For most people, the weight loss journey starts when one morning they try to put on their favourite pair of trousers and can’t do the button up anymore. The problem with putting on weight is that it’s not a matter of suddenly discovering that you have. You are aware that your body shape changes. It’s a matter of being honest and accepting that you may not be a size XS any longer. The day you have the mental strength to accept the fact that your body has changed is the day you are ready to begin your weight loss adventure. But if you want to embark on a happy adventure, you’d better not burden yourself with guilt. It doesn’t burn the calories. It just slows you down.
Self-criticism doesn’t work
Do you know what everybody does when they begin their weight loss journey? They look at the person in the mirror with horror. Yes, I get it. You don’t like what you look like. “I’m so fat”, they say at the other in the mirror. But how does that behaviour is going to help you? The negative self-talk doesn’t help you to exercise or to track your meals. It just makes you feel terrible. So cut the crap right now, and transform the self-criticism into positive sayings. Don’t think you’re fat. Instead, focus on the bright side. You’re making positive changes. You’re working hard. You should be proud of yourself.
Be pragmatic: Target the cause
Wanting to lose weight is one thing. But as long as you haven’t targeted the cause for your weight gain, you can’t succeed. For instance, if you don’t sleep enough, it could make you feel hungrier and slow down your metabolism. Or maybe you’re using diet meals that are low in fat but high in sugar. These are the worst because small portions don’t always mean tiny calorific input. Another common mistake is to eat while you’re doing something else, such as watching TV for example. You can be sure that that bag of popcorn will disappear without you even noticing… unfortunately, it’ll be replaced by extra pounds around the middle.
Good, now understand the REAL cause
Don’t just think that by identifying your guilty behaviour; you can simply get rid of it. There’s always an underlying cause to weight gain, and more often than not, it’s emotional. To give you a brief summary, the most common issues that people who put on weight have to struggle with are: control issues, emotional starvation, reward, over-nurturing, negative self-image, nursing old hurts, self-indulgence, and defense. Listen to your feelings to address the real cause of your weight unhappiness.
Make a promise to yourself
At this stage, you know which behaviours or bad habits are responsible for the excess of calories. You also know which emotional pain is the catalyst of your bad habits. So, unless you can transform your emotions with a snap of the fingers, you’ll need to focus on tracking the good and bad things you do and feel to transform your body gradually. You’ll probably love the creative input in this step: create your own bullet journal to keep hold of your behaviours and thoughts. Yes, this means pretty colours, cute stationary and plenty of handwritten and hand-drawn notes. The advantage of a Bu-Jo is that it helps you to keep your promise to become a happier and healthier you.
Have you heard of SMART goals?
Before you embark on the weight loss journey, there’s one important thing that you need to know: SMART goals are for the win. SMART goals come from the business world but apply to your personal situation. They are goals that are Specific — I want to drop 2 stones —, Measurable, Attainable — don’t try to lose a lot of weight in a short period —, Relevant — for example, getting a haircut is nice but doesn’t help — and Timely — before a certain date.
The first 66 days
You might have heard that it takes only 21 days to build a new habit. In reality, it takes 66 days to create an automatic behaviour that your brain can repeat without thinking. What this means is that you need to go to the gym for over 2 months for it to become a habit. So don’t give up because you may feel fed up during the first few days. Simply stick to it until working out becomes natural.
How do you notice the results of your efforts? A lot of people will suggest using a scale. But what if you don’t like the idea of climbing on a scale right now? There are other ways to keep track of your good work. Keeping track of your healthy habits should help, just for the pleasure of saying that you’ve not had junk food in several weeks. You can take progress photos too, although you should allow a least a month between each shot. How about checking if you fit in your old clothes? Results are everywhere for those who know where to look.
Deciding to help others
When you’re reaching the end of your journey, your next step is to share your efforts. Yes, of course, this calls for a shopping day to show off your new figure in fitted clothes. But how about starting a course to help others on their weight loss journey? Who can best advise and encourage than someone who’s experienced the struggle of weight gain, diets and fitness regimes? You will undoubtedly get your clients to take you seriously if you tell them your weight loss story.
Don’t be motivated, become the motivation for others
Motivation doesn’t have to be a selfish thing. You can share it. You can share it with words, but you can also share it in pictures on social media. Instagram, for instance, is a great source of before and after pictures that keep encouraging people to tackle their own weight issues. Besides, it’s a fantastic place to share workout suggestions, tips to avoid cravings and motivational thoughts. Show them they can!
As you can see, a weight loss journey is a long and challenging adventure that doesn’t only change you, but that can transform others too. So why not start your journey today and be the change others need to see in the world?