There are many things to consider when deciding to commit to a journey of improved health specifically relating to weight loss.
We’ll highlight a few important traits needed for managing this journey, with good self-awareness, accountability and one that doesn’t knock your confidence when faced with setbacks that often occur during a weight loss journey.
Firstly, it’s important to address the concept of ambivalence to change. We may feel indecisive about realistic goals or believe no matter how hard we try we’ll never reach them. This doesn’t mean you’re lazy, or unmotivated. It’s perfectly normal to have competing drives and priorities, which may hinder your health goals.
What is important is noticing these roadblocks and asking some thought provoking questions like:
How will your current behaviors effect where you’re trying to get to?
What coping mechanisms might you be attached to that may be working against your goals and values?
Taking Advantage of Your Current Situation
From here we want to reframe and shift our mindset from the problems we may have in our unique situation to some of the possible advantages we have in those situations. We then look at how we can start to lean into those in order to build better habits and behaviors that are congruent with your health goal.
Say you have limited time to get to the gym or for fitting in dedicated exercise sessions (60min). Could you lean into this problem by being more physically active during the day, taking a more active route to work, or doing smaller, what I like to call, micro-workouts which are short 10-20min bouts of exercise sprinkled in throughout your day and week? Overall, you could achieve more total volume than only training once or twice for a longer period.
1 Set is better than 0 sets.
10mins is better than 0 minutes.
Now before you get going it’s important connect with a deeper purpose and motivator for why you want to lose weight or improve your health.
We want to work towards figuring out a clear what and why;
- What exactly, do you want to do?
- Why exactly, do you want to do it?
The more specific, concrete, and well-defined a goal is, the more it can become ‘real’ for you. The more meaningful a motivator is the more it’ll help you persist when things get tough.
You can try the 5 Why’s exercise which can help dive deeper into your underlying motivations for your weight loss journey. It’s very simple. Keep asking why, building on the previous answer, until you arrive at a deeper understanding or what drives you and what meaning this goal has for you.
‘I want to lose weight.’
‘Why do I want to lose weight?’
‘I don’t feel attractive at this weight.’
‘Why don’t I feel attractive at this weight?’
‘I don’t fit into my old clothes; I don’t feel comfortable going out and dressing up.’
‘Why is that important for me?’
Be sure to ask these questions with a good dose of self-compassion, honesty and curiosity.
You can also try the “Miracle Question” or “What will be different” question.
Imagine overnight, a miracle happens, and you achieve the goal you set for yourself, everything you ever wanted with your health, you now have. How will you know things are different or better? What exactly would have changed?
Said in a different way:
If you get what you want, how will you know? What specific things will be different? How will you feel, specifically? What will you be doing, or be able to do?
This helps you get a better idea of what your goal means to you and what has to occur for you to achieve it.
Lastly, it’s important to understand trade-offs.
You want to set realistic expectations based on your current lifestyle, abilities, and behaviors.
Simply asking yourself:
‘What am I willing to do for this goal right now?’
‘What am I not willing to do for this goal right now?’
You may realise you don’t want to make certain trade-offs right now or you may be willing, but it’s unrealistic or unhealthy to pursue at this time (e.g. based on your body type, work commitments, age, or history of disordered eating etc.)
Diving a little deeper and asking the all-important questions before starting your weight loss journey is key to developing a mindset that is more deeply, and fully committed to your health, longevity and wellbeing.
Yours in wisdom,