Over the last few years I’ve had so many people tell me how hard they have found it to start losing weight. I hear them. It’s no lie when people say the first step is the hardest. So here’s a couple of things I’ve learnt about starting a weight loss journey.
1. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve tried before, the first step on a weight loss journey never gets any easier.
You might have all the knowledge and the nutrition info and all the tools you need to start losing weight, but if you’ve taken a break from healthy living, getting back into it never gets any easier. Newbies and veterans alike struggle to take that first step and all should be applauded for doing so.
2. YOU have to really want to do it.
You can pay lip service to wanting to lose weight all you like, but if you don’t want to do it deep down in your soul it won’t work. The commitment to changing is something that takes passion and if you don’t feel it, why on earth would you stick to it? Likewise if you’re just doing it because you ‘feel you should’ or for someone else’s benefit, you’re never going to truly get it. And that’s fine. If you’re not ready, you’re not ready. You, and only you will know when it’s time ?
3. There is no ‘right’ way
Now you might think this is weird coming from someone who has enjoyed the Slimming World plan for several years now, but I stand by that statement. What what works for me, might not work for you and vice versa. You know you better than anyone in the world. You are the only one who can say what is going to work for you. You dig Slimming World and feasting on large portions? Fantastic! Green smoothies and the gym your thing? You go girl! You prefer to count calories? Amen to that! Never let anyone else tell you what kind of weight loss journey is best for you.
4. Be prepared
Now this could mean one of two things really. Firstly being prepared with the right kinds of foods in the house etc is sooooooo helpful. You try starting any kind of healthy living with a house stuffed the gunnels with chocolate, wine and crisps and you’re not giving yourself even a fighting chance. And if you have to have these things in for other people, try moving them out of eye line and get your preferred foods in their place.
Secondly it could also mean being prepared for how hard the beginning might be. Changing foods is one thing, but changing behaviours is a whole other ball game and it doesn’t happen over night. If you’ve been eating pretty much what you want, when you want, for a long time, changing that behaviour could take a while. Be prepared to have to literally think about everything you do and eat until it becomes second nature. It might take a while. Don’t be surprised by that and just accept it’s the way it will be.
5. Set small goals
For the love of all that is beautiful in this world, please don’t start any weight loss journey with just your end weight in sight, particularly if, like me, that is a loooong way away. I still don’t know where I’d finally like to get to because it’s never been near enough to be an achievable goal. Smaller goals are achievable and any life coach or motivation ‘guru’ will tell you achieving a series of smaller realistic goals will help keep you going. And the more goals you reach the more positive reinforcement you’ll get. By all means have a figure or a place in mind, but remember to set smaller goals within that figure. Could be a number of lbs lost or a size of clothing you want to wear or how you feel at a particular time. By breaking it down you’re more likely to get there.
6. Be your own cheerleader
Probably one of the most important things in beginning any weight loss journey is to make sure you celebrate your own success. And publicly if you can bring yourself to. We all have to be motivated to do anything in this life (would you go to work if you didn’t get paid?) and losing weight is no different. Please, please, please don’t ever put your weight loss down, say it’s not that good or not as good as someone else. Losing weight can be bloody hard work, so why would you ever put any loss down as ‘not good enough’? You get out there and you shake those pompoms! You might find it awkward to begin with, but every pat on the back you give yourself will just reinforce that you’re doing the right thing. And if others join in, well all the better ?
Making the decision to change in your life is never easy, but I swear once you take that first step, over the mental block that’s stopped you doing it in the first place, you’ll have done half the hard work already.