I have been on this weight loss journey for more years than I care to admit. I’ve come to learn that both success and missteps are a part of the process. After celebrating my 71lb. weight loss a few years back, I never thought I’d find myself right back at square one having to do it all over again. It has taken me some time to work up the courage to try again but I’m ready to do what needs to be done to re-shed these pounds!
As I embark on this new leg of my journey I am being careful to avoid the following mistakes that can sabotage my efforts before I’ve had a chance to truly get started, and I am hoping to help you avoid them as well.
Mistake No. 1 – Trying To Make Too Many Changes At Once
I don’t know about you but I have definitely made this mistake! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bolted out of the gate, full steam ahead only to fall flat on my face. This approach to weight loss is counterproductive because it’s a setup for a big let down. You simply cannot stop eating all of the things you like cold turkey, spend hours in the gym the first week off the couch, and eat rabbit food at every meal and expect to sustain that level of restriction.
No wonder the weight piles back on. Going from zero to 100 is a sure recipe for disaster because:
- It doesn’t give you time to build in real sustainable habits
- It’s overwhelming and brings your momentum to a halt
- You can’t focus on multiple things at one time. At some point in your juggling act, you will not be able to keep all of the different balls in the air.
Mistake No. 2 – Having Unrealistic Expectations
I call this the “Biggest Loser Syndrome”. You know what I mean. You spend one week doing all the right things, and when you step on the scale you’ve only lost 1 lb. Or worse than that, nothing at all and your motivation takes a serious nosedive. That’s because you had unrealistic expectations about the results you would see. Shows like the Biggest Loser and Extreme Weight Lose perpetuate the idea of drastic weight loss in short amounts of time. Not only is it not healthy, it’s unrealistic to think you’ll have those types of results week after week. When your expectations are too high, the slightest miscalculation can throw you off. Unrealistic expectations:
- Set you up for disappointment
- Make you feel like all of your hard work is for nothing
- Frustrate you and cause you to feel like giving up before you’re able to see any real results
- Opens the door to negative feelings about what you’re doing and sets you off down the erroneous thinking path of, “is it even worth it”?
Mistake No. 3 – Trying To Be Perfect
Perfection is the enemy of good. Actually, perfection is an unobtainable goal. Instead of striving to be perfect in what you are doing to lose weight, shift your focus to the progress you are making. There’s no such thing as the perfect time to start, or having a “perfect” day, every day. You and I both know life happens every day, which means your focus should be on learning how to make adjustments rather than trying to be perfect. Perfectionism:
- Keeps you in a vicious cycle of excuses
- Keeps you stuck in a state of inactivity
- Closes the door to opportunities for improvement
- Blocks you from making things happen because you’d rather stay stuck if you can’t be “perfect”
Mistake No. 4 – Failing To Give Yourself Credit
Every step you take and every effort you make is a step in the right direction. Failing to give yourself credit for what you have done by saying things like, “I only walked a mile” or I only lost 1 lb. only serve to demoralize you and discredit the strides you have made. Do you realize how much work and effort went into accomplishing these things? When you fail to give yourself credit, it:
- Whacks away at your confidence and your belief’s in your ability to reach your goal
- Undermines your efforts and hard work (you have been working right?)
- Puts more weight on some things and less on others, failing to take into account that it all counts and works together to get you to your goal
- It minimizes the baby steps you’re taking, which are the very things that will lead to big results
I am making it my business to stay aware of when I am heading towards these pitfalls so that I can make an about face to save myself from the damaging consequences. They say if you know better, you’ll do better and that is definitely my goal this time around!
Your Turn To Share
Have you made any of these mistakes? If you have, no worries. What is your plan for avoiding them in the future?