On Mindfulness & Accountability

Yeah, you know, I’m human. I am admittedly not as strict with my eating as I was a year ago. Have I achieved all my goals? No. Would I make faster progress if I got back to what worked for me so well before? Abso-freaking-lutely. And I’m working on it. Here is what I know to be true: If I do what I was doing, I’ll get what I was getting. Or, if I keep bending the rules and not applying my full effort, I won’t get the full results I want. I own it. I have room for improvement and I love that about this process. I really do.

Here’s what is different for me now compared to times in the past when I lost weight and regained it. In the past I wouldn’t be accountable. I wouldn’t acknowledge that my decisions weren’t good. I wouldn’t think about it. I certainly wouldn’t admit to it. I’d go into a “la la la I can’t hear you!!!” fog of denial until I was sooooo far from the progress I had made. That sucks. That will not happen to me again. How do I know? Accountability.

One of the best ways I stay accountable is by looking in the mirror. Naked. From all angles. Often. I don’t beat myself up if I don’t like what I see, though. I acknowledge it and then I empower myself: I have the ability to sculpt whatever kind of body I want. And that is awesome. And I can do it today. I can do it with my very next choice. That is far more productive and encouraging than the beating myself up I used to do.

On Thursday I aired a podcast interview (my third) with Tim Bauer of TinierTim.com and he made such a profound point. If you haven’t listened to the full episode yet, definitely check it out. But I wanted to share something he said that really resonated with me:

“A lot of people that I know, they hit their goals and then they say they’re done with the scale. The reality is that when we stop being mindful of where we are from a fitness [or fat loss] perspective, is when a lot of us start to regain. A lot of us start to go backwards because we lose the mindfulness that we had when we were in active weight loss mode…when we were monitoring where we were at…not just from a weight perspective but also from an eating perspective.”

Don’t lose the mindfulness at any stage of your journey. You need it to get started. You need it to make progress. You need it to maintain your progress. Always be asking yourself questions like:

  • Am I making the progress I want to make?
  • What am I doing (or not doing) that is hindering my progress?
  • What is one change I can make today to help move me towards my goal?
  • Am I practicing consistency today?
  • What do I want more: a momentary indulgence or the progress I deserve?

Practice regular accountability. Different accountability strategies work for different people so choose what works for you. Some of these you’ll find do not work for you, but that doesn’t mean you should ditch accountability all together. Have at least one and DO NOT make staying accountable optional. Don’t just be accountable after a good week. You MOST need accountability after a bad week! Accountability is not optional if you want to be successful. Try these on for size:

  • Checking your weight or having someone close to you check your weight
  • Waist and hip circumference
  • Body fat percentage
  • A tight fitting pair of pants
  • Underwear selfies #usecaution #iaintjudgingya #stayouttamyphone

As for me: I have recruited the help of a friend to keep me accountable to tight nutrition and intense workouts. I know what works for me and I am willing to do the work even when I don’t feel like doing the work. Why? Because results feel way better than excuses.

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4 replies
  1. Meg
    Meg says:

    Great topic. I used to go through long periods that were really an extended suspension of accountability. I just did not want to know where I really was on the scale. Other times I was well aware but didn’t care. For some reason I thought the pleasure was worth the gain. I just listened to the interview with Tim Bauer on Moderation vs. Abstinence and I thought it was one of the best episodes yet. I could relate to so much. I used to lament my addiction to carbs: rice/pasta/bread and say, “geez, an alcoholic doesn’t have to serve vodka to his/her family on a nightly basis!”. I used to look at leftovers and say, “do I put that last half a pot of scrumptious cheesy pasta in the compost bin or do I give it a good home in my belly?”. Mindfulness. Accountability. Denying denial. Owning up to the truth. Its just that simple.

  2. Shirley holloway
    Shirley holloway says:

    I really lov d that podcast too. This issue is a tough one for me. I think I had great accountability while I weighed in at ww every week for several years. That really helped me. Now ww really do ant speak to me anymore. I quit. I wish I could afford a trainer. I do fairly well on my own but many family times are hard because food is a social event and sharing a meal is an important part of my family. I have tried to eat and fix my own meals but get mad and start to feel depriv d. This primal program seems to really work for me now. Have reached all my goals, no but I am a lot closer. Done never. Hypothyroidism complicates it all but not an excuse. Thanks for letting me vent a little.


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