I think one of the hardest parts about losing weight is making the decision to get started and the next hardest decision is to actual go forth and make it happen. Most of us know what we have to do to take care of ourselves, yet, we don’t do anything to make those changes.
In fact, so many of you have outreached to me and we’ve had conversations about this. Over and over again, I’ve shared some insights and I’ve heard the perpetual response of “I Know…I know” and I think to myself…”well, if you know..then why don’t you just DO” and then I think back to when I was stuck and unmotivated to change, even when I knew I should.
I should have lost weight. I could have lost weight. I would have taken better care of myself. But I didn’t. Is this something you can relate to?
You know that you shouldn’t eat that donut, but you do anyway.
You know that you could have gone to the gym after work, but you chose not to.
You would have made a bigger effort if you had the time, but you never even attempted to do it.
Some of us even choose to put our life on hold – not trying new things because we are afraid that our weight will get in the way. We are too embarrassed to get into that bathing suit, or we don’t think that we will be physically able to climb up that hiking trail to get to the top of the mountain, so we sit on the sidelines of life, waiting.
Some of us live our lives thinking that it does not matter. We rationalize that it doesn’t make a difference whether we eat the donut or if we skipped the gym. Our minds are powerful and we justify that having the scale read that we are are 297 lbs is not that awful because we haven’t hit 300 lbs. Deep within our hearts we know that its not okay, but we are afraid to admit it because if we do, then we have to own up to our failure and that’s a pretty big pill to swallow. Instead, many of us make the conscious decision to not take care of ourself.
And then something happens....
Like my dad, who was hospitalized about 8 weeks ago.
My dad has type 2 diabetes and passed out several weeks ago because of low blood sugar levels. He did not eat when he was supposed to. Ironically, we talked about eating schedules a few weeks prior and when I asked why he did not eat breakfast his response was ‘because I’m not ready to eat that early in the day.” Unfortunately, diabetes is a disease that impacts every system in your body and if it is not managed properly, then it can lead to serious complications.
Unfortunately, because of a multitude of factors that resulted from their uncontrolled diabetes, this person had a toe amputated. Sure, it could have been a few toes, a whole foot or a leg – but why did it have to be anything at all? This person has Type 2 diabetes. Preventable and reversible with a healthy diet and exercise.
However, the donut was always too tempting, stress levels were always an excuse for eating. Even on insulin - they ate food they knew was unhealthy for them, justifying that the medication would balance it out. That’s not how it works.
Just like my relative, we know what we have to do to take better care of ourselves, but we make the conscious decision not to. Why don’t we make the effort? Well, there are several schools of thought on this:
Fear of failure. Some people fear that they will fail, so they don’t even try. However, they don’t realize that by not trying, they’re already failing, so they have NOTHING TO LOSE but the unwanted pounds!
Fear of success. Some people are afraid that they will be successful in their health goals and then they have to maintain the healthy lifestyle. That can sometimes be harder than losing the weight. They know from previous experiences where they’ve gained and lost so many times over the course of their lives that they are afraid to go there again. If this is how you feel – let it go and don’t think about the end. Think about the journey, because in truth, weight loss is a journey without end. It’s about a lifestyle change, not a diet, and it never truly ends.
What we know is comfortable. We are used to our lifestyle and our routines. The idea of letting go of our comfort is disconcerting and we don’t like change, no matter how good it is for us.
Lack of self-love. Some of us don’t think that we are worth the effort and because of that, we don’t do the things that we know we should do to take better care of ourselves. We can also think that this type of behavior is selfish and who wants to be selfish?
Mindlessness. Many of us go through our daily lives not thinking about what we eat and how we move (or don’t move during the day. When we don’t pay attention and don’t prioritize our needs, we lose sight of our health.
So, think about it for a moment. What is holding you back from your successes? Can your related to any or all of these schools of thought? If so, then it’s time to let them go. If you are not sure what's holding you back, take some time to process it.
I read something recently that resonated with me. There was no author, but I think any of us could have written it at some point in our lives.
How did I lose weight?
I stayed hungry – a lot.
I ate broccoli when all I wanted was a damn brownie.
I exercised even though I was tired, it was raining or I just didn’t feel like it.
I learned that special occasions are not a reason to overeat.
When I slipped up, I pulled myself together and got right back on track.
I didn’t shy away from the scale.
In short: there is no trick or secret to getting fit – just a hell of a lot of hard work.
That’s the key: losing weight and getting fit is work. It’s hard work that is invigorating, empowering and satisfying. It will leave you feeling stronger, healthier and more beautiful than you have ever felt in your entire life.
I’ve learned to love exercise and I enjoy challenging myself physically. I was the girl who hated gym class and now I’m trying things that I’ve never tried before like frog push-ups and bear crawls and I am actually DOING them. I am in the best shape of my life at 47 years old and I am damn proud of it.
I love the feeling of being hungry because for years I didn’t allow myself to ever feel hungry – I was afraid of it. Now I embrace it.
Prioritize yourself. You are worth it. You know what you need to do. You’ve likely done it before and you have succeeded. Now it’s time to do it again.
Bee mindful. Track your calories. Start moving every day.
Bee healthy. Bee happy. Bee awesome!