It’s springtime. Almost summer. And you have been working so hard. You have been watching your diet, keeping it full of healthy, whole foods and a good level of protein. You’ve kicked up your workouts’ intensity. You are walking more and sitting less. Yet, you are frustrated. The numbers and the feeling of fit are still not where you want to be… you don’t look like your 21 year old self again, despite working out 8x as much as you did when you were that age. Your energy levels are fading and the negative self talk is creeping in.
What’s the point? The cupcake looks so good. My friends don’t seem to work this hard and they all have better abs than me. My husband is 20 pounds ahead of me in our weight loss challenge. Screw it.
Sound familiar? Put down that cupcake, we need to talk.
Let’s talk about the top 3 missteps, excuses, or motivational deterrents you might be facing right now. I know I am. Let’s do this together.
But my husband/ best friend/ sister has lost SO much more weight than me.
This is SO frustrating. Let me repeat – THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING. You start on your journey with someone, you support each other… and then they kick your tail pipe in the “competition” and have lost twice as much weight as you despite similar efforts.
Every BODY and everybody is different. Competing in weight loss is an unhealthy façade that television and the media have glorified. While finding a confidant, an ally, a cheerleader is healthy, and making sure your family and friends are on board and supportive of your change is good, having someone you are competing with is not. Compete about how many bicep curls you can do, how many weeks in a row you can workout 5x, or how diligent you are with your food diary, but, repeat after me, DO NOT COMPETE IN WEIGHT LOSS with someone else. Support each other, take care of each other, motivate each other, but stop comparing numbers because then everyone feels bad.
Solution: Change your relationship with your competitor. Be honest, citing some of the above reasons, and surely this person, if they are worth their salt, will become your cheerleader, your ally and/or your motivator.
This is taking up so much time. Like, my life is now spent working out and food prepping.
Ok, cut the dramatics. Is working out and food prepping really taking over your life? No. It’s a new lifestyle. It’s an adjustment. And you can do this… you don’t need to go back to takeout, bad Chinese food, and grease. Honestly, did you feel better when you weren’t working out or food prepping?
No. You felt terrible. Let’s not go back there. So here are some hard facts:
If you work out 1 hour per day = 4% of your day. Four. Percent. That’s nothing. You can do this.
If you spend 4 hours per week food prepping… that’s 2% of your week. Two. Percent.
So now, let’s get this straight… 1 hour per day of working out or walking is 7 hours per week. 4 hours of food prep. That’s now 11 hours total in a week to taking care of YOU, the most important investment you can make.
11 hours/ 168 hours in a week = 6.5%. 6.5% of your week is dedicated to you, and you being healthy.
It is not taking over your life. It is enhancing it and making you a better person, family member, friend, lover and will keep you here for a long time.
But I really miss… Insert unhealthy habit (pizza with my friends, happy hour, watching hours of television, working long hours, ordering takeout).
It makes us human to miss what was once a habit. Happy hours with friends and marathons of crime shows don’t need to completely vacate from your life once you take on a healthier endeavor. However, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
Did (insert habit X) make me feel good about myself? Answer: Yes (then keep going); No (then stop, you have your answer!)
Did (insert habit X) add value to my life, my own or my surrounding support system? Answer: Yes (then keep going); No (then stop, you have your answer!)
Does (insert habit X) make the health/ wellness/ monetary/ familial consequences of doing it worthwhile? Answer: Yes (then keep going); No (then stop, you have your answer!)
After going through these three questions, ask yourself- what do you really miss about your habit you’ve changed? Is it bonding with friends over happy hour? (Which, and this sounds crazy, you could go and NOT drink…) Is it innocent gossiping with family over takeout? What do you miss? It’s probably not the food, the drinks or the habit itself but something greater such as the bonding with the people.
So how can you recreate that feeling without going back to (insert habit X)?
Think outside of the box.
Do you miss socializing?
Fine. Invite your buds over to hang over a (yes, one) bottle of wine while you food prep on a Sunday or to go for a healthy long walk with coffee.
Do you miss the gossip?
Fine. Get your juicy bits over an elliptical or treadmill session. With all of that runners’ high, you’d be surprised what gossip flows!
Do you miss the delicious food and drinks?
Fine. Figure out mocktails and healthy “guilty pleasure” substitutes. Ask your friends for help and perhaps even start a social group of the Healthy Happy Hour (or something thereof). The internet is rampant with healthy versions of fast food and takeout favorites and trying them all can be a social event in itself! Get a party going already!
There are a million more reasons your willpower, your motivation and your perseverance are fading than the 3 listed above. Try the three above though and warm up to that this is a lifestyle change, key word is LIFE… this is a new life and there will need to be adjustments. Ask for help from friends and family, try a new thing (like the Healthy Happy Hour!) or turn to the internet and other unconventional sources for support.