New Year’s resolutions are a big deal, and so many of them involve losing weight. Self-improvement is always something I can get behind!
It’s the ninth day of the year, and unfortunately, studies have shown that by the end of two weeks (only five days from now!), nearly one-third of all New Year’s resolutions will have already been abandoned. And GUESS WHAT? I don’t want you to give up on your resolutions!
With that in mind, I put together three ways you can rethink or reframe your weight loss resolutions. That way, instead of giving up, you can tip the scales in your favor… towards long-term success.
1) Destroy the Ticking Clock. We all want to look our best at a big event like a wedding or reunion. But trying to lose weight by a certain date may add additional layers of stress to an already difficult endeavor.
No one can predict how quickly – or how slowly – they’ll lose weight. So tying a resolution to a specific date on the calendar may create unrealistic expectations, encourage unhealthy or dangerous methods of weight loss, or set oneself up for rapid weight gain as soon as the event is over.
INSTEAD… Embrace the idea that you’re in this for the long haul, and resolve to take specific steps towards a healthier life (like exercising more, eating less, and staying positive). Stick with them, and you’ll start to look, feel, and act like a new person – and that’s how you’ll really impress people at that wedding!
2) Focus on the Journey, Not the End Results. It’s great to set a big goal – like losing 50 or 100 pounds – but sometimes a big goal can cloud your vision and prevent you from celebrating some awesome victories. I can’t tell you how many times people have expressed frustration because they set out to lose 50 pounds and could only lose 30, and that depresses them, and they end up gaining it back. And, every time, I try to snap them back into reality: 30 POUNDS IS INCREDIBLE! It should be a source of pride and accomplishment, not disappointment.
INSTEAD… Rewrite your resolution to focus on the day-to-day choices that you make, where ongoing success can be celebrated no matter what the scale says. Instead of resolving to lose 25 pounds, resolve to hit the gym three times a week or trim 250 calories from your diet every day. Hitting these daily or weekly benchmarks will leave you motivated to keep going while you establish all sorts of new, healthy habits. And you know what a big side effect of healthy habits is, right? WEIGHT LOSS!
3) Embrace Your Plateaus. It’s Just Practice For What’s To Come! I completely understand how frustrating a weight loss plateau can be. You work hard, make smart choices, and stay focused and determined, but you can’t seem to lose any more weight. I’ve had my share of plateaus, and they’ve driven me crazy too, but once I figured out how to spin them around in my head, dealing with them was much less agonizing.
Here’s how to do it: Instead of thinking of yourself stalling at a certain weight, think of it as practice, because once you reach your goal and lose the weight you want to lose, you have another challenge coming: keeping the weight off. And let me tell you: keeping the weight off is no easy feat – I’m starting my sixth year of keeping off 160 pounds, and it’s no easier now than it was six years ago. Maintaining your weight is a huge win, no matter where you are on your weight loss journey.
INSTEAD of letting a plateau get you down, consider it as a dress rehearsal for the rest of your life. Plus, even if you’re not losing weight, you’re still getting healthier if you stick to your program during a plateau: strengthening your lungs and heart, increasing your stamina and endurance via exercise… you’re keeping all the systems in tip-top shape, so when your body is ready to keep losing, it will have all the resources it needs!
There are no hard and fast rules about New Year’s resolutions, folks, and that’s the truth. You have the ability to shape – and reshape – your resolutions in whatever ways you need at any point in time. So consider the resolution you set on January 1st to be the first draft, and resist the urge to throw in the towel. Instead, rework that draft until it better fits your current situation, your needs, and your desires.
Keep it up, David!
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