1) Patience is a virtue.
As technology continues to develop and advance, we have gotten accustomed to having things move, well, fast. As a society, we have grown accustomed to near-instant gratification. This expectation of quick results often spills over into the arena of weight loss. We want results, and we want results now.
The problem is that weight loss is more analogous to running a marathon than a sprint. Sure, you could starve yourself for three days and lose 10 pounds (much of which will be water weight, mind you), but that weight loss isn’t going to be sustainable.
I encourage you to have patience with yourself and patience with the process. The weight didn’t come on overnight and it’s not going to come off over the course of a few days of crash dieting. Patience is required to change not just your body, but your mindset, your habits, and your approach to food.
If the length of your program seems daunting, remember that each week gives you the opportunity to learn and practice new habits. Eventually, these “new” habits will simply become a part of who you are. You may find, for example, that your idea of what constitutes a “large” portion of food changes; now, you feel full with less on your plate. Perhaps you find yourself no longer craving sugar. Or maybe you start seeking out vegetables that you previously never thought you’d enjoy.
Changes like these take time and, unfortunately, there’s no shortcut. So remember: when it comes to weight loss, patience is a virtue
2. It’s not a competition.
It’s human nature to compare ourselves to one another. “Is she making more money than me?” “Is he more successful at work than me?” “Is she more attractive than me?” While comparisons such as these may be unavoidable, try and resist the urge to compare your own weight loss goal and weight loss journey to that of another.
Every person is unique, not just in terms of shape and size but also in terms of strengths, weaknesses, personality, support systems, etc. You might hear that your friend has a certain goal number of pounds to lose. Or maybe there’s a certain number on the scale that he/she is trying to reach that you’re tempted to match (or surpass).
It’s critical to remember that your body is unique. Ergo, your weight loss journey is going to be unique, too. Rather than comparing yourself to those around you (e.g. “He/she lost more weight than me this week”), focus instead on how current you compares to past you.
For example, say you’re at an office party and pizza is being served. Your coworker takes zero slices of pizza and you, having already eaten a slice, find yourself feeling like a failure because you indulged. Take a step back and recognize that the important person to compare yourself against isn’t your coworker. Rather, it’s you.
The old you would have had five slices of pizza and a soda. The new you, on the other hand, only had one slice.
This is progress.
This is habit change.
This is a victory that is unique to you.
If you chose to focus only on your coworker, you’re going to mistakenly perceive this victory as a failure. Therein lies the danger of comparing ourselves to others. Choose instead to focus on yourself. Acknowledge the struggles of “past” you and take time to reflect on all the progress you have made thus far on your weight loss journey. I bet there have been more victories than you think.
3. Keep going.
One of my favorite quotes is “It’s not how many times you fall; it’s how many times you get back up”. Perhaps you’ve gained back some of the weight you had lost earlier this year. Maybe you’ve found yourself “cheating” on program more often than not. Or maybe it’s been over six months since you’ve come in for a maintenance weigh-in and you’re worried that you’ve put on ten extra pounds. The important thing to remind yourself–no matter how defeated you may feel–is that the fight isn’t over.
Weight loss isn’t always perfectly linear. Life happens. Holidays come and go, bringing with them lots of temptation re: food and drink. Chances are, you’re going to have good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks, good months and bad months. The key is to not let the “bad” throw you permanently off track. Every single day is a new opportunity to start over, get back on the proverbial horse, and continue on with your weight loss goals.
Remind yourself that:
- There is no “cheat” day bad enough to erase all your progress.
- There is no weight gain too big to be undone.
These “failures” are all normal parts of your weight loss (or maintenance) journey and, more importantly, these failures are temporary. You will always have the opportunity to get back on track.
Remember that here at Awaken180°, our job as your coaches is to help you recover from these failures. We will never judge you or shame you; we are here to support you, encourage you, and give you the tools you need to bounce back from missteps, no matter how large or small.
If it’s been a while, come and see us for a weigh-in. We’re here for you and we’re happy to help.