“Okay, this is it. This is MY year. This is the year I get my health under control. This is the year I don’t give up. This is the year I stay motivated, dedicated and loyal to my health. I’m getting fit. I’m eating clean. This is HAPPENING!”
How many of us have started January 1st with these thoughts in our heads? The determination is almost electrifying, and in that moment, you truly believe that this IS your year. You’re not going to let February roll around and be a part of the high percentage of people who fail on their New Year’s resolutions. Nope. Not this year.
Fast forward a few months down the road. Initially, you did awesome in your venture to get healthy. You worked out 4 or 5 times a week. You didn’t eat after dinner. You even meal-prepped on a weekly basis. Each visit to the scale was a victory that only motivated you more.
Eventually, those trips to the scale weren’t producing the drive to get the great results you saw when you began your health journey. Instead of seeing a 3 or 4 pound deficit on the scale, you were only losing a quarter of a pound a week. Some weeks you only maintained. On other weeks, you even saw the number go back up.
Slowly, those workouts trickled down to one or two a week. You forfeited your meal-prepping because with minimal results you figured, “why put in all that time and effort?” Before you know it, you’re back to old habits, and you’re back to the same weight you were on December 31st.
This is an all too real experience for many people, including myself. I must have tried every new workout trend, fad diet, and pill on the market. Much of my teens and twenties were spent watching my weight go up and down at least ten times over. It wasn’t until I stepped into Impulse Training in 2013 that something stuck, because here I am in 2017 with 80 pounds gone.
Four years is a long time for someone to maintain their weight loss, so why was I able to go from constant yo-yo dieting to maintenance this time around? Was it the workouts? The trainers? The Impulse members? Undoubtedly, these have all been a huge part of my success, but the number one reason I’ve finally been able to maintain this weight loss was because I was READY.
“I was ready, too!” you argue. You did meal-prep, after all.
But were you ready for the not-so-motivating moments? The key to getting your workouts and health journey to finally stick is having the right frame of mind prepared for the WHOLE journey. That includes the ups and the downs. The peaks and the valleys. The victories and the setbacks. Because if you aren’t ready for the low points, you are doomed from the start. You’ll fly through the highs, but the first time you go on a binge, it’ll knock you down and you won’t know what happened to you. Instead of recovering, you’ll throw in the towel. Sure, you might survive the first or second fall backs, but eventually it’ll slow you and your journey to a halt.
So what does it take to be ready?
Based on my own experience, I’ve found a few key ingredients that make for being ready for the inevitable setbacks in the long-term health journey:
- Have an accountability partner. When the going gets tough, the tough get going … and sometimes the tough need an even tougher friend. Whether it’s a friend, a co-worker, or your significant other, find someone who can help dust you off when your health journey has gone off the beaten path. I can always depend on Josh, my trainer, to have just the right positive words I need to hear after a decline in my efforts. We all need a reminder to focus on the bigger picture.
- Journal your thoughts. So, you skipped a workout and ate an entire jar of peanut butter in one day. Get out the journal, stat! By writing down the emotions and thoughts going through your head after a setback, you can begin to process them. The sooner you process your actions, the sooner you can own up to them, get back on the wagon, and move forward.
- Stay positive. It seems like such a simple concept, yet it’s often the hardest aspect in a weight loss journey. Whether it’s the first or the fiftieth setback, it’s so easy to just give up. But if you continually keep yourself in a positive frame of mind, it is so easy to bounce back!
Be READY for those setbacks.
Be READY to dust yourself off.
Be READY to get right back to it.
By being mentally prepared for the rough parts of the journey that you will undoubtedly encounter, you will have the proper state of mind you need to get back off the ground after a setback. You will know that this is all just a part of the journey.
So …are you ready?