One of the most frequent questions we get from people is how to maintain progress in a weight loss or fitness journey. If you find yourself frustrated by the two steps forward, two (or THREE) steps back dance of fitness, there may be things you’re subconsciously doing that are sabotaging your progress. If these are happening to you, the good news is you CAN reprogram yourself and experience lifelong, sustainable success. Although you may not like hearing some of these, be honest with yourself, because the truth will set you free from failure, regret and plus-size jeans!
1) Having short-term, event-based goals
If you are using an upcoming wedding, family holiday or 21-day challenge as your primary fitness motivator there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that short term, tangible targets are very powerful tools for achieving goals. The bad news is that they are pretty much crap for maintenance. It’s pretty science-y, but to break it down in the simplest of terms, when you have a short term goal and achieve it, your brain thinks “Hooray! I did it! Now back to normal!”. Remember that no matter how progressive and open to change you might think you are, your brain is pretty much Great-Aunt Bertha, sitting there in her rocking chair bemoaning all these newfangled gadgets like cell-you-lar phones. Your Aunt Bertha brain will let you deviate from the beaten path for a little while, but she wants nothing more than to get back to the good ol’ days. ALWAYS have goal 2 and 3…even if it’s just a maintenance schedule and keep Auntie B off her rocker.
2) Thinking you can do it alone
There are some people out there, believe it or not, who think it’s a weakness to need other people. They are called ‘everybody’ and until you experience the power of a group of people struggling with the same issue motivating and encouraging you, you won’t understand how life changing this is! Admitting you need help only feels scary until you do it. Now granted, it feels like it will KILL you until you do it, sure, but once you’ve been beaten down by repeated failures into submission you’ll realize…hey…this isn’t so bad…these people seem pretty cool. They’re not laughing at me or thinking I’m a failure and they don’t seem like failures…you get the idea. None of us were meant to walk this path alone. When you find a group of like-minded people to walk with you on your fitness journey it will make all the difference in the world.
I know, I know, I saved the hardest one for last. If you consistently indulge or overindulge in the bubbly, or the rum, or the vodka, your fitness journey WILL suffer. Period, no exceptions. And no, you don’t get a hall pass on this if you’ve had a really bad day, or are celebrating something really awesome. Everything has a price and the price of alcohol is more stored fat, less energy, bad food choices, screwed up metabolism, wack-a-doodle hormones….you get the idea. A lot of times we don’t even think that this could be a factor and once we realize it, it’s a simple thing to cut it out. On the other hand, if alcohol is derailing your fitness progress and you don’t want to drink but can’t stop you might be dealing with a teeny, tiny addiction problem. If that’s the case for you, see number 1.
There are of course other issues at play but these are the most common that we see. The good news is, once you identify your particular Achilles heel, you can bandage that sucker up and keep kicking butt and killing those goals!