Time to get off a diet and go on a lifestyle. Stop failing and start taking an honest look at losing the weight, keeping it off, and managing expectations about the process.
How many years now have you said the same thing, ‘this is going to be the year I get the weight off and get healthy’. Statistics tell me a majority of you either want to lose weight or are currently trying.
My story to stop failing
For more than a decade, I stumbled around the diet wheel never achieving success for a sustainable period of time. Oh, I would hit my goal weight with some diet or deprivation, and then, like so many of you, put it on again and then some. When my weight soared up over 200 pounds after having children, my embarrassment and disgust with myself increased right along with it. I was ready to stop failing.
So, my first question is are you ready? Truly, are you ready to stop failing and do whatever it takes to accomplish this goal? Here is the reality staring at you in the mirror: the next 365 days are going to pass and you can accomplish your goal or be well on your way within that time or not? Which will it be? Ready to stop failing?
Stop failing expectations
If you answer ‘yes’ you are ready, then let’s start setting some expectations about how you can achieve your weight loss goals and better health.
First, once I admitted my readiness to stop failing, I learned to quit making excuses. No longer did I allow my feelings to dictate if I worked out or not. My comfort zone no longer mattered. I got up when I was tired and worked out. I went to the gym even when I did not feel like it. I stopped eating after 7:00pm even when I was going crazy wanting enjoy a pastry or ice cream. No I did not die.
The hardest feeling to face was the embarrassment of my weight. But, it was a must! Face your feelings and realize they do not matter. It was never more pronounced then when attending a cardio class and the instructor asked if I was pregnant. “No I am not”, I said, “I’m just fat.” I cried my eyes out in the minivan after class, but after I got done shedding the river, I knew my health and fitness goals were more important than my embarrassed feelings. I knew being a role model for my kids was more important than my little feelings.
Second, many times busy schedules and family circumstances create convenient excuses. No more!
No longer do I hit a drive through for a non-nutritive, high fat dinner. And, no longer do other’s feelings dictate what I eat or how much I eat. If I chose to not eat everything my hostess serves, I refused to worry about whether I hurt his/her feelings or not.
Quite often, when I explained to my friends and family the goals I had to change my health & lifestyle, I discovered most people supported the discipline and ability to eat better. They appreciated my honesty and my journey.
It is a choice. Again, my health and fitness goals were more important than worrying about wounded emotional states. And, honestly, as I faced those negative feelings, they decreased as I saw progress. Facing them and making good choices actually resulted in stronger trust and confidence in myself.
Stop failing on vacation and holidays
Next, realize vacations and holidays can no longer trigger excuses to overeat. From now on Halloween to Valentine’s Day, Spring Break, birthdays, and the like are not licensed to overindulge. The week you spend on the cruise ship no longer equates to giving in, giving up, or falling off the wagon.
Of course, it is okay to have some of your favorite treats on occasion, but your new lifestyle maintains clean eating no matter what the date or where you are located.
Finally, let me set some expectations about genetics and age. I hear these excuses every day in my office. In fact, my own genetics, for instance, make it difficult to lose weight and really easy to gain. I can look at a pizza and put on five pounds. Thus, I work a little harder, eat cleaner, and do not over-indulge like others in order to achieve the same results. I eat pizza, but not often. And, I find after 22 years of clean eating, I do not desire pizza and such items. Nothing tastes as good as fit feels.
It’s easy to whine and complain ‘it’s not fair’ but that would be making an excuse and a waste of emotional energy. New expectations mandate doing the work needed to lose and maintain my weight and not waste emotional energy feeling sorry for myself. No longer do I cry wishing I looked like someone else or had the genetics of Cameron Diaz. Ain’t gonna happen!
Stop failing does not mean perfection
Perhaps all this sounds like the expectation is perfection. No! Clearly, however, I am emphasizing how easily we excuse an indulgence here, take the easy way out, and then before you know it, we are off track and the weight packs on again.
If you find yourself in the drive thru line, okay, just pick wisely and do not make it a regular thing. Do not kick yourself when you indulge or overindulge on occasion. Simply, get right back into your new normal lifestyle.
If you spend the day depressed because your friend is thin and you are not. Stop, focus, and return to a lifestyle that supports your goals instead of emotionally spiraling out of control wishing it different.
Stop failing requires fitness
The next realization about losing weight and keeping it off resides in the fact it means working out and eating clean the rest of your life. This is not about going on some diet and getting off it. No pill will help you take off the weight and maintain it the rest of your life. It is no secret. Working out + eating clean is the diet plan you implement the rest of your life. It IS the magic formula.
Those two components are my normal daily routine. And the results are worth it. No longer am I under the tyranny of food choices and the number on the scale. Food is fuel and vitality. Working out is stress relief and the best energy drink.
I no longer waste emotional energy thinking about what I ate, feeling guilty for what I did or did not do, or how I look. My confidence is stronger, my body healthier, and I face the difficulty in life with stability and perseverance.
Weight loss kept off for over 20 years
It took me three years to lose 65 pounds through working out + eating clean, but I have never seen those 65 pounds again. I could have accomplished that in less time, but I engaged in learning a different lifestyle not going a diet. I took small steps at first and continued to build upon them. I changed my expectations, my fitness, and my nutrition. And, ultimately, I fulfilled a life goal of becoming a professional athlete playing women's tackle football for Dallas earning my Championship ring as a player in 2008.
If you are ready, the time is now. There may not be an immediate payoff but do not let that be another excuse. Be intentional to do hard things outside of your comfort zone. In fact go beyond what is expected and required. Challenge your norm and do not settle for less than what you truly want! Get off the diet and go on a lifestyle. Stop failing by learning a lifestyle. You will never diet again.