Before I came to David’s Way, I was locked into an endless weight loss/weight gain cycle. I would force myself to stick to a “diet” long enough to lose about 20 pounds and then feel entitled to “reward” myself with all kinds of empty calories. In less than half the time that it took to lose the weight, I would gain it right back. My main problem was the most common problem among weight loss veterans, I just wanted to “get it over with”. I saw weight loss as dieting and that is a temporary state. The end result had to be temporary too. It’s necessary to adopt a healthy lifestyle, making healthy decisions every day for the rest of your life to make weight loss permanent.
One Step at a Time
When we get overly-hyped about weight loss, we tend to try to overhaul our entire life at once. Human beings are creatures of habit and when we dump all of our habits at once, chaos ensues. We get more stressed than necessary and start producing large amounts of cortisol. The cortisol causes cravings and we overeat carbs, usually simple carbs and we’re trapped in the same cycle that got us fat in the first place. When someone asks us how they can lose weight, we give them only three suggestions, after we tell them to see their doctor first. We tell them to count their calories, eat whole foods and quit eating sugar. That’s all. As the scale begins to move, you might incorporate other changes as you get comfortable with the ones that you have already made. Changing too much at one time is a recipe for failure.
Hair of the Dog That Bit You
A common mistake is to reward yourself with the very things that you just spent weeks removing from your life. When you have persevered without sugar for a few weeks and have seen the scale drop, what on Earth would make you introduce that source of empty calories back into your diet. If you have lost enough weight to celebrate, then you should be all the way through sugar withdrawal. It only takes one bite, with the accompanying endorphin rush in your brain, to take you right back to where you started. Celebrate with rewards that will accelerate your health initiative such as workout clothes, equipment or a vacation. Splurge on healthy foods that you might see as too expensive. Change your reward system to work for you rather than against you.
Weight Loss Mistakes
I well remember one time when I was about 9 years old, my mom had me on a diet. I was willing to go along with her because I was convinced that I was fat. Mind you, at the age of 9, I was not fat. I wanted to be skinny, like a high-fashion model. Healthy was not enough for me at that time. I had been on a 1000 calorie/day diet for about three weeks and was doing well with my weight loss. A neighbor lady offered me a new type of pecan pie. I told her I was on a diet but she persisted in her efforts to get me to try it. Eventually, I tried a 1/4 inch wide sliver. When I told my mother that I had eaten that sliver of pie, she got really upset with me and quit fixing my “diet” meals. I begged her to keep helping me but she refused. She said that I had blown the whole diet. I regained the weight that I had lost and more to go with it. All or nothing thinking is sure-fire failure. You will have good days and bad days. What you do MOST of the time is what will matter when you first begin your weight loss. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
Don’t Skip Meals!
I frequently hear people bragging about not having eaten anything all day. I always tell them that is stupid. When you skip meals you just binge and make up for it later. You feel like you deserve it and that you can afford the calories. The problem is, when you start eating when you’re that hungry, you have no self-control. Soon you are so stuffed you just forget the whole idea of weight loss. Plan your meals, buy the food, prepare the food and eat it.
I never cease to be amazed and appalled at the lack of support that people get from those closest to them when they begin to lose weight. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because someone professes to love you that they will support your weight loss. Sometimes your weight loss means that they lose their party buddy. Seek out healthy minded individuals to support your decision to get healthy. Whenever you feel like it’s just too hard, seek the wisdom of those people. Social media groups can give you the support that you need. You don’t have to see them face-to-face.
Delusions of Grandeur
David just wrote an article, “The Fraud of Social Media Influencers” that discusses the artificial world of media personalities. Instagram has warped the minds of the world concerning what a human body actually looks like. While I think that many of the most popular people on IG are stunning, I would never be willing to do all of the things that many of them do to look that way. When we set our expectations that high but know that we will never have surgeries and do drugs to attain “The Look”, we are setting ourselves up for failure. As we come to realize that not only will we never look like THAT, neither do they! If we get too disappointed by that realization, it could affect our motivation. Work hard, eat right and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish!
The journey to health, wellness and fitness is a lifetime trip. Don’t set yourself up for failure by falling into these traps. Make it your goal to be the very best version of yourself that you can possibly be. After all, there’s only one of you and nobody else can capture your unique beauty. Nurture it and SHINE!