In addition to her “Deals and Steals” segments on GMA, Tory is also a New York Times bestselling author and entrepreneur. In her successful quest to lose weight, Tory realized that there was more to happiness and balance than just a number on the scale. We are excited to share a few of Tory’s thoughts on her newest book, Shift For Good, and questions to ask yourself in making the shift to a more joyful, fulfilled and balanced life.
BB: You had a life-altering conversation 3 years ago that led to your writing your book, The Shift. What happened?
For almost ten years, I’ve been an on-air contributor to ABC’s Good Morning America. In December 2012, the top woman executive at ABC News told me that my clothes didn’t do me justice and she wanted to send me to a stylist. But I knew in an instant this wasn’t about my clothing. In my mind, she was telling me I needed to lose weight—or else. I decided on the spot that my fat days were over.
Instead of burying my head, as I had always done, I knew that I was going to lose weight once and for all.
BB: What drove you to “Shift” and “Shift For Good”?
Like millions of people, I have tried and failed at diet after diet. Not because those diets don’t work, but because I didn’t commit to anything for the long haul. I’d typically pause bad behavior for a temporary period. The Shift happens when you are finally fed up with the way things are and decide to do whatever it takes to get the results you want. I realized that what I put in my head is far more powerful than what I put in my mouth.
In The Shift, I share my journey from that conversation through the course of one year when I lost more than 60 pounds. I saw this as a chance to help others who battle weight. The Shift: How I Lost Weight & Discovered a Happier Life is my answer to thousands of people who asked, “How’d you do it?”
But then, after publishing The Shift—a hugely joyous experience, and a great one where thousands reached out to me and said we were sisters (or brothers) from another mother, since their experience was so similar—I realized that the weight loss was one big Shift, but there were other areas of my life that needed shifting. Family, personal relationships, work/life balance, you name it, I Shifted it. And now I’ve written about that new year of Shifting in Shift For Good.
BB: Does THE SHIFT apply only to people who want to lose weight and feel healthier or can others benefit from it, too?
There are so many people who try to lose weight and never succeed. I was one of them – all my life. But the steps I learned and share can be applied to any obstacle or challenge facing anyone at work or at home. For example, I now view setbacks as opportunities to immediately re-set – not quit. Day One is always right now: instead of giving up, dust yourself off and get going again. This way of thinking can be applied to many issues in our offices, among our colleagues, and in tackling issues. If you Shift the way you think, focus on the goal and persevere through sheer determination, you’ll emerge stronger and happier.
BB: How do you know you are ready to make a Shift, and Shift For Good?
To get started, ask yourself these five questions:
How fed up are you really?
In other words, are you finally sick of the way things are now? When you’re at the point where the pain of the present outweighs the pain and sacrifice that change demands, you’re ready to shift.
What are you willing to give up?
Big change requires big sacrifice. There’s no way around it. If you want to shift for good, nothing can be more important than tackling your goal. You must be willing to give up things that are near and dear to you, including certain behaviors, to succeed. You must be ready to commit fully—be willing to accept the shift as an all-or-nothing deal, as hard as it sounds. The process is hard but becomes easier to live with over time.
What’s your plan?
There’s no winging it if you’re serious about making a significant life change. You need to establish clear, concise rules in order to eliminate ambiguity. Make a simple plan for how you’re going to take on your issue.
What’s your daily accountability?
It’s easy to slip up when nobody’s looking. It’s also possible to fool yourself into thinking that you’re on track when you’re not. Take a moment to review each day to see which emotions and attitudes reigned: calm or panic, happiness or anger, joy or joyless. If you consistently practice the action steps you outlined in your plan, you’ll see and feel results. Progress begets progress, which makes daily accountability important.
How will you embrace patience and celebrate victories?
It’s hard to go from panic to perfect overnight, no matter how much we want it to work that way. A journey toward wholeness takes time. To stay motivated, celebrate teeny victories with rewards that won’t derail your success.
I had to pose these questions to myself to Shift For Good. This is a lifelong deal—and I’m committed to it for myself and I’m eager to help others do it too so we’re all at a healthier, happier, better place.
All Photos courtesy of Tory Johnson