It happens to all of us, we all get stressed out and drive ourselves insane with weight loss! Things like plateaus, lack of motivation, a million other things going on in our life, etc, all stress us out. You shouldn’t stress out about your weight loss, because when you do, it makes it even HARDER to lose weight! If you believe you will only be successful if you lose weight, it’s not going to work. Losing weight should only be part of it. For example, think about how you’re taking care of yourself, you’re boosting your mood by exercising, you’re making healthy food for your family, you’re feeling great about yourself, your internal health is improving, etc.
I know that it’s hard not to focus on losing weight and having certain expectations, but here are some tips that have worked for me that keep me from getting too stressed and too focused on my weight loss goals.
1. Be realistic. Not everyone is going to lose 2-3 lbs consistently a week. I have a Bodybugg, I know that I’m creating a deficit of over 3500 calories per week, which equates to 1 lb loss a week, every week. I don’t always lose this, and it used to blow my mind! Be realistic, not everyone is the same. You may have a deficit of 7000 calories and expect to lose 2 lbs, and lose ½ lb, while your friend has a deficit of 3500 and loses 3 lbs. Don’t worry!
2. Don’t compare yourself to other people. It used to crush me when I talked to someone who’s not even trying to lose weight and they lost more than me 1 week, when I worked really hard. The more I dwelled on that, the less motivated I was. You have to remember that consistency pays off. If you’re consistently exercising and making smart, healthy choices, it will pay off for you. (this requires patience, which is NOT my thing, but I have learned LOL!)
3. Plan ahead. You will get stressed out if everyday, you’re waking up and blindly deciding what healthy food to eat at the spur of the moment. If you get in the habit of planning out what you’re gonna eat the next day, you’ll be set! For example, pack your lunch ahead of time for the next day. Sit down a weekly basis with your family and decide what your healthy meals will be for the upcoming week, and make sure you have the proper groceries on hand. When you’re not frantically rushing around to figure out what to eat, it’s more manageable.
4. Don’t rely on the scale for your happiness. If you constantly watch a # on your scale, first of all, it’s dangerous and could be a sign of a bigger issue like an eating disorder, and it’s not always a good indicator of what’s going on! Do you know how many factors play into your weight? Too much sodium, for the ladies – PMS (sorry guys LOL), weight training that causes muscle soreness which causes muscles to retain water…and a million other factors! I am over the scale, I don’t focus on it anymore. I do weigh myself periodically, but I don’t dwell on it. I’m free!! Try taking photos – take front, side, and back photos. Also, take your measurements, especially your chest, waist, hips, thighs, arms. You can take measurements and pictures on a monthly basis and see more improvements than you do on the scale. When I did P90X, I lost hardly any weight. I gained at first! Then I kicked the scale into the closet, and when I did my monthly measurements was amazed to see the inches coming off. And man did the pictures show the changes!
5. Realize that this is a lifestyle change, NOT a diet. Diet implies deprivation, quick fix, temporary changes. That’s not what we’re doing. We’re making healthy changes in our lives that will last forever. I realize that when I was 30 lbs heavier, I hadn’t gained it all over night. It took time. So realize that it will take time to lose your goal weight, and that’s okay, because slow and steady wins the race. Wow, sorry to throw that cliché in, but it fits LOL!
6. Realize that life happens. I’m a planner, and if something doesn’t go my way, I do stress, and I’m working on this! I have realized that only certain things are in my control, and if something unexpected comes up, I make changes to adapt to the situation. For example, you can’t control a snowstorm that causes you to get home 3 hours late from work and forces you to skip your workout. Solution, take an unplanned rest day, and either make up that workout on the planned rest day, or take an extra rest day that week.
7. Don’t be that person that person that never allows yourself a splurge. You know what I’m talking about. You really want that piece of chocolate cake and you think about it for weeks, and you don’t allow yourself to have it, and next thing you know, you eat everything in your pantry because you can’t control yourself. If you realize that it’s a true craving, and nothing else is working, enjoy it IN MODERATION! I’m not at all telling you to go eat chocolate cake. Also, make a list of things you’re not willing to give up. For me, it’s peanut butter and olive oil. I manage this by using it in moderation and planning for it. I only use 1 tbsp of peanut butter in my shakeology, and when I cook with olive oil, I use 1 tsp. A little of it can go a long way.
8. MOST IMPORTANTLY - Be positive, and feel good about what you’re doing for yourself!