I’m regularly asked why weight loss plans fail? I can simplify it by saying it is all in the mind. Eating certain foods or doing certain exercise JUST for weight loss is unsustainable. The reason is, that once you’ve achieved the number on the scale, or your body looks a certain way the motivation will dwindle. Getting to a goal weight by following a certain stringent regime is a sure way to lose motivation and revert back to old habits.
If you don’t like what you’re doing or you’re forcing yourself to live a certain way then your attitude is wrong. Your reasons are not strong enough and you’re setting yourself up for a fall, and a lot of guilt and frustration.
The dinner party scenario
It’s a bit like preparing for a dinner party for special guests. You clean the house from top to bottom, windows shined, flowers in vases, best dinner service ready to go. There is no stone unturned in making sure your visitors are suitably impressed and enjoy a fantastic experience. The next day arrives, the relief is great, but so too is the exhaustion. The event has passed and you want to recover. The days go by and the house starts getting untidy, the bathrooms need a clean, and the motivation just isn’t there. You want to have friends over next week but the thought of what you feel you need to do in preparation seems too much like hard work. Such was the level of pressure you put on yourself for the past event, you just can’t be bothered. So what was the point? Would it not be better to keep the house in order for you? To enjoy coming home to clean bathrooms and nice flowers for you? To be able to have friends in any time because you’re keeping on top of things and can produce nice food any day of the week? And most importantly that you feel content because you’re consistently getting the balance of housework and leisure time right for you? See your life as the dinner party, not a one off event that comes and goes.
Your choices affect the present moment. You don’t have to wait until you’ve lost a certain number of pounds on the scale, your choices should offer a positive each time you make them. Working on good processes is a healthier way to enjoy satisfaction and personal growth. Processes are the skills and habits that we develop and stick to because they make us feel good straight away. With repetition the benefits outweigh the effort required.
It’s your choice
Dr Larocque says that people look for change when they hit rock bottom. A health scare is often the turning point when suddenly what’s at stake takes on new meaning. Then lifestyle changes are made with commitment, not for vanity or for how you think other people will perceive you, but to preserve a fully functioning pain free, disease free body. We don’t want you to experience rock bottom to instigate a change of priorities, instead we want you to CHOOSE the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, because you know they’re well worthwhile.
It’s sad to think that people put their life on hold to be a certain weight or a certain size. That outcome should be merely a side effect of the process, a process which should be fun and rewarding. Finding exercise that gives instant gratification by making you feel strong, healthy, energised and positive every time you do it is the reason you’ll stay motivated and make it a lifestyle priority. You don’t need to conform, anything that floats your boat and gets you moving regularly is the best thing for you.
What won’t work
Joining a gym for people who like the outdoors is a waste of time, in a short time you won’t go. The same for the food you eat, if you like certain flavours, find easy recipes that whet your appetite, otherwise you’ll feel deprived.
The reason weight loss plans appear to let people down is because people don’t want to internalise the truth about the long term commitment required. They believe they have accepted the challenge but are blinded by the eagerness to shift the pounds, believing that to be the most important element. At that point they are vulnerable and will buy into any set of rules and regulations.
There is no one size fits all approach, take the fundamentals and tweak them to work for you, then there is no let down, no remorse or anger at the diet letting you down. Do things for the right reasons, make choices just for you so that you enjoy the journey, not just the destination.
For more information about why weight loss plans fail read my blog on top 5 reasons why weight loss stops.