It Really Is All About the Promise


People always ask us what is the “secret” to transformation. They want to know about the magic diet plan or exercise. While Chris and I are certainly partial to our diet and exercise approach to weight loss, a quick Google search will pull up hundreds of ways to effectively lose weight. I’ll tell it to you straight: Looking to transform through diet and exercise is like making your way through a house of mirrors. There’s confusion everywhere, but one path that is always true. And that path has nothing to do with diet and exercise.

Once you shift your focus to see the hidden path, everything changes. Let me show you!

“I promise” is a pretty common phrase. But what does it actually mean? It simply means you’ll do (or not do) what you say you’ll do (or not do). When you make a promise to someone else—you give them your word—you know you would move mountains to keep that promise.

But what about the promises you make to yourself?

Are these promises any different than those you make to others?

They shouldn’t be.

In fact, the promises you make to yourself should be the most important you keep because you are so, so important and others depend on you to be your best self.

Let’s be honest: While you’d never think of breaking a promise made to others, you’re often not as good at keeping those you make to yourself. This is especially true with us women—you know I’m right! 😉

Why is this?

Besides the fact that we often put ourselves and our needs and goals on the bottom of the list, there are some other reasons. To put it simply, there are two types of promises: those you keep and those you don’t. The main reason promises fit into the latter category is because they’re too big—they’re inflated. Some examples:

  • I will do thirty minutes of cardio every morning.
  • I will eat five smaller meals every day.
  • I will never eat pizza again.

These types of promises are doomed from the get-go. There is no way they can be kept.

Another example of inflated promises is when you make too many promises to yourself at once, like if you tried to keep all three of the above promises. At one time.

Get the picture? Something will always happen to derail these types of promises, and that’s life.

So how do you make promises you can keep 100% of the time?

It’s actually a pretty simple process, and it’s followed by all our peeps on Extreme Weight Loss. They make a single promise to themselves—a promise that’s virtually unbreakable—and they keep it. Then they make another promise, and they keep that one. And so on. Look at it this way:

  • Each promise you make is a brick in the personal transformation you’re building.
  • Each promise you keep is the mortar that holds these bricks together, so your transformation foundation gets stronger with each promise kept.

Yes, I hear you: “That sounds great, Heidi, but how do I make promises I can keep no matter what? I’ve got this, and this, and this that get in the way.”

Here’s the secret: Your first promise to yourself—the first brick in your transformation foundation—must be so small that it’s actually doable, even when life gets in the way, because it will. And that’s a promise!

Here’s an example:

  • When people ask how much cardio to do to burn fat, my answer is, “Five minutes.” Whatever activity you choose, do it for five minutes. That’s all. This is a promise you can keep every single day. And if those five minutes lead to five minutes more, that’s even better! But the promise is for only five minutes. And it’s not about the cardio—it’s about keeping that promise you made to yourself. That’s the key!

Simply put, our peeps keep their promises. If they promise themselves they’ll do thirty minutes of cardio, they do thirty minutes…maybe more. They NEVER stop at twenty-nine minutes. Never. And if we try to pull them off that treadmill at 29 minutes, they’ll shove us out of the way and get right back on!

Here’s another helpful hint:

  • Successful promise keepers say their promises and goals out loud, and they also write them down. Share yours with those who love and support you, and you’ll be surprised how quickly these supporters become your biggest fans who will move those mountains to help you keep the promises you’ve made to yourself. It’s awesome!

So what do you do when you break a promise to yourself? You don’t quit, that’s for sure. There’s definitely a learning curve when you’re perfecting your ability to keep promises to yourself, and our peeps face this same learning curve pretty much every day as they’re developing this promise-keeping habit. When they break a promise to themselves, we follow this process: Confess to someone about the broken promise, Reassess to ensure the promise you made is a SMART promise/goal, and Recommit to something more attainable. It works for them, and I know it will work for you too!

Remember: Each promise kept—each brick laid—builds a strong foundation of self-esteem and confidence that is rock-solid and indestructible.

Make that first promise to yourself and lay that first brick in your own transformation foundation.

And do it today! ☺



Still wanting more? Don’t forget to join us on our next journey with the TRANSFORM app.

180 Responses

  1. You are SOO right! I made two simple promises to myself this year and they were: eat clean and healthy (single food ingredients tend to be my best/easiest choices) and to M O V E.. Just keep moving.. yoga, zumba, weight lifting, cardio.. Everyday I conciously keep my promise to move and eat clean(ier) and it’s been amazing thus far! I FEEL the difference, my body can feel the difference. I used to promise myself the moon the back and falling short every time because they were promises beyond my goal time frame. Now, I just keep moving and eating clean and my promises (and weight loss goals) fall right into place.. Watching EWL is inspiring too! That’s my weekly dose of inspiration for all the courage folks who lead by example! THANK YOU HEIDI, CHRIS, AND ALL THE EWL CREW AND CONTESTANTS!

  2. I have to say I started my journey because I heard Chris say on extreme weigh loss that it’s a promise to yourself. I promised myself earlier this year that I would complete the WunderWoman Sprint Triathlon this year and I did it yesterday! I nearly gave up a few times but didn’t and am so glad that I can now say I’m a triathlete. Thanks for all your help and encouragement Chris and Heidi!!!

  3. A year ago today I started my own weight loss journey & so far I’ve lost 97 pounds , I watch your show & it helps keep me going . You two are doing a great job & helping some wonderful people including myself thanks for everything !

  4. I have been trying to lose weight since I had my first daughter then I had my son. So I’m trying to find different ways that will help. So thank u for the advice Heidi and Chris you guys are awesome

  5. This is wonderful! Thank you so much. I really enjoy and look forward to each episode off EWL. It is so inspirational. I have RA which has really kept me from exercising like I think I should but I am realizing I have to exercise how I CAN. Thanks again. Great advice.

    1. I do exercises with weights. I’m 60 & have arthritis in my feet so no walking. Good luck to you.

  6. Thanks so much Heidi! You and Chris (and the peeps on EWL) have been a real inspiration! And after fighting to lose even a few pounds despite eating healthy foods, my body LOVES carb cycling!! I’m taking two weeks to get used to eating on the plan, and then I’ll be adding in the exercises. Thanks agin for all you do!!

  7. Thank you Heidi! I needed to read this as you say life happens, my 3.5yr old had surgery in Friday and I have had 2 days derailed for good reason of taken care of him and I am beating myself up because I have not worked out or are as good as I could have but instead of it becoming a everyday thing I just need to dust myself off and get back to what I was doing. Love what you and Chris do and love your show!

  8. Baby steps, this is the key, small attainable promises. It is easy to fail if you try to make unrealist goals in a short period of time, and this leads to sadness. Thanks for put that in clear words.

    1. Hey Heidi ! My name is Tuhina , I live in Singapore. I have seen videos of ? Extreme weight loss? , that really inspires me .
      , So , I promise u , that I will jog 5 mins everyday from today .

  9. Another person saying thank you Heidi, I too needed to hear this. I struggle but I do exactly what you say not to do I make promises to myself that I deep down know will not last long. Start small and finish big! Thank you to you and Chris for all you are doing with the compassion you do it with. And shout out to Chris for making his videos so easy to follow

  10. Great article and very true. I think we all tend to make these unrealistic goals and set ourselves up to fail. Thank you for posting this today as I am stuck in a big time failing rut and I am determined to climb out of it.

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