People struggle with different things in life, for me, the thing just so happens to be weight loss and maintenance. This article could also be called how to do anything when you suck at it.
Because it is all pretty much the same.
Everyone has things we suck at, the things that no matter how bad we want it, take a back seat to other priorities. The challenges, that when we fail, we decide to flail around in the mud instead of getting back up. These tend to be the things on the opposite end of our personalities. The things that not only do we not enjoy all that much but in addition cause us to reduce or eliminate things that we do enjoy. See: Whose life are you living? Is it time for a Priority Inventory?
On the flip side, we all have things that are easy for us. Some of us have no problems getting out and being active, or not eating some random indulgence. That, unfortunately, is not me. However, I am great at staying ahead of financial goals and nurturing my close relationships. Those are easy for me. It is not a chore to put effort into it constantly and they constantly rank high in my priorities.
When you are just naturally good at something, and you make the inevitable mistake, you have no problem getting back up and getting back to it. It is easy. When I impulse spend, I have no problems recovering, I don’t just slip into financial carelessness. I have a plan that I don’t even really think about. I minimize the damage, either with returns, sales, or cancellations and just continue on with my plans.
Abstaining from buying things is not hard either because I am always thinking about my goals. When I see something I want like a new couch, I think well I would rather retire earlier, sitting on a beach, not in my house on that nice couch.
With all this wonderful restraint, why can’t I just put down the cake!
So how do you do something you are just not good at?
Don’t take on to much to soon.
You cannot change your entire lifestyle overnight. Weight loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise, and my suggestion would be to get control of diet and gradually incorporate exercise as you feel confident enough to stay on track with diet. Exercise can make you very hungry and hurt weight loss, it is, however, very important for overall health. Gradually increasing workouts also helps with not injuring yourself. Here is a great talk from the doctor Michael Mosely.
Integrate your problem area with something you enjoy or are good at.
When you are choosing what diet to go on or what exercises to do, remember what is sustainable for you. If you decide to go on a juice fast, remember this is a drastic diet and not a sustainable lifestyle. So unless you already love drinking vegetable juice instead of a meal, it is even more difficult to transition to a whole other lifestyle once you are done with your fast. I would choose something else. The same goes for exercise, find what you enjoy physically and do more of it. If you like the social aspect join a sports league or go to group classes.
Accountability, Accountability, Accountability.
You can know exactly what you want to do, and you can even have great success at it. But you will stumble. Having someone there on the same path as you will not only make it easier to keep to your goals it will also help you to get back up again if you are struggling. I currently have three people each on a different journey with me (Diet, Fitness, and Motivation), and one professional (a life coach and consultant for health and wellness) I hold myself accountable to. A new trend in accountability is electronics, there are social communities online, programs to help you with your journey (I use the free version of myfitnesspal.com), and devices to track you and remind you to get up and get going.
Keep your goals at the forefront of your mind.
Set up a vision board. Keep a journal. Follow blogs that will fill your email and feeds with things that will keep you on track with your goals. Hint. Hint.
Weight Loss and Maintenance is a lifestyle change.
It will be something that will have to be something you keep in the back of your mind all the time. The longer you work at it, the easier it will get. Just like everything else the more you do it, the more skill you get, eventually, it can be one of those things that are easy for you. You now enjoy things related to it, and have the tools to keep going. Your brain will now have the ability to quickly analyze the costs and benefits of an action and choose the right way to go.
Know the risks.
There is a massive industry of people our there making money off of diet and fitness. There are new workouts and diets popping up constantly. New gadgets to buy. Fancy gym memberships. When in fact, you likely need nothing that costs extra money to accomplish your goals. Make sure to do your research, find unsponsored reviews, consult a licensed personal trainer and/or a registered dietician. See: How to be Smart: When Everyone Wants Your Money!
I can lose the weight! But I can’t keep it off!
This is the camp I am currently in. Sadly, I have had more yo-yo weight losses then, I can count on one hand. Something always happens which knocks my health off my top priorities and because I’m not great at it, I’m just back in the mud. So I’ve decided to seek the fringes and am trying some not so typical things now. Link coming soon, I’ve been up to some interesting stuff!