How to create effective weight loss

If you’ve missed the first two F’s feel free to go back and take a look at the others before tackling today’s.

The next four-letter F word is one most people who have failed at creating and maintaining an effective weight loss program are familiar with. I call it the Flop – and what I mean by it is simple. You quit too soon.

Maybe you quit because you hadn’t yet made peace with your fear. Maybe you quit because of fatigue. Maybe you quit because you stepped on the scale and didn’t like what you saw. Whatever the case, you quit – you stopped going for the walk, you quit eating the vegetables, and you started saying things like “I can’t do this.” Then you sat down. You gave up.

And no amount of platitudes like “Winners never quit” and “Quitters never win” is going to get you back on your feet – at least not until you start to feel really, really awful again. Only to repeat the cycle in two weeks, two months or two years.

Sound like fun? I didn’t think it would.

So, how do you keep from Flopping?

Realize you’re in a dip and rejoice:

Seth Godin wrote a book about this and how it applies to work. But it applies really well to weight loss too. In the book, he describes “The Dip [as] the long slog between starting and mastery.” And he’s right. The Dip happens, and it happens right as the newness of your enterprise has started to wear off and all the kudos you were getting  from family and friends begin to decline. Your healthy new life is old news. You’ve figured out the machines at the gym. You’ve  found a yummy new way to cook green beans, and you’ve bought all the shiny new workout clothes your budget can stand. Now it’s just a matter of doing it.

Which is why I say rejoice.

The thing about the Dip is that it is the key to success. It is the thing that separates the wanna-be’s from them I am’s – the winners from the losers. So what do you do when you find yourself in the Dip?

Lean into it. That’s right. Acknowledge it – then embrace it. If you can commit to toughing it out now, you will succeed. Really. So take a minute and re-imagine that life you want. Really feel it. See it. Heck – smell, taste, and hear it. Then,

Re-commit to the small steps:

Remember how we talked about starting small on day one? Revisit that. Choose one or two small steps and recommit to them. So often when we get excited about making a change, we try do everything all at once. Take a step back and look at what you are doing, and what is really do-able. Pick the do-able.

Then revisit the second post in the effective weight loss series about giving yourself gratitude. Take a few minutes and write down those successes. Then take another minute and let yourself feel good about the progress you’ve made thus far – even if the only progress you can find is that you’re doing these steps right now.

Reconsider what you are measuring:

Everyone has their own definition of success. Some people want Madonna’s arms. Other want to fit into last summer’s jeans. If you’re really wanting to take it up a notch, take another look at what you’re measuring as success (and please, if you are just starting out, do not use the scale). For three non-scale things to measure, check out what the Real Age docs have to say here. And take a long look at the third tip. Seems a bit familiar doesn’t it?

Add one new thing:

Doing something new always raises the energy level. It is guaranteed. So change things up a little. Been going to the gym? Take a day and play outside. Roller blade. Jump on the trampoline with your kids. Grab a hula hoop and spend a few minutes making it spin. Tired of walking around the block?  Get a day pass to your local gym and see what’s happening there. Try a new class, a new recipe, a new food. Just do something to shake things up and recapture the excitement.

Success is in relationships:

One of the surest ways to fail at anything is to go it alone, so get someone in your corner. It could be a friend, a coach, or a trainer – anyone as long as they are committed to providing you support, cheering you on, and  keeping you accountable. You want to have someone you can talk to about the highs and the lows of what you are doing. Someone who will cheer on your successes and call you on your BS excuses. Most importantly, you want someone who is invested in your success. A professional is great. A clear-headed friend without a personal agenda is too. One of each is even better. Take some time and decide what level of support you need. Then find it.

Remember that the dip is just that – a dip. It is not an end, and it certainly is not an excuse to flop. It’s a sign that you’re getting closer to what you really want and a signal to get serious about your commitment. So use these steps to get off the couch  and forge forward, knowing that success is right around the corner;  then come back next week when we will tackle the final F – Faith.

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