Diets Die, Scales Lie: Can Weight Loss be Fun?
Your partner is losing interest in you because you have been putting on weight.
You are very self-conscious of your body to the point where you have a hard time clothes shopping or just merely going out in public.
As a parent, you have a hard time spending time and keeping up with your high-energy children due to your weight.
Your health is under fire from carrying around too much weight that is drastically affecting your life and the life of others around you.
You have a hard time sticking to a weight loss plan that involves sticking to a strict diet and making huge lifestyle changes.
For most of us trying to lose weight, you may have come across one or more of the common challenges listed above (and then some!). It can be challenge to have a good quality of life while, in the meantime, you are sitting at a weight that is debilitating to your health and well-being. You may have good intentions about losing weight and getting healthy but going through the process itself tends to be a trek through the mud rather than a walk in the park.
I believe that most of us know how to lose weight (and have the motivation to do so)…it’s keeping it off and sustaining healthy lifestyle changes that tend to be a challenge for the majority of people. We hear it over and over again that in order to lose weight, you must a) go on a diet and b) get some exercise. Easier said than done…
Most people see weight loss and lifestyle changes as a chore such as cleaning the house or mowing the lawn – routine tasks that must be done but the undertaking is rather unpleasant. Eating healthy sucks – the food tastes bland and organic food is expensive. Exercise is a drag – it’s boring, you sweat a lot and you have to get up at 6am to go to the gym. We live in a culture that thrives on instant gratification and “quick fixes” – we don’t want to be challenged and we don’t want to think. Just fast-forward to the results and all will be well.
The truth is that there really is no such thing as a “quick fix” (at least in the context of losing weight). Everything that you do in your daily life requires that you go through a process of some kind. For example, to get a job, you have to go through an interview process. To find your soulmate, you have to go through a courting process (if not several of them). To get that mouth-watering bacon cheeseburger, you have to visualize the tender and juicy meat, gooey cheese smothering sweet and succulent hickory bacon strips- all sandwiched between a hearty bun. In order to massage your taste buds and settle your growling stomach, you must get in your car, head to the nearest fast food joint and purchase the tasty burger that’s leaving you weak at the knees (or you can have it delivered to your door from the comfort of your own home). Either way, you must go through a process!
Now, there’s a lot more to losing weight than what goes on your plate and how many times a week that you hit the gym (yes, those two things are a vital part of the process, but they are not the whole picture). Your habits, memories, mindset, whom you surround yourself with on a regular basis, your beliefs, your values, attitudes, self-image and self-concept – all of those things affect your ability to lose weight and keep it off. I believe that weight loss largely comes from the inside-out as opposed to the other way around. Why not release and unload the weight of past fears, failures and frustrations that have been sabotaging your efforts? Why not face yourself for who you really are (your true authentic self) and work on shaping and sculpting a more positive and resourceful self-image?
Making positive changes for your health need not be a chore. It actually can be fun and that largely depends on your attitude and what you put into it. In fact, studies show that when you are having fun doing something, you tend to me more productive, efficient and achieve better results. Therefore, having fun with this is mandatory!
Here are some tips to help you get started and get the biggest bang for your weight loss buck:
- Your mindset has a lot to do with losing weight and keeping it off. The biggest thing to consider is your “WHY” for wanting to lose weight as it is the biggest spark for your engine in your journey. WHY do you want to do this? For superficial/trivial reasons (e.g. looking good and wanting to be the envy of others) or for deeper, more personal reasons (e.g. to be happy with yourself, to have more self-confidence or to get off medication for health problems and dysfunctions). Have a strong “WHY” (one that penetrates right down to your core) – this is critical!
- Ditch the scale. Seriously – throw it out the window. There’s too much negativity associated with it. Your weight has a lot more to do with than what the scale says (think body composition, fat-to-muscle ratios, caloric intake etc). Stay off the scale and focus instead on making positive lifestyle changes (think taking long walks or bike rides, swapping junk food for healthy food that YOU enjoy, surrounding yourself with a true support system etc.). Lastly, you know how we say that age is just a number? Well, so is the number on the scale. Don’t let that number control how you see yourself…
- Progressively change your eating and exercise habits as opposed to rushing into things and taking on too much at once. An overzealous attitude never ends well and only leads to overwhelm and unnecessary procrastination.
- Strapped for meal ideas? There are all sorts of meal ideas on social media that are tasty, easy to prepare, nutrient-dense and are pretty even-laden on the caloric count. There are more than likely healthier substitutes for any unhealthy items on your menu so you don’t have to choke down your food. Find something that you may like to eat and get creative!
- Skinny models may not be the ideal kinds of people to model after. In this day and age, bikini models pretty much saturate every corner of the Internet, particularly social media. It’s easier more than ever to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to these (apparent) superhumans. Just because they have a rocking body, doesn’t mean that they are truly healthy on the outside AND the inside. Beware of who you model (and who you spend time around)…
- Have a goal to get healthy because “the greatest wealth is health”. In addition, you’re not only getting healthy but also feeling healthy and better about yourself. Getting healthy and stronger (both physically and mentally) is far more valuable than having a goal to just merely get “skinny”.
- Just start. Get started on your weight loss journey. Believe it or not, it’s the start that stops most people. One big reason to start will always trump a million reasons not to start. As Arthur Ashe once said, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.”
- In the realm of getting healthy, what works for you? What do you have a fun time doing? What strategy can you be consistent with? Getting healthy can be something to look forward to as opposed to being something that makes you cringe…
Do you have a dream and/or desire to:
- be happy with yourself and what you see in the mirror?
- be healthy, feel healthy and also to be strong, powerful and confident?
- be off any medications once and for all?
- fit into old clothes and/or go clothes shopping with ease?
- be free of any health problems?
- look good in a bathing suit and your birthday suit?
- get out and live life (e.g. spend time with friends and family, go to the beach, go travelling etc.)
- get into a better relationship with yourself, with food and your body?
Want helpful, positive and powerful support on your weight loss and lifestyle journey? Head to www.changeforaquarter.com and book your free coaching session today!