So, you have decided to take the first big step and started your weight loss journey. You might have made a New Year’s Resolutions in January and come out of the starting gate like Usain bolt full of confidence, hope and enthusiasm. Now it’s almost the end of June and you may have lost some serious weight or had a few blowouts, roadblocks or a total trainwreck happen.
If that was you we have some good news for you, you’re not alone and it’s completely fine. Actually, it’s the perfect time to reset and reflect on your progress, and refresh your weight loss goals.
Forget the year
If you’ve been struggling hard during covid, you’re far from alone. The world has been upside down, so if your healthy habits have fallen by the wayside, fine. Don’t beat yourself up about it or stress that you had 6 months to get a handle on things and you didn’t.
Forget about it.
You can’t do anything about the past, so instead focus on what you can control – your plans and actions going forward.
Image – Joel Strickland
Reflect on your progress
How has your weight loss progress been going so far?
Think about what you’ve done, and don’t be shy about patting yourself on the back. If you’ve made any steps towards improving your health, it should be celebrated, even if you did then undo these healthy habits during a difficult few months.
It’s all something to learn from, so ask yourself what you can learn from your efforts, whether they were successful or not.
Set new goals
The best weight loss and fitness goals are ones that come with real, actionable plans.
Don’t say ‘I will get fit’, say ‘I will run for 20 minutes 3 times a week before work’. Don’t say ‘I will cut out all sugary foods’, say ‘I eat too many sugary snacks, so I will replace these with healthier options’.
You’re far more likely to achieve a goal this way because you’ve given yourself something to work with.
Take food seriously.
Sharpen your pencils, grab a fresh page of paper and get your head down to create a solid meal plan for the week.
Knowing exactly what’s on the menu and what’s coming each day gives great peace of mind and says yes, you’ve got this.
Even if you falter and end up calling for a takeaway after a stressful day at work, or if you can’t resist that Snickers at 3 pm (you’re not you when you’re hungry, after all), having a plan means you can adjust the rest of the week accordingly.
Do one thing
It’s easy to look at yourself and think that there are many things you want to change.
I eat too many takeaways, drinking too much soft drink and don’t exercise enough – all of these contribute to me being overweight. Don’t fall into the trap of making an all or nothing lifestyle overhaul.
It’s true that I do want to stop relying on takeaways, cut down on soft drink and start exercising, but trying to do all three at once means that I’ll inevitably fail at one of them.
Instead, start slow. Pick one thing. Make a meal plan this week that includes a couple of takeaways, then next week include one takeaway, the week after giving yourself a plan to make simple meals at home all week.
Over time, you can build this up to increase your recipe repertoire or to cut back on sugar, or fat, or whatever. You don’t have to do everything at once.
Try something new
If your results have slowed down or the thought of counting points again fills you with dread, try something new. A change is as good as a rest (or in this case, better, because you don’t want to rest on your laurels and end up putting the weight you’ve lost back on), so do something you’ve never tried before.
Join a physical challenge, try fasting, sign up for a new local footy season – the possibilities are endless. And there’s no point festering in your rut now, is there.