Weight loss stories are a dime a dozen. Everyone’s got a friend, family member, or their own story of losing 20lbs, 50lbs, 100lbs. A lot of these stories, especially when told first hand, start with “it’s not that hard, you just need to….”.
We’ve all heard this, and yet so many of us still struggle with our own weight. So what’s the deal? The truth is, it’s not easy, it’s really hard work and takes a really long time.
It doesn’t matter if you want to lose 10lbs or 100lbs. It takes a long time. Maybe not actually losing the weight, but the weight loss journey has no end. You can’t check it off the list and move on to the next project.
So are these people that say “It’s not that hard…” just a bunch of liars? They’re actually not.
Just like learning anything new, it’s really hard at first, but if you work at it, it becomes really easy. You probably don’t think twice about tying your shoes, but at one time in your life, this was an impossible task. You had to practice, A LOT, and you screwed up, A LOT. If you’re friend asked you how hard tying your shoes is now, you’d answer “It’s really not that hard, you just have to…”.
So here’s the realities of losing weight:
It’s going to take a long time.
No matter how fast it happens, it’s never going to be fast enough.
Losing weight isn’t simply losing weight, it’s changing habits. Eating habits, exercise habits, sleeping habits, stress habits. Routines and patterns you’ve followed for years. You may be able to fake it for a week, or month, maybe more, but to really change it takes time.
Don’t focus on how long it takes. You have nothing but time, and it will pass regardless of how you spend it.
It’s not going to be consistent, predictable and right on schedule.
Some weeks you’ll lose 3lbs, some weeks you’ll lose ½ a pound, some weeks you’ll gain weight. Don’t expect it to happen according to your plan, or exactly on time with your goals. Don’t let not being ready for your vacation derail what could be down the road.
Most of us accumulate weight over years, so focus on the trend, month to month, any amount is progress. If you lose 2lbs a month, that’s 24lbs in a year.
Not every meal is going to be perfect.
You’re going to screw up. Especially early on. You’re going to give into temptation, you might binge. It’s going to happen more than once.
Get back on track. Don’t let one meal, a bad day, or even a bad weekend derail you. You’re always one meal away from being back on track.
Working out won’t get you there.
Working out will help, but it can’t be your answer. The old adage, “you can’t out train a shitty diet” unfortunately still holds true.
Workout because it feels good. Workout for the positive effects on your mental and physical health.
Some workouts will be awesome, some workouts you’ll go through the motions. You’re going to miss some, you’re going to get sick, you’re going to tweak some things. Learn to enjoy the process.
Don’t ever use it as a punishment, or to undo something you feel you’ve done wrong.
You need to stop trying to lose weight.
Just let go. Focus on being healthy. This is the real secret to sustained weight loss success. Before a single pound is lost, decide to focus on your health. Let weight loss be a welcomed side effect to a healthy lifestyle.
It will be hard at first, it will take practice, it will take longer then you want it to, you will screw up, and you will get off track.
But before you know it, someone will ask you “how did you do it?” and you will say “It’s not that hard, you just need to…”
BTW, you’re shoes are untied….