Are your weight loss goals realistic? Thoughts from a personal trainer
“That's it! I need to go on a diet and lose this weight as quickly as I can!” The statement above is something I hear often. I am sure many of you have as well. "What’s the issue with this statement?" one may ask. And I am here to help you answer that very question.
Oftentimes, we decide to make lifestyle changes out of desperation. We become so unhappy with the present situation and desire immediate change. The problem here is that when we make abrupt decisions, we tend to set up unrealistic expectations for ourselves, such as losing 20lbs in a month or eating the lowest amount of calories possible. Not only is this unrealistic, but it also counteracts us from reaching our goals.
When we say, "I need to lose weight quickly as possible,", we are setting ourselves up to fail. We need to make sure that we are patient with ourselves when it comes to fitness. Making changes and seeing results takes time as well as it can be challenging to stick to those changes. So, we need to give our minds and bodies time to adjust rather than stressing ourselves for an unrealistic result. This notion brings up the next point: Rushing to see results.
Being in a hurry to fit into a dress or frantically wanting to see a lower number on the scale causes frustration. It is already frustrating enough to keep up with a new routine while eliminating a list of food you enjoy eating daily. So why add on stress by inserting an imaginary deadline? We ought to remember losing weight or reaching a personal fitness goal is not a race. It should be a lifelong habit to practice and acquire. Instead of focusing on the result, enjoy the process while embracing progress. How do we do that? By creating short-term goals.
Imagine building a boat. Building a boat requires an elaborate plan and steps to execute the plan for it to set sail on the sea. It goes the same for losing weight. If the plan is to exercise and eat healthier to lose weight, then short-term goals, such as eliminating sugary drinks, are steps to executing the plan.
For instance, rather than quitting sugar entirely and exercising five times a week, start slowly by replacing sodas with water or sugar-free drinks. Once you get used to that, add in a workout routine. After that gets easier, start cooking your own, healthier meals, and so forth. Conquering short-term goals and keeping track of the small "wins" will ultimately lead to the final goal. However, once we have reached our final goal there is something we must remember: The job is not yet done.
After we reach our goal, we mustn't get comfortable and believe that the job is done. Remember, losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight is a commitment. Even if we have reached our goal weight, we cannot guarantee that we will stay at that weight. So, we need to make sure that the healthier changes we have made are now a part of our daily routine.
Losing and maintaining weight is a lifelong commitment and the biggest investment for anyone who wants to improve their health. It takes patience and a lot of self-respect. Before taking off on the journey of making healthier life choices, it is important to understand ourselves and give ourselves enough time to learn what our minds and bodies need. So, if you are about to set sail on your weight loss journey, always remember: Create a plan, stick to the process, and be patient with yourself.
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