Persistence: Having the Eye of the Tiger
Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat- fat loss isn’t fun, it isn’t easy, and it definitely doesn’t happen overnight (sorry 5 minute abs). Fat loss is a War of Attrition. The battlefield? Your body. Your weapons? Willpower, determination, and the soundtrack of Mama Mia! looped on your IPod (don’t judge). We’re talking about a battle where the only winners turn out to be big losers (of weight, that is). In order to reach the finish line, you better make like the Tortoise in that kids fable and be persistent.
You see, often we can start things with the best of intentions, having a sudden burst of motivation which spurs us to action. “I will get back to the gym in the New Year!” “I will quit smoking in the New Year!” “Yes, I will in fact give up Double-crème Oreos in the New Year!” The point I’m trying to make here (besides providing a prelude to my own New Year’s resolution) is that what may have been undertaken with grit and gusto one moment may just as easily evaporate the next.
Success Tip: Identify your motivations for starting this transformation. Physical items (such as that photo of you 10 years ago, those skinny jeans in your closet, your latest blood report, etc) can serve as constant reminders of just why you started this in the first place- keep them close and visible!
We’ve all experienced this before and know it well. One day it’s “ I’m gonna get sooo lean that you can see abs on my face, I’m in it to win it this time!” But then inevitably, to the tune of a week or two later, it’s more like “I had to go to my BFF’s b day and like, I couldn’t be rude and refuse cake, so I ate 3 pieces, and I felt like crap afterwards so I gorged on dinner rolls dipped in chocolate sauce.” What? Come on now, people. What we need to cultivate here is what Barrack Obama refers to as “stick-to-itness”.
Success Tip: DO NOT weigh yourself at any point apart from when your scheduled to (should be weekly). Inconsequential fluctuations in weight can have dire consequences on our moral if those numbers aren’t what we hope to see at that point in time
10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Cry When You Weigh Yourself
The average woman’s weight can fluctuate 6-8 pounds
The average guys weight can fluctuate 6-12 pounds
The factors that affect your current weight are:
1. The amount of sodium you’ve recently consumed (more salt= more stored water= more weight, check your labels and only consume max 2400mg a day)
2. Time of the month (for women can cause bloating and extra weight)
3. Time of the day (when you wake up with an empty stomach, you weigh less than in the evening, much less, you must be consistent)
4. Your stomach content (what you’ve eaten so far today, whether there is indigestion in there and/or food intolerances that can cause bloating)
5. Bathroom time (whether you’ve used the bathroom that day or not for both purposes)
6. The amount of carbohydrates recently consumed (every 1 gram of carbohydrate attracts 2.8 grams of water so that pasta could be making you hold an additional 2-3 pounds and this is why people believe low carb diets work, when they drop the carbs they drop radical weight)
7. Amount of muscle glycogen in your body (are your muscles full and fresh or depleted? Depending upon how much “energy” your muscles have indicates how much your muscles presently weigh)
8. Water consumption- how much you drank prior to the weigh-in and whether it is in your body or not.
9. Stress levels- the more stressed out you are, the more likely you are to retain your fat and water
10. Scale calibration- is the thing EVEN WORKING? Most scales differ by at least a small difference and when you weigh week to week this could prove fatal!
We’ve already talked about the importance of formulating a sound plan of action that, if followed, will lead to the results we’re after. What we need to be mindful of are the potential pitfalls and road blocks that we surely will encounter on this adipose odyssey. The social gatherings, the lack of time to prep your meals, the disappointing weigh-ins, those damn ice cream trucks with their enchanting melodies, all may seem to conspire against you to derail your goals but ultimately you have the control. Be persistent and results will follow.
What are you doing to get to your goals?