I would be quite narrow minded and would immediately say “no” or find an excuse why it couldn’t be done. The reality was that I was not willing to be open to new challenges or experiences. However, I soon realised that this showed a lot of negativity and I was not happy with this mindset I was developing.
When someone gives us an opportunity, we should be appreciative and take the opportunity as we may never be offered again. Being open minded shows that we are open to learning and developing, or pushing the boundaries of what we think we know. It’s also a great quality to have if you want to be understanding of others with different values to your own. If I had kept up my old approach in the last 3 years, I wouldn’t have made it far.
Opening our minds to new possibilities will help us lead an enriched and full life. Narrow mindedness may lead to lost opportunities, relationships and experiences that we cannot get back.
9. Not letting go of the past
A bad habit of mine was not letting go of the past. I would cling onto old experiences and let it run through my mind repeatedly. This affected my work and relationships as it was really negative to hold on to these things when they were no good for me. After many discussions and guidance from my mentor, I soon realised that it was very silly clinging on to useless things which did not benefit anyone.
Lots of self-reflection was required but it has helped me and I don’t think like this anymore. A lot of patients have trauma or negative experiences from the past which prevents them from losing weight. However, you can’t change the past. What we do is help people to focus on a brighter future and when it’s helpful, use the past as a point of reflection and learning. Once I was able to let go of past mistakes or experiences, I became more mentally resilient and this showed in my quality of work and also in my relationships.
10. The need for self analysis
There have been many times where I have made mistakes in life but have never known how to move on from them in the correct manner. I would make a mistake and try to brush it off only for the mistake to occur again. I have been taught that to move on from mistakes, it needs some self analysis first. I needed to look at the situation and recognise the problem and the cause. Without this time taken for self-reflection, we may be running on autopilot, thinking that we are doing everything right or there’s nothing at all that we could improve. Failure to recognise our own errors or planting blame on others will only hinder progress.
It is very difficult to look at yourself exactly as you are and be 100% honest with yourself. The goal is to do this not with a judgemental and punishing attitude, but a gentle and loving one. We may come face to face with parts of ourselves that we are afraid of or ashamed of. Learn to embrace those aspects of yourself and you’ll see that by accepting them, they will become tools for you to grow as an individual.
Read my previous blog about my journey at Simplyweight so far here: https://simplyweight.co.uk/my-journey-at-simplyweight-so-far/
Simplyweight’s Specialist Online Weight Loss Plan has been designed to bring decades of clinical experience to people at an affordable price. To learn more, start your 7-day free trial today: https://app.simplyweight.co.uk/subscribe/free-trial
Junior Digital Marketing Executive, Simplyweight