For many of us, losing weight is a primary life goal. Getting into good physical shape is a tough thing to do, though, and many of us really struggle to lose weight as we would have wanted from the off-set. Part of that tends to come down to our mentality – or lack of mentality. However, did you know that your single most powerful tool in your battle against weight loss is to simply change up the way that you think about weight loss?
For most of us, weight loss is something that we can overcome in time. However, when we hit that first bump in the road or we have our first ‘bad week’, we lose all of our momentum. Before long, you are back to pouring a bag of tortillas into your mouth as you run your finger around the edge of a bowl of nacho cheese.
Really, though, your biggest problem here is your mentality. If you want to start taking better care of yourself, then all it takes is a mental shift. Ready to make a pronounced change to how you live, then? Let’s take a look at what you need to do.
Why you need a new state of mind for consistent weight loss
For most of us, the biggest problem is what we will call ‘rollercoaster thinking’. In this kind of train of thought, you get too caught up one way or another. You lose a pound in a few days, and you start strutting around like a supermodel. You put on a pound, though, and you just head right for the ice cream aisle and buy the lot up. What’s the point, you’ll say – you’ve already undone all of your good work.
It should go without saying that such a mentality is counterproductive to success.
If you are truly serious about a significant change in the way that you live, then you need to change up the way that you think. When you look in the mirror and notice that last months’ weight loss progress has returned with a vengeance, it becomes very easy to feel nihilistic.
The biggest problem that you have though is that you are looking at weight loss in the wrong way. Weight loss is a physical problem, but it’s a mental construct. We eat junk food and put on weight thanks to a conscious mental choice. It’s not like you are just reading a book or watching TV, and your hand unconsciously scurry away and come back with a packet of biscuits.
You made the decision to buy the biscuits, and you made the decision to eat them.
If you start to take away the desire to see weight loss as purely physical, then you can make a lot of progress. Stop telling yourself that losing weight is “just” following X and denying yourself Y. Life isn’t so easy, and weight loss certainly isn’t!
What, then, do you need to change?
Perfection has to go
First off, you must give yourself some slack. When you see weight loss as a physical pursuit, you will become obsessed with it. You will go through untold mental anguish and self-abuse if you dare to fall off the wagon for even an evening.
Losing weight is relatively easy if you push that doctrine of perfection and total cutting off. But making sure you maintain that weight loss is much harder to achieve. If you carry a mindset of mindless and brutal perfection, then you really will always come back to the same old problems.
If you want to start maintaining weight loss and keeping yourself in cracking shape, you have to first stop expecting perfection every step of the way. Simply upping your workout routine or moving from the Atkins diet to a Paleo diet is not strong enough. Hiring a professional trainer to help you keep yourself from re-gaining your weight is not the cure.
Stop trying to hire physical solutions to a mental problem. You can’t simply learn how to be perfect, and you won’t be able to just “do” the single action that makes maintaining your weight loss a possibility.
Start loving yourself
The main thing you need to overcome is the deep affliction of society to ridicule self-satisfaction. If someone loses weight, there’s always that one ass who has to tell them that “they’ll put it back on” or “they’ll never look as good as they did when they were 21.”
This is a common part of society. We belittle those who are doing good and making progress. If you are the kind of person who gets really down over having a bad day or week when maintaining weight loss, you subscribe to this horrendous personal doctrine as well. It leaves you with little room for personal inspection or for any kind of nuance.
If you were 100% good, you succeeded. If you were 99% good, you are failure. Trash.
The first secret to making sure you can maintain weight loss is to put this all-or-nothing mentality in the bin along with the sugary treats.
The best thing that you can do for yourself, then, is to start treating your weight maintenance as a journey instead of a doctrine.
Practice makes progression, not perfection
Practice is the main thing here. You will have bad days, weeks and even months. If someone close to you falls seriously ill or, even worse, dies, you will lose focus. That’s fine. Instead of seeing this as success/failure, see it as progress.
Had a bad week? Analyze why. Note down the issues that drove you to poor performance. Note them down and try to avoid that mistake in future. now, instead of failing this time, you have progressed – you have learned.
If you wish to keep your weight off, you need to forget about perfection. Instead, you need to become all about gradual progress. Failing does not make you a failure, just as succeeding does not make you successful. You failed or succeeded today – but what about tomorrow?
That’s a whole new experience. Embrace that. Maintaining weight loss is all about self-adventure and self-development. Losing weight in the first place requires immense self-discipline, but living under such demands long-term will never be good for your mental health.
Don’t force yourself to live like this. Appreciate the progress you make, and learn from the mistakes you make. Don’t let it define who you are, though. Failure is every bit an improvement as success, as we learn (arguably more) from failing than we do from being a success.
So, don’t let your weight loss maintenance become a success/failure experience. Something as challenging as maintaining your perfect weight is never quite so simple, is it?
Stop giving yourself a hard time, then. Remember that, pound gained or pound lost, there is a lesson to be learned here. That will give you much more satisfaction and lasting success than treating your body like a pass/fail exam from school!
Looking for some nutrition tips? Protein Bee have prepared the infographic below “10 Reasons To Eat More Protein” which should help you understand why protein is important when you are looking to lose weight (amongst other things).