Recently, I spoke to a client who wanted to lose weight. At a certain point, I mentioned I’d lost 18 pounds last summer (over a 4-month period). When she asked me how I’d done it, I briefly explained I’d given up certain foods for 30 days and still hadn’t gone back to many of them.

Her response? “I could never do that.”

I did not press her; I explained a little bit of how our metabolism works and moved on.

We discussed the most basic skill needed to achieve any goal: Awareness.

To increase her awareness around her eating habits, I recommended she keep a food journal, check in with her body to see whether or not she was hungry before she decided to eat, and also track her feelings throughout the day.

Our relationship with food and our weight are a result of our physiology and our minds, so I believe it’s important to address both.

When my client returned for her next coaching session, she told me she had been angry with herself after leaving our last session.

She was angry when she became aware of her belief that she could never give up sugar. None of the other foods I’d told her I’d given up had bothered her until I mentioned I’d cut out sugar completely.

Her immediate reaction was, “I could never give up sugar.”

She’d had this unconscious belief for a long time, but until our conversation she hadn’t been aware of it on a conscious level.

With her awareness of this (limiting) belief came anger. Her anger spurred her to take action: She did some research and decided she did want to give up sugar, among other things.

A month later she felt great and she weighed 7 pounds less.

And now she believes she can give up anything that’s not serving her in her life.

Awareness is the first step.