If you have ever tried to lose weight, you will know the ups and downs of weight loss very well, and for some of us, it’s an emotional roller-coaster ride. “Weigh day” can either make or break your day.
Many people think that because I am a coach, I am void of struggling with weight loss. Guess what? That’s not true. I have experienced many of the same things others do.
However, over the years I have learned to develop some strategies, secrets, and coping mechanisms to smooth out the bumps that I’m now going to share with you.
THE OLD WEIGHT LOSS MINDSET
As long as I can remember I was interested in nutrition, making healthy choices, and I have been active my entire life. On the flip side, I’ve had to deal with some personal issues in life that made me become obsessed about my weight and binge eat.
I remember being a teenager and stepping on the scales not just several times a week, but several times a day. I also remember times in my life where I would starve myself, tried commercial diet products, and did some extreme things to try and get to my “ideal number” on those damn scales. There was even a time where I would binge eat and then force myself to throw it all up.
This obsession with my weight and destructive behaviours carried on well after my son was born.
THE NEW WEIGHT LOSS MINDSET
Since the mid-90s, my mindset started to change. Becoming educated on the topic had a huge influence. Once I became a certified fitness trainer, I started to better understand how the body worked.
The biggest eye-opener was during my study of human bioenergetics, a multidisciplinary study of how energy is transferred in cells, tissues and organisms. I learned how the human body uses food to fuel movement. Lots of “wow” moments there.
Other huge influencers to changing my mindset came from sports. I became a triathlete and started racing. I got hooked and wanted to see how far I could push myself. This shifted my focus from the numbers on the scale to the numbers on my personal records.
A solid training plan combined with a healthier diet made me a better athlete. It helped me perform better, recover faster, and keep my immune system strong. I noticed that weight loss began to happen naturally once I stopped focusing just on the scales.
Not only did I lose the weight that I was carrying around for years but my body composition changed and I stopped yo-yo dieting. I paid more attention to my body fat percent and less attention to my body weight.
THE BIG WEIGHT LOSS QUESTIONS
One big lesson I learned is that starving your body is NOT the way to lose weight and neither is using gimmicky weight loss products, especially if you want to keep the weight off for good.
Also, going on exercise missions where you do too much too soon is not sustainable. You will burn out in a few weeks. The changes you make need to focus on sustainability. You need to ask yourself some big questions.
CAN I SUSTAIN THIS?
First, any change you make, whether it is in regards to food or fitness, you have to ask yourself, “Can I sustain this? Do I enjoy it?” Eating foods you hate and doing exercise you wish was over before it even started is not sustainable.
You have to love what you eat and how you move in order to keep it going. It’s something you should look forward to so that eventually, you will crave these things. When they are not in your life on a regular basis, you will feel miserable.
IS IT REALLY HEALTHY?
Secondly, sustainable changes must be good for your overall well-being and provide health benefits. The foods you choose to eat must nourish your body, not malnourish. The exercise you decide to do must help make you stronger and fitter, not break you down and cause injury and pain.
Think of the long-term benefits. The last thing you want to do is put a whole bunch of work into changes that are only going to destroy your body in the long run.
AM I GETTING RESULTS?
Finally, the changes we make MUST produce positive results for body composition. If you put a ton of work into something but don’t see results and never reach your goals, it’s going to be pretty damn hard to keep going.
Make sure you are measuring your progress on a weekly basis, and track the data. If you don’t see changes happening in the first week, then review all that you did in the last week and see if you can identify any problems. Then in the following week, work to correct them.
This process should be repeated on a weekly basis. This not only will help you get to your goals, but it will teach you a ton about your body and how it reacts to the choices you make on a daily basis.
RECORD AND REFLECT WEIGHT LOSS DATA
If you’re not recording and reflecting, you should start. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming. You do not have to use just the scales either. Other tools can help you determine if you are progressing towards your goals. Ask yourself questions such as:
- Can I fit into my clothes?
- Am I performing well in my sports or workouts?
- How well am I recovering from my workouts?
- Am I tired or full of energy?
- Is my head clear or foggy?
- Am I sleeping well?
- Are my bowels moving?
- Is my digestion healthy?
- Am I always hungry or have cravings?
- Am I cranky or happy?
In addition to all this, a tape measure is a great asset. When you lose weight, body composition changes, and so while you may not move the scales down one week, your measurements may stay the same or even go down. This means you are building lean mass, which is a good thing. Building lean mass helps increase your strength, metabolism, and immune system.
WEIGHT LOSS REQUIRES PATIENCE
It’s important to know that every “body” is different and each body will react differently to weight loss. Losing weight is a process, it takes time, dedication, and practice. We need to be reflective, figure out our strengths and weaknesses, and work on changing things one step at a time.
Ups and downs are part of the journey. Does anyone ever have a smooth ride to their destination? I don’t think so. Besides, during the rough sections is when you learn the most about yourself.
Remember, losing weight isn’t just about restricting food calories and increasing exercise calories. It is more about developing healthy and sustainable lifestyle habits to produce positive changes to your body.
If you can stay dedicated to that, remain focused, measure and reflect on a weekly basis, and push through the tough moments, you WILL succeed. It just takes time. Have patience.
If you have questions or want to share your thoughts, please feel free to do so in the comments section below. I’d love to hear what you have to say.
~ Coach Tammy
The information in this weblog is provided “AS IS” with no warranties and confers no rights. This weblog does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of GO FIT LIFE! It is solely my opinion. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry, but I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever (abusive, profane, rude, or anonymous comments) – so please, keep it polite.