Ways to Get back On Track With Weight Loss
Years ago when I first started the Weight Watchers Program, for the third time, I told myself that I needed to do this once and for all. I was tired of feeling sick and tired of being sick and tired. It was 2005. My son was three years old. I had just turned 30. I remember thinking, "Wow, I have double my age to lose in weight. How do I do this? Where do I start again? Why is this so much work?" And then I put all the excuses aside and at a whopping 240 pounds, 30 years old and my body screaming for some kind of alleviation, I hopped on the wagon again and said "I'm not getting off until I'm done!" Sixty pounds and 5 years later, I'm back to finish what I started and I'm ready.
At one of my Weight Watcher meetings, the leader speaking said "Losing weight is not the goal. It's losing weight and never finding it again!" She was so true. Lately, as time, stress, temptation, comfort zones and downright laziness take over (or you let it take over) the weight seems to want to play peek-a-boo. Yet, here I am again at the drawing board. Let's look at my stats for a minute: In 2005, I weighed 240 pounds. With hard work , dedication, perseverance and sheer WANT-power, I shed down to 167 pounds in 2008. Today, in 2010, I am back up to 185 pounds. OK, there, I said it. Done. Over. Now, BACK TO WORK!
So, the first thing I'm going to do to help others also trying to get back on track with their weight and health goals is say that in order to lose weight and lose it permanently you must first admit to a few things and then start the journey over. I'm going to say things here that you already know, but that's the thing, we sometimes--actually a lot of times, need constant reinforcement and most importantly positive reinforcement.
Stop Making Excuses
Ah, yes, the good old ever annoying excuse! It keeps us in our comfort zones. Excuses keep us unhealthy, lazy, weak and self-defeated. Stop making excuses now. The bottom line is that here is a goal that will allow us to live longer, live a better quality of life and all we do is say "I can't do it...I don't have time....I don't have the energy...I don't have a problem...I don't know how to exercise...etc...etc..." And it never ends. Excuses are just defense mechanisms that hold your true self from shining through and above the rest. So, start today, by not making excuses for your overall well being and make the change to say, "I CAN. I WILL AND I DID"
Admit Your Setback
One of the first truths I learned on this journey is that setbacks, plateaus and disappointment WILL happen. That's life, right? Denial only gets you nowhere and on a continued path of weight gain and unhealthy behaviors. In this case, a set back can actually be the best thing to happen to you because you will not like being there and if you discipline yourself enough to step back and accept that you need to re-evaluate your real reasons for setting on this path and regain your discipline, then that's half the solution.
Once you admit, to yourself, that you have to get back on track, then you have already set the stage for continued success. Focus on the process, not the outcome.
Re-Set Your Goals
Since you are worth the time and energy to get your health in control, understand that setting goals is key. They are essential to your success on this journey. Therefore, at this point, go over your goals again. Think of it as the next chapter. Check and re-check what has worked and what has not worked:
- Re-Set Short Term Goals: Perhaps your short term goals were not realistic enough. Wanting to lose 5 pounds a week is great, but not really a healthy way to keep weight off. So, change the goal to a more reasonable 1 to 2 pounds a week.
- Re-Create Long Term Goals: Once your short term goal is re-set, take a better look at your long term goal. Maybe your first long term goal wasn't long enough. In other words, did you say, "I will lose 60 pounds in 6 months" and not achieve it? Well, re-set that goal as well and make it 12 months instead of 6.
- Reward yourself when you achieve your short and long term goals. Why? Because you can.
Make Stops Along The Way, But NEVER Quit!
Quitting when you have come this far, is not an option, nor should it ever be. Going back to an unhealthy, low-quality of life is not where you ever want to be again. On this journey, like a long road trip, you will need to make stops along the way and that's fine, but never stop moving.
Reassess and re-evaluate along the way. Be honest with yourself. Positive self-talk is another strategy to get you back on track. Along the way, you will get down. The scale will be your worst enemy, but remember the times that the scale was your BFF! If you keep on moving forward, when you go backwards, along the way, it won't be so hard on you because you've always dusted yourself off and kept on going.
Keep your eye on the prize. Visualize the new you. Create new meal plans. Ask a buddy to join you and ask them for help. Have a pep rally with yourself and cheer yourself on along the way!
Don't Be So Hard On Yourself
This just causes stress and lack of motivation-trust me, I know this firsthand. I'm a go-getter and when it comes to myself, I want to go get it and get it now, but this journey is a lifestyle, behavior-moderating experience; especially for those of us that have always had a weight problem, issue or dilemma.
Go back in your mind, journal, or pictures and pat yourself on the back and commend yourself for always coming back to work on you. Why? Because you are worth it. Because no one else, but you can do it and if you did it then you can do it again.
Always give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Think in your mind that you are capable, willing and ready to give it at least 80% and the other 20% is workable and attainable to change and improve on. You are only human, but we humans can bring out our superhuman strengths at times and get the job done. Wear the "S on your chest" during these times of disappointment and find it in you to get where you want to be.
Work smarter, not harder, but most importantly be kind to yourself.
Mind Is What Matters!
Notice I did not give you a recipe for how many calories, how many carbs to eat or how many times a week you need to exercise. Well, the reason for that is that you first have to mentally prepare yourself for starting or in this case, re-starting, your weight loss journey and that's what the above mentioned suggestions are meant to do.
I have learned that doing anything in life seems to take on the 90/10 rule. 90% mental and 10% physical. Once the mental is in play, the results will happen.
Get your mind ready and the rest will follow.
Finish your journey and enjoy the ride!