Getting "fit to wed" hasn't been easy. In the last almost year since I got engaged and really started zeroing in on my fitness goals, there have been a slew of distractions and obstacles in my path. And no, that's rarely including the fattening, sugary foods we're constantly told are the main culprit behind a weight loss goal gone awry. In fact, temptation has actually been the least of my concerns. Instead, there are less obvious, but just as powerful factors at play, threatening to steer me off course. Let's call 'em traps that anyone with a weight loss plan could fall into.
Here, eight weight loss deterrences and ways to ignore each so you can keep your eye on the prize (which is being as healthy and happy as possible, of course!).
- Your past - If you've fallen short of your goal in the past, it's easy to let that bubble to surface and discourage you from trying once again. But you just have to remember that this time can and will be different, because you're making changes that stick -- for life.
- The clock and the calendar - Whether it's making you feel like you don't have enough hours in the day or days in the week or you feel like you're racing to get speedier results, both of these can lay on thiiiick pressure -- which does absolutely nothing to encourage us to stay on track. The fix: Making healthy habits a daily priority and de-stressing about how fast you'll get to where you're going -- because slow and steady is better anyway.
- Unrealistic goals/expectations - It's one thing to be inspired by a celebrity's workout of choice, but if you start setting extreme, Hollywood-style goals (like you're going to drop nearly 60 pounds in 3 months a la Beyonce or you're going to swear off of chocolate for a year), it's almost inevitable you'll fall short and throw in the towel. Instead, setting specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive (SMART) goals sets you up for a greater win.
- Someone judgy - We've all got someone in our lives who can't seem to express him or herself without being borderline obnoxious. Or they can't help but make a passive-aggressive remark that has you feeling insecure -- like asking how much you plan to lose or when you plan to lose it by with that look. The worst thing we can do is take something like this to heart and let it prevent us from plowing ahead. Blow 'em off by refocusing on what you want to accomplish and reminding yourself others' opinions don't have any bearing on your results.
- Using bad weather as an excuse - Simple one, but it's so easy for us to use snow, rain, wind, the impending SNOWSTORMPOCALYPSE NEMO as an excuse to skip the gym or blow off clean eating, because who could possibly feel like cooking when it's so miserable outside? But come on, this one is kinda definitely silly, because where there's a will, there's a way to stay on plan.
- The scale - Although it can be a motivator, it's just as often a MAJOR deterrence. Mostly because it's so easy to let it run the show. And then, to get sucked into thinking, "What was the point of that spinning class and skipping dessert if I only lost 0.2 this week?" That's when it may be time to break up with the scale ... and consider measuring success in other ways (like inches lost, jeans/dress sizes, etc.).
- Someone competitive - Maybe they mean well, but sometimes, knowing you're working on your fitness can send others into crazy competitive mode and, before you know it, you're in a Biggest Loser competition you never signed up for. And yeah, it's easy to crack under pressure like that! But remembering that your journey is a unique one and need not be compared to anyone else's is a surefire way to nip this one in the bud.
- Stress - This has to be THE biggest, hardest one for me. Again, not because it's caused me to eat bon bons and cheese fries (ew), but because it's exhausting. And who wants to work out and prepare a healthy meal when you're exhausted? But the funny thing is ... doing that actually helps you cope better with stress and even end up with a sunnier outlook. No, seriously, I swear it does!
What deterrences have you experienced while trying to lose weight/get in shape? How have you handled them?