Our society tends to put weight loss up on a pedestal. We practically worship it and make everything we do about losing weight and achieving a particular physique.
We plan out the perfect meal plan and the most effective exercise program the world has ever seen and then proclaim that this time is going to be THE time it works.
We plot out how long it’s going to take to lose xx amount of pounds using some crazy 2lb/week weight loss pace. We’re thrilled to “know” that years of bad habits can be wiped out in months of diligent eating and exercise.
Yes, your weight loss program is sexy. It’s flashy and has all the bells and whistles. It attacks fat loss from every direction. There’s no way anything could go wrong.
It’s Time For a Reality Check
Here’s how you know you’re actually on the right track:
Your eating? It’s not going to be perfect. In fact, you will slip up no less than 20 times during your transformation.
You will go temporarily insane as you debate with your inner ego in order to eat what you really want when you’re at parties or other social outings.
Your workouts? You’re going to miss some. Some are going to be great and others you’re going to barely get out of bed and go through the motions.
You will tweak muscles and get sick. Your endurance and strength will increase but sometimes you’ll feel weaker.
Your weight loss? It’s never going to be fast enough. You’re always going to want it to go faster. You’re going to be disappointed in a 1/2lb loss some weeks. You’re going to gain weight during others.
Doesn’t sound very sexy, does it? In fact, the weight loss process might just be the most anti-climatic thing you ever do.
What Successful Weight Loss Actually Looks Like
OK. Now that I’ve completely destroyed all your hopes and dreams, let’s take a look at what a successful transformation entails.
- Emphasize trend over pace: how fast you lose weight doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you are losing weight. Most people have been slowly gaining weight over the course of decades. Stopping this rise and reversing the trend is a huge success. Continue on and you will achieve your goal.
- Get back on track: as I mentioned earlier, you are going to slip up with your eating. You might even binge. That’s OK so long as you get right back on track. A single meal doesn’t make or break your results. It’s what you do every day that matters most.
- Exercise because it feels good: the more you focus on using exercise to lose weight the more you’re going to struggle. Yes, exercise does help you lose weight, but only if you enjoy it and are mindful of the positive effects it has on your attitude and health. This is the key to a lifetime of exercise motivation.
- Weight loss happens in the background: for many people success happens once they finally “let go” and just let their weight do what it’s going to do. They surrender to it and stop trying to control it. They stop living to eat and instead eat to live. You go about your life maintaining habits that perform on autopilot, and you end up losing weight as a side effect.
- Focus on being healthy: this is the key to maintaining your weight loss, and it starts from day one before you ever lose a single pound. People that focus on eating and exercising to lose weight have no direction once that weight is gone. But if you emphasize health and let your weight be a side effect of good choices, you will always have a goal to strive for. As a result, you will create a healthy LIFEstyle.
So if you’re finding yourself struggling, take a step back and regroup. You didn’t fail. It’s all part of the process. It’s all about how you choose to react to those struggles that determines your success.
So keep pushing forward. Take any progress you can get. Focus on things in your life that make you happy while working towards creating the habits that let weight loss happen in the background.
If you do this you will live a fit, healthy, and happy life.