The first five pounds came off so fast, so easy! Then reality sets in and we have a small loss or no loss at all. Right behind reality often comes its twin, discouragement.
I read this statement on “The Doctor’s” website about feeling discouraged,” Every moment presents a new opportunity for change. The past moment no longer exists; forward motion is the only path I can take.” I like this statement, we have to learn on our journey at each feeling of discouragement helps us to make a change/adjustment that we need to make to keep going! If you never face any discouragement, then you will not know how to handle it when it comes along. And it will come!
There are some strategies you can incorporate to help you not become discouraged.
- Take the long-term view – do not expect to “wake up” skinny one day, you didn’t gain it overnight and you are not going to lose it overnight.
- Get a diet buddy— Find a friend to encourage you and support you as you are both on your journey is a win-win for both people. Remember one small thing, it is not a competition, you are only competing with yourself NOT your friend! Share your struggles, recipes, frustrations, etc. with your diet pal. Programs such as Weight Watchers have weekly meetings for encouragement. There are online support groups as well. I found a couple of fabulous groups on Facebook which focus Weight Watchers and have found wonderful support and encouragement there.
- Allow yourself some treats – failure and discouragement will come quickly if you do not allow yourself a treat now and again. I have found a few things I like as “treats” and try to allow myself to have them within reason.
- Be realistic – Two pounds a week maximum is considered healthy weight loss anything over that and you risk many health complications. Know that you will not lose the same each and every week. It could be more or less; just keep moving forward so the scale can keep moving downward. If you are not a contestant on the “Biggest Looser” chances are you are not going to lose 14 lbs a week! Just for the record, even they do NOT lose that much in one week! The show is edited and contrary to what we see on TV, there are often 3 weeks or so between their weigh-ins!
- Small Steps – Set some small short-term goals. In my journey, I set 5 lb. goals and focused ONLY on the five pounds in front of me. Otherwise, I would have been very discouraged, overwhelmed and not kept going! The more you weigh, the more you can lose each week. If you are not extremely overweight, you can expect your weight loss to be more like half a pound a week than the two pounds a week spectrum!
- Avoid Comparisons – lose weight for your health not to emulate a celebrity, or friend. Just because Angelina Jolie weighs 110 lbs. (not saying she does, just an example!) does not mean that you should! Talk with your primary care physician to determine what is right for you and your body type.
- Do not weigh daily while trying to lose! Checking your progress is great but daily weighing can lead to frustration, discouragement and a great deal of anger! Weighing yourself once a week is recommended to check on progress. Don’t stress over not reaching your weekly goal one week. Sometimes our bodies just have minds of their own, especially us women’s bodies!
- Variety – Try to incorporate one new food, spice or recipe each week so that you are not eating the same things over and over again! Food boredom can lead to discouragement and a feeling of deprivation.
- Avoid negative weight loss messages –Talk to yourself only in positive uplifting terms! Avoid words such as; lazy, weak-willed, pathetic, messy, and sloppy, a cow, helpless, trashy, etc. If you do not treat you nice, why would you expect others to treat you nicely? Give yourself a pat on the back with each success you have! Keep a positive attitude!
One of my personal goals is to keep a healthy lifestyle and to learn as much as I can from this process so I am not prone to have to repeat it on this large of a scale!