We are nearing the end of January 2019.
If you set a weight loss goal for yourself as a New Year’s Resolution, I commend you.
How has that work been going for you thus far?
If you trust the statistics, you’ll see discouraging numbers that claim most who set these resolutions have already failed at maintaining them by this time.
Box gyms flourish during this time of year and many will continue to pay for memberships in gyms they rarely show up in.
There is a conversation I’ll have with potential clients that I want to highlight.
When someone comes to me for weight loss, they are typically at a low point in both esteem and hope for success. Maybe they’ve been referred to me from a client who has been happy with their results. Or maybe they came upon our location through a Google search.
It’s always my initial hope that I can take a look at someone’s current diet and lifestyle, find one to two little tweaks, affectionately bring them to the surface and work with the client to keep lifestyle as “normal” as possible without a complete upheaval.
That hope does not always come to fruition.
If you resonate with that person who is low in self esteem and hope for success, there is a difficult conversation you will need to have with yourself.
I think of the title of the business book by Marshall Goldsmith “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” and I see an interesting parallel that tends to be most realistic for a client in this situation.
Whatever life has been like up to this point needs to change. Dramatically, convincingly, permanently.
Which means that the way you ate before you came here will have to change. The way you trained before you came here will have to change. The way your self-talk would bury you in doubt will have to change.
And you can’t ever go back there again.
At it’s foundation, weight loss generally boils down to the simple element of removing enough calories and expending enough energy (more calories) to attain a given number.
Simple, not easy to execute.
And while you’re valiantly working to achieve that number, you have to look at some of the variables that can influence it:
-How are you sleeping?
-Does your spouse completely support your efforts and not sabotage you in moments of vulnerability?
-Do your friends stand by your side, lift you up and help you achieve those numbers or do they beg and plead with you to come and join them for the weekend, goals be damned and ease up on your health commitments?
-Do you take medication(s) that can affect your hunger signals and make you eat more than you intend despite your best efforts to remain on path?
-Have you raised your activity level significantly and focused on some combination of high intensity work and low intensity work to burn more calories aside from dietary intake?
-Are you involved in strength training where you can plot your progress and see that the numbers are trending upward?
-Are you surrounded by hyper-palatable (easy to consume and overeat) foods that are always within easy reach?
-Are you coping with an emotional stressor that requires the help of a qualified therapist?
All of these factors matter and sometimes, even with the best of intentions, people believe if they “just” eat less and exercise more that all of the magical weight loss goals will be realized and they’ll never regain the weight.
But that’s not reality, is it?
For the vast majority of the people I’ll sit down with in efforts to get them to their goals, all of the above questions will have to be answered.
It may slow down your progress.
You might lose “friends.”
You might piss off your spouse.
You might have to dramatically shift your social life to put the work in and get some momentum.
This is normal. These are your goals and you’re the only one who can hit them.
And when you take a peek in your rearview mirror and look at all of the choices that led to the number on the scale you couldn’t deal with anymore or the size of pants you determined you could not go beyond, you have to ask yourself the painful questions:
Am I okay with this? Was I living a life of my best self? What am I willing to do for MY goals?
And when you’ve had that conversation, and asked those frequently uncomfortable questions, take another look in that rearview mirror (blink twice) and burn that bridge down.
That person, who undoubtedly had characteristics that you want to remain intact, has to change. That change will not always please people around you. Some people will even tell you they liked you better “When…”
That will be an uncomfortable thing to hear.
But your goals and the realization of those goals will need a focus you haven’t given them before.
Take one last look in that rearview mirror, take the lessons from every experience you brought over the bridge before you burned it down, and remind yourself that a new chapter has to be written.
You can’t ever go back there again.
“We Make Great People Greater”