There are three things I want everyone to keep in mind as you work through WEEK 4...
I know every health/fitness company out there is telling you that you can have results FAST! You hear it everywhere, social media, commercials, magazine covers, friends, etc. They're selling everything from appetite suppressants, to energy boosters, to shakes, to restrictive diet plans to extreme workouts. You know what? A lot of these can actually work. Want to know why? Anytime you drastically cut calories and hike up your calorie expenditure, you really CAN have fast results, but then you have to honestly ask yourself, 'Will these be lasting results or just another cycle of the yoyo if I haven't changed my daily habits? The reality is that the recommended rate is 1 – 2 lbs. per week. Yes, really. So, please be kind to yourself if you only lose 1 pound each week and even if you maintain for a week before losing again. The process can feel so slow when the world is screaming, “Go FAST!” but you are doing yourself a big service by taking realistic, manageable steps toward healthy living.
Okay, okay, maybe not everyone but it does happen to most people at some point in their weight loss journey. If it’s happening to you, sit down and re-evaluate your strategy. Re-asses your daily caloric needs. If you’ve lost some weight, then your body will likely not require as much energy (calories) and you may need to adjust your food intake. It’s a good time to try another round of food journaling to see if you’ve fallen into some old eating patterns that could be holding you back from your goal. Change up your exercise routine and try something new! The important thing is to realize that you’re not alone and that plateaus can be overcome! It might take some creativity in mixing up your workouts and such but through consistency you WILL bust through the plateau.
When life gets to feeling stressful and overwhelming (wrapping up the summer festivities and prepping kids to return to school, anyone?) and you find yourself post-binge eating for comfort and/or distraction from the craziness that is becoming your life, please stop and recognize that ALL IS NOT LOST! Just because you lost a few points (or a lot of points) does not mean you have to give up and lose hope! There’s no need to wait for the “next challenge” or “next week” or even the “next day” so you can “do it right”. Start again NOW! Put the ice cream scoop down, wash your face, and find a carrot. Go for walk or sit down and make a new plan, but don’t’ wallow. You always have a choice to continue on a slippery slope or to reach up and grab an anchor. Make that good choice and lift yourself up. Life will always offer you a choice. Always. I have yet to meet a participant that was able to go an entire 8 weeks without a stressful event of some sort that made them want to throw in the towel and wallow in self-pity and regret. Life happens to everyone and it’s up to us to make the choice to move forward.