We’ve all experienced moments when we've felt like giving up on our weight loss goals. The unfortunate truth is that most of us have at some point given into these feelings - we have given up on our plan and gained the weight we lost. I can tell you that this is something I have been through on many occasions in the past. But I finally cracked the code and managed to lose the weight and keep it off for good. These 6 strategies helped me to get through the tough times:
1.Write a ‘done’ list
We spend so much of our time thinking of all the things we need to do in the future, creating a ‘to-do’ list. ‘I must lose 5 pounds this month’. ‘I must work out 5 times this week’. These lists are great - they help us to stay on track, and give us a roadmap for success. However, we rarely take into consideration the achievements we have already made by looking backwards.
Think about all the things you have accomplished. Include all the big things, such as pounds lost, but also consider the smaller things, such as little habits you have kicked or new ones you have formed. Think about how different your day to day choices are now that you are on your way to mastering your weight for good. Congratulate yourself for every change you have made, however small. Make a list and keep it somewhere close by as a reminder of just how strong you are.
2.Remember your big ‘why’
When you started out, did you take the time to really consider your big ‘why’? Why it is so important for you to succeed in losing this weight for good? This ‘why’ is for you and you alone. It could be to regain control of your body and your life, or to be capable of participating in more physically demanding activities that you enjoy. Whatever it is, think deeply on it. Remind yourself of your deep seated reasons.
If you haven't discovered your big ‘why’, download our free Toolkit which includes an exercise to help you do just this.
3.Work out why you feel like giving up
The feeling of wanting to give up is strong and filled with emotion. It can be a confusing time, and we have to question ourselves to understand what is causing the feeling. It could be a lack of energy due to tiredness or eating too little. It could be a lack of time to complete fitness activities. Maybe it’s a lack of progress. Whatever it is, there will be a solution. But in order to find the solution, we need to establish the root cause. Take time over this - reflect on how and when these feelings come about.
4.Revise your plan
Once you have gotten to the bottom of what is causing your feeling, it’s time to revise your plan to negate the problem. If it’s a lack of energy, think about how you could get an extra 30 minutes sleep per night. Look at your nutrition plan - are you being honest with yourself about how many calories you are consuming and in what form? If you are struggling for time, reconsider your fitness activities - instead of trying to squeeze in an hour long gym session, try doing a high intensity workout for 30 minutes at home.
5.Expand your support network (or reach out to your existing ones)
The worst thing you can do at a time like this is withdraw from others. If you have a support system in place already - reach out to them and ask for help. Ask them what they have done in the past when they have experienced these feelings. What helped them to move forward?
Talk to your family and friends. Explain how you are feeling and ask them to help you through. Having people around you to keep you in check can be a fantastic bolster for motivation.
If you don’t have a support network, there are plenty of places where you can find one. The internet is a great place to start. Search on Facebook for weight loss support groups - often these groups are closed which means you can talk to people without your Facebook friends seeing your comments.
6.Visualise your alternate future realities
You are at a crossroads right now. One path with take you to your goal, your vision of the future where you will be the weight you desire to be. The other path takes you back to where you started. How will life be for you in these scenarios? What will you feel about yourself? What will you be able to do and not do as a consequence? Will you be happy?
Whatever you do next, I have one final piece of advice. Make your choice based on a decision - one that you stand behind and have thought through. Don’t allow yourself to merely drift away from your path. If you chose to take a break from your goal, do it because it is the right thing for you at this moment in time. Don’t do it simply because it’s easier to give up. Remember, nothing worth having in life comes easy.
What strategies have you used to get you through when you've felt like giving up? Let us know in the comments below!