6 Things You're Going To Have To Get Over If You Want To Lose Weight
April 27, 2017
The accepted school of thought is weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise; I'd argue it's 60% nutrition, 20% exercise, and 20% mental. As I've said before, losing weight may be a physical act but if you don't address the mental hangups you have surrounding your weight and health you'll never step one foot on a treadmill -- or in a Whole Foods.
Speaking from personal experience, here are 6 things you're going to have to get over if you want to lose weight (successfully).
Whether it be other people at the gym, in your workout class, your trainer, certain exercises, or the fact that your whole identity is wrapped up in being "the big girl" and you don't know any other way to be.
There is not a single percent of my being that enjoys showing weakness and two big ones for me are not knowing something and not being good at something. There are some people who don't mind admitting they don't know a particular thing. I'm the type who will google something rather than ask the person right in front of me who knows the answer. But I had to get over all of that the first day I stepped in the gym at nearly 300 pounds and had to figure out how to make the scale start moving in the opposite direction. And my ego had to be all but swallowed up when I began working with a personal trainer who dictated my every move. I would literally cringe when I had to do rope slams in the middle of the floor making all that damn noise and drawing all that damn attention. I begged my trainer for a good 6 months and 70-something pounds to not make me do bear crawls around the studio floor because I did't want to look like a big ass uncoordinated baby in front of all the fit folks. But as you progress, so does your confidence. You start to get so amped that you can do things you never thought you could -- and you're not getting yelled at for not knowing how to hinge your hips and instead you're now swinging 55 lbs on a kettlebell ---that you're damn near willing to try anything. You never get to experience those moments of realizing just how strong, mobile, flexible, and capable your body is if you never get over the fear of the first step.
How long it's going to take
Weight loss is slow -- but not really. If you have 30, 50, or 100 pounds to lose, yes, it's going to take some time but when you think about the amount of time it takes in the grand scheme of life, it's really not that long. If you lose 1-2 lbs per week, you're looking at a 50- to 100-lb loss in a year's time. Honestly, once you hit that first 20-lb loss mark you already start feeling yourself so much you don't want to go back. You now know for sure you can actuallylose weight, you've probably dropped one size in clothing, and you no longer want to throw up after every workout. Patience is not a quality I possess or likely ever will, but the pressure I put on myself to lose weight quickly last go 'round literally sucked all the fun out of the process. It was like I couldn't celebrate my victories until I saw a certain number on the scale. Now I realize peace of mind is just as important as consistency, and if I do the latter I don't have to worry about how much time it will take (because it really won't be long).
The fact that it's hard AF
Working out -- if you're really pushing yourself -- is not going to feel good in the moment, and it damn sure isn't going to feel good in the morning. Choosing to eat grilled chicken and mixed greens (again) and denying yourself a cocktail or dessert is not going to be totally satisfying when you're craving something fried and smothered. But you have to get over that. I'm not going to tell you nothing worth having comes easy. I'm going to say it's not easy getting up and going to a job you hate every morning, but you do it because you need to survive. Getting up and going to the gym every day and eating clean is not easy but it's as necessary to your survival as making money. If you know why you're making the choices you are, denying yourself isn't really a sacrifice any more, it's just good practice.
Losing other things besides weight
Be it free time, professional opportunities, socializing with friends, or a man. I know the popular notion is you can do it all, but I promise you can't go to bottomless brunch every Sunday with your girls and stay on track. I tried it.
Know that everything you lose is not a sacrifice, however. As you get clearer about who you want to be and the life you want to have, you might realize there are other things you need to shed in your life besides weight and that's okay. It's called growth.
Stupid shit other people say
Like, "I'm gonna have to keep my man away from you now" (Girl bye) and "Don't get too skinny" (buh-bye). Remember that episode of Sex & the City when Samantha didn't know how to handle Carrie's engagement? She told Carrie she'd put her in the friend who was never getting married box and now she had to take her out and Carrie apologized for the fictitious paperwork.
There are some people in your circle who've put you in the fat friend category and they don't know how to take you out. Don't apologize for bettering yourself and if they can't figure it out, take them out of your friend box and nod in agreeance when they say you're acting brand new. It's true; you're not the same woman you used to be.
Blaming anyone else for your weight but you
I didn't have positive examples of healthy eating as a child, but my mom is not the reason I'm overweight at 30-plus. It's a very hard thing to look in the mirror and take responsibility for the way your body looks, but on the flip side you also get to take responsibility for your gains (i.e. weight loss) when you take control of your health.
There's a difference between taking ownership of your choices and beating yourself up. It will do you absolutely no good to harp on the fact that you don't like your body or to be mad at yourself for gaining weight. At this point, it is what it is but it doesn't have to be. The only thing you can do about your weight is undo the damage that's been done and unpack the reasons you gained it so you don't do it again. Forgive yourself and be kind to your body from the inside out.