I lost 20 pounds of weight since the start of the pandemic. All the extra weight I gained since I graduated from college more than a decade ago I lost in the last several months. That’s mostly thanks to… well… my version of eating less.

It came off as a bit of a surprise, actually. For more than a decade, I’d been up and down the Internet searching for the Holy Grail of weight loss. And a new one kept popping up every week. I can’t say I tried them all, but I did try a lot of things – apple cider vinegar, three-day juice cleanses (those suck, by the way), ultra-restrictive diets (keto sucks too!), and a whole bunch of shakes and supplements that may have helped a bit but didn’t really help much to be honest.

I was surprised because, after everything I’ve tried to lose weight, the only thing that actually worked and is still working is to… well… eat less. Not eating only good food – because we’ve got all sorts of preconceived notions about what good means. And not entirely avoiding bad food – because there’s plenty of baggage in that as well. I just… ate less.

Over time, I became more in touch with what my body actually wants me to eat and how much. I began adding more fruits and vegetables and realized that I don’t really like cakes and cookies that much anymore. I still eat cakes and cookies, but I can no longer finish those humongous slices like I used to. It just doesn’t feel as good anymore. I didn’t force myself to un-like sweets. It just… well… happened, like a natural consequence of following what I felt called by my body to do.  

Really, it’s the most commonsensical thing to do. If you want to lose weight, just do what you feel called to do. And yet, we’ve come up with all these convoluted diet plans and eating systems and workout schedules that revolve around the diet plans. They make everything way more complicated than it should be.

Did it take a lot of work? At first it took some getting used to. But it certainly didn’t feel hard for me to read food labels and note down what I was eating. In fact, the super-organized control-freak Virgo in me loved the calorie-counting and food-journaling. (That’s just me. I love it when things are noted down). Eventually, I stopped counting calories because I can now look at the food on my plate and get a good idea of how much I’m actually eating. (That’s also me. I hate it when I have to do something as tedious as calorie-counting forever.)

But other than the initial effort of whipping out my phone to record what I ate on my food-journaling app, everything felt effortless. I didn’t feel like I was trying to lose weight. I did want to lose weight. I had been wanting to for the last decade. But I wasn’t recording my meals for the sake of losing weight. I was recording my meals because it was what felt like the most natural thing to do.

And what feels natural for me may not feel the same for you. You may hate food journals, and that’s fine. You may lose weight with keto even though I hated it, and there’s really no problem with that. If there’s one thing we all forget when it comes to weight loss and with life in general, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. What works for you works for you, and what works for me works for me.

We all just have to stop listening to the mixed messages being thrown our way about, hey, this is the magic system that will blast the fat off your belly for good or that, hello, all you need is to eat nothing but this meal replacement shake for two weeks and you’ll have a body like Jennifer Lawrence.

You already have the solution to your weight problems. Deep down, you already know what to do without having to turn to the next Instagram model for their diet advice. And you already have the solution to all your life’s problems too.

You already know what to do. You just have to stop listening to every self-proclaimed expert who comes in and tells you this is what you need to do. They don’t know what you need to do. They have no idea what the solution that’s been tailor-made for you by God, by your Higher Self, by You is. Only you can know. Only you can have access to that.

Sure, life may find a way to nudge you toward people who can remind you that you already have the solution. But it will ultimately be you who chooses that solution or ignores it for some fancy-schmancy weight loss/relationship/business success/life makeover program with 17 scientifically proven steps, over 230 satisfied customers, and an ironclad moneyback guarantee.

See, that’s how you differentiate the True Solutions from everything else. They’re so simple and so natural that you, if you didn’t know any better, wouldn’t see them for what they are. You’d think, “No, that can’t be it. It’s too easy.”

So most people would dismiss the God-given answers to their problems and go ahead to look for man-made solutions. They go on a quest to find the best systems, buy expensive programs and equipment, and all the while they still can’t help but wonder why something’s not quite right about what they’re doing.

Isn’t it funny how we make things harder than they’re supposed to be? And yet all we really need to do is that one thing we’ve always known all along. Trust yourself, human. You know more than you give yourself credit for.