Just for a heads up, here are some of the typical obstacles that you may face along the way…
This is a classic first hurdle with weight loss. It’s a symptom of All or Nothing thinking and is not conducive to long-term results. You might start a diet or weight loss program and try and follow all the instructions to a tee, you may even be able to sustain it for a few days, or weeks, however after a while your life begins to get in the way, and you can’t keep up the time and energy to follow the intensive and exhaustive list of instructions. Making new recipes, starting an exercise program, getting to bed earlier, getting up earlier all involve hundreds of tiny habit changes that need to be made. Often when you can’t do it all perfectly, you may be tempted to throw the towel in and console yourself with a packet of timtams.
Understand that letting go of the all or nothing mindset is a critical step in the journey to lasting slimness. Begin with ONE small habit change (like eat a vegetable with every meal) and dedicate yourself to embedding that habit into your normal lifestyle, before moving on to the next habit. This seems like slow progress at the start, but will reap long term rewards. Remember the tortoise and the hare?
Many people complain of unsupportive friends or partners in their quest for slimness. And it’s true that you will likely have to face people tempting you with birthday cake, biscuits or extra helpings, or just not enthusiastically supporting your new weight loss thing. The truth is you build your friends and family around shared values and interests. If your interests in the past were chowing down on a packet of chips and bottle of wine while watching Biggest Loser, and now you’re more keen to eat a salad and hit the gym, you can’t expect your partner or friends’ values and interests to shift just because yours have.
You don’t need support from your family and friends in order to do this. You are allowed to say no to them and make different choices from them. Yes, it will be challenging if they are eating ice cream in front of you and you are not, but if you remember your goal and why you are saying no, it will help you to be resolute in your choices. When you are resolved in your choices and stick to them, you will find that the people who used to ‘tempt’ you, won’t bother anymore, and may even come around to your way of thinking.
It’s totally normal to feel conflicted about your choices when you’re making a change from old habits to new ones. Actually it’s normal to have conflicting “voices” in your head, period. These conflicting thoughts seem like they are at war with each other and one day one will ‘win’ and another day the other will.
Eventually, you may notice that the two thoughts or parts of yourself actually have the same highest intention, which is ultimately something like helping you to achieve health, happiness and fulfillment. Some days it is best for your health to sleep and rest (like when you are sick, overtired or run down), other days it is better to push through the inertia and go give yourself a boost of endorphins. The most successful exercisers don’t even entertain the discussion in their heads, they just get up, put their gear on and get out the door, on autopilot.
This one can hit hard, often after you’ve been doing all the ‘right’ things for a period of time. If you step on the scales and don’t see the result you expect, you can easily fall into the “it’s not working so why bother” mindset. Weight loss TV shows where they talk about “pulling a big number this week” give the completely unrealistic expectation that it is normal to lose 5 kgs or more in a week. This is not usual!! Losing that much weight in a week is a result of extreme training, dieting, and being obese and having lots of weight to lose to begin with.
Forget the TV shows. Forget the scales. Forget checking your results constantly. Health is a lifelong process. The paradox is if you are to sustain your slim, ideal weight, you have to forget about it, and focus on building your health every day. Make the best food choices you can, keep active and get enough rest and relaxation, and the results will come. It won’t happen overnight, but if you keep at it, it will happen.
This hurdle is a killer. This comes from all of the other hurdles put together, adding a heavy dose of self-criticism and self-judgement, and creating an emotional state of hopelessness.
If you give up, you’ll only have to start again sometime, usually after you’ve put on a few more kilos and are feeling terrible enough about your body to get started again. If you don’t want to have to start again, don’t give up. Keep at it. Be compassionate with yourself, if you’ve been trying to make too many changes all at once and being hard on yourself for not achieving them, go back to basics. Aim to walk around your block each morning and eat a vegetable with every meal. If you can focus on just doing those two simple things, you will be well on your way to health and slimness. Forget about the crazy diets, all the rules and comparing yourself to others. Just aim to improve one TINY bit each day. You can do it.
If you need help to overcome these challenges, I can help you. Check out my services page to get my online Kickstart Motivation Program, or send me an email if you’re sick of dealing with the challenges and want to get it sorted once and for all! We can book a time to have a chat about where you’re at and book you in for some private transformation sessions.
What hurdles and challenges are you facing and or struggling with?
What challenges have you overcome?
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