Even after dedicating three posts on this Website and two Genetic Jackpot podcast episodes to weight loss, I still have a little bit more I’d like to say about the topic.
You can listen to the two podcast episodes below:
To recap: Since June of 2012, I have lost a net 310 pounds. I did this through a variety of exercise routines, diets and a combination of both.
There’s no special diet out there. There’s no perfect exercise routine, really. You have to play trial and error and find out what works for you.
Still, while we’re all different, the reasons why we may fail to lose weight are the same.
Over the years, I tried and tried hard to lose weight before I succeeded.
Looking back, here were the reasons why I failed in the past – and why I imagine some of you have struggled in the area.
1. We give up too much too quickly.
How many times have you done this in failed weight loss journeys: You empty out the cabinets of all that nasty junk food and immediately go to just veggies and fruits. Nothing against that, obviously, but the biggest problem I experienced in my failed diet attempts of the past was I tried giving it up all at once – and that immediately made me mad and I hated myself. Start slowly. The first big domino that fell in my successful weight loss journey was I found a diet soda to replace a “regular soda.” Out with Coke – in with Diet Mountain Dew. (Yes, that’s a weird change, I know). I immediately shaved off around 300-400 calories a day because of that. Try to spot your biggest weakness and attack it. I lost 20 pounds reasonably quick by giving up soda and walking two miles a day.
2. On a similar note, we often try to do too much too fast when it comes to exercising.
If you’re significantly overweight, ignore all of those BS commercials you see for programs that may or may not work. Ignore them. Start slow and start at your pace. For me, I started walking a mile a day. That quickly turned to two miles a day and evolved into three miles a day. Once I dropped the first 100 pounds, I started doing aerobics. That continued into Insanity. Now I’m on weightlifting. Don’t try to reenact the training montage from Rocky IV where Rocky is preparing to take on Ivan Drago. It’s a process. Which leads me too……
3. Expecting miracles.
It can take weeks to lose 10 pounds, let alone 300 pounds. If we lose “just one pound” in the first week, many of us consider that a failure….when in reality, it’s considered the healthy way to do it. Not understanding that it’s a process – not an overnight miracle – is a big reason we tap out.
4. Not doing it “your way.”
I think the thing I’m most proud about concerning my successful journey is I didn’t follow anyone else’s path. I often switched diets, rotating between low-carb and low-cal. I copied no one’s workout. I did it my way. Choose your own path and don’t be afraid to do trial-and-error. STAY HAPPY!
5. Not accepting the idea that “bad days” happen.
Even the most fit of the most fit will have bad days in the gym or in the kitchen. For me in the past so often, I let one bad day because three bad days. I let three bad days become three bad weeks. Accept that bad days will happen, prevent them and move on to the next day with a fresh start.
6. Having a “have to do it” mindset instead of “want to do it” mindset.
When you have to do something, you often do it begrudgingly. Paying the bills. Paying taxes. Large family gatherings….OK, I’m kidding. You get the point, right? Don’t do that with weight loss. I wrote a list of several reasons why I wanted to lose weight, none of which matters to you. Come up with your own reasons other than “I need to do with for my health.” Health, needless to say, is an important reason. But find positive and entertaining reasons to lose weight. Once you “want to do it,” you’re more likely to actually do it.
7. Not having a scale.
This kind of plays into the third reason above. You need a way to see results – and when you need to lose 100 pounds – you may not “see” progress for a month or two. You need to see those few first pounds you lose to keep on going. A scale is intimidating, but completely worth it.
Those are just the seven reasons I came across looking back at my life. There are certainly more.
But the bottom line is this: You must stay happy with what you’re doing. The minute you start regretting it or hating it, you’re finished.