Has anyone ever told you that you just need to exercise more to lose weight? Just start going to the gym and the weight will fall off. Maybe you tell yourself that. I just need to eat less and go to the gym more and I’ll lose that extra 20lbs. Have you noticed it hasn’t worked? It might work for a short time; you try a new diet restrict yourself and work your but off at the gym to reach your goals. In the end you end up gaining it all back because you can’t sustain the work out schedule and things like holidays happen.
A common thing my clients tell me when we first start working together is that they reach their weight goal for a special event or time in their life and then go right back to their habits before. Or they slowly creep back to them. They say, “I have worked so hard I can treat myself”. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that but once a month turns into once a week, then it’s twice. Eventually you start using phrases like “I used to be….or I used to go…..or before such and such I was doing….” sound familiar?
Most if not all of the time it’s because the path you have decided to take isn’t sustainable for you as a person. Everyone is completely different, so what your friend or partner is doing might not be what you need to lose weight or run that marathon. You are your own little unique nugget and you need to respect yourself and how things work with your own badass self.
Look at where you are at this very moment. Are you in a stressed out job? Bad relationship? Are you setting outrageous expectations for yourself. Did you wake up one morning after flipping through facebook, instagram or pinterest and say hey let’s try that crazy celebrity diet where we work out every day at 6am and only eat a cheese cube when we feel like we are going to pass out???
Okay maybe that is a little extreme, but even telling yourself you want to wake up earlier and go for that run may not be what your body needs. You can’t expect yourself to run 5 miles in the morning when you go to bed at midnight and have to be at work at 7am. Not going to happen; well you might not be able to keep up with it.
Also if you have a stressful job that you hate or you’re in a relationship that isn’t working there is no way you’ll want to get up and run every morning much less eat a salad when you come home. Nope, it will be about comfort food and sleeping off the stress. So think about if you need to resolve major things like that in your life before taking on health changes. Remember a job is what brings us fulfillment and a relationship is what helps us thrive!
Think about the things you have tried in the past? What did you like and what didn’t you like? What worked and what didn’t. Decide what your goal is and figure out what is best for you. For example; If you know you can’t workout in the morning or in the evening is there a way for you to fit in some physical activity during your lunch break? Or maybe you just start by walking in the morning for 15 minutes. Another example could be that you are trying to cut down on your fast food. Could you figure out a way to make up some fresh fruit in the fridge the night before and eat it with yogurt or a hard boil egg in the morning? Maybe you make part of your lunch to take with you to work. Just think about what works best for you and be honest with your limits. Change isn’t easy and to force yourself into something will never end well.
So you already know you have tried so many different things to lose weight or to be healthier but it never works and you just end up resenting yourself. Deep breaths. Be honest with yourself. If you set a goal can you reasonably make it happen without disturbing your life too much? If you try getting up and working out is it making you feel better during the day or is it just causing you stress? If something isn’t working tweek it.
Don’t deprive yourself and make yourself miserable; trust me, withdraw and weight loss do not work well together. Add things back in! So say you want to eat healthier at breakfast but you are used to have a coffee and a doughnut everyday. So instead of giving both of those things up completely, feeling miserable and freaking out on the way to work, try this! Instead of starting with the coffee and doughnut maybe you start with a banana and a cup of tea. Then if you still want the coffee and doughnut you go right ahead and have it! It’s a win win. Your body gets nice and hydrated as well as some vitamins and your brain gets the caffeine and sugar it thinks it needs! Yay!
So you still get to have what you think you want but at the same time you are being healthy. Who knows you might end up skipping the doughnut because you decided to try a veggie burrito one day and forgot to buy the doughnut in the first place. This technique works in all sorts of ways; so try adding in things instead of taking them away.
In the grand scheme of things the reason your diets aren’t working is usually because you’re changing too much too fast and not being honest about what you need. As impressive as it is to go completely raw you have no idea if that will work for your body or if you will be able to do that for the long run. So it’s important to focus on where you are in your life, figure out what you need to get the most out of your wellness choices, be honest about them and add in more of the good stuff. With those tools you’ll find lasting success every time.