This is the time of year when we feel most motivated to lose weight. We put pressure on ourselves to succeed and then indulge in self-criticism when we don’t achieve our goals which leads to emotional and dietary consequences. Here are my thoughts to help you avoid self-sabotaging behavior.
- Exercise is both ‘physical’ and ‘mental’. The ‘mental’ aspect is more important than you realize. Awareness is the key. Make yourself accountable. Know what you’ve eaten and how many calories it contains. Keep a food diary if you have to. Ask yourself how effective certain exercises were and how often and at what intensity was most effective for your body.
- Know what your goals are and make them realistic. You and your trainer are a team and you need to work together. Keep communication open. Tell them what’s working and what isn’t.
- Don’t do the bare minimum and expect results. The more energy you put into your training the closer you’ll get to your goals. When you exercise properly there should be an element of discomfort or your body won’t make the changes it needs to in order to get fitter, stronger or slimmer. You will have to push your comfort zone a little. If you have the determination and motivation you will achieve your goals.
- Avoid perfectionist thinking it will make you feel desperate. You are going to have set backs. Don’t be discouraged. It’s part of the process. Celebrate your achievements instead. Identify the things you tell yourself that make you feel unmotivated and be aware of them. If you overeat accept it and establish better methods to avoid temptation and reach your goal. If you are putting too much pressure on yourself you are setting yourself up for failure which leaves you feeling unworthy and unattractive. Don’t tie your sense of worth to how you look. You must not confuse beauty with being skinny. Be realistic and understand that long term weight management involves a change in lifestyle. There are no ‘quick’ fixes. Fad diets simply do not work long term.
- Don’t fixate on the end result. Avoid weighing yourself constantly (muscle weighs more than fat). Don’t allow the number on the scale affect your mood or food choices. Remember exercise can be fun. Being active and fit should give you a sense of freedom, achievement and excitement at the potential and power of your body.
- Break the emotional connection with food. People seek comfort in it to avoid feelings of loneliness and depression. Sometimes resolving emotional issues is the key to unhealthy eating habits. It’s important to see it for what it really is. It won’t love you it’s just food.
Have faith in yourself and your exercise regime. Make 2012 the year you get your body the way YOU want it!