Let me just say: my weight loss journey is not easy street. I mean, like, NOW. Its not easy street now. It never has been. Forgive me if I’ve ever given the impression that this is easy and effortless. Its just not. I feel frustrated sometimes. I get tempted to skip my workouts. I sometimes wish I could eat a big bowl of ice cream and not get bloated and fall asleep immediately afterwards.
But I decided to see this journey all the way through regardless of how hard it is. There are good times, too. Times when I feel totally untouchable in the gym. Moments when I feel strong, capable and unstoppable. Days when I wake up and notice changes in my belly or face. Those days feel great. I make sure to take extra time on those days to journal. And its not a “ooooh! I feel so amazing, life is wonderful” kinda journal entry. Its an evaluation of what I’m doing that makes me feel that way. Maybe I feel unstoppable in the gym because I got 8 hours of sleep for the past several days. Maybe my belly is leaning out because I successfully avoided dairy for a few days. When things feel good I study WHY they feel good. I write about it because honestly, in a few weeks I won’t remember the feeling OR the reasons behind it. I’m constantly evaluating and assessing. It’s a powerful tool.
There’s a time when awareness is far more important though. The times I feel like crap. The moments I want to cry. The moments I feel like progress is slow. The moments I want to have a pizza delivered in the middle of the afternoon. When I was over 300 lbs I would TOTALLY avoid analyzing these moments. I wouldn’t even consider it. I’d go into “earmuffs” mode and just indulge, indulge, indulge and avoid my feelings like a freaking plague. It would be uncomfortable. And I’d have to admit that I was doing something wrong. I don’t like to be wrong. So if I just blindly followed my urges it was like it didn’t happen, right? Uh….yeah….something like that. I did that for years.
I have a very different approach now. When I feel down/frustrated/lonely/cravings or whatever other unpleasant feeling, I dig into it. The practice of brutal honesty and self-awareness is the single most important thing I am doing to reach my health goals. When I understand what’s going on I can identify it and create a strategy to overcome it. Woah, novel, huh?
Let me give you a real life example. In July I left my busy, chaotic, stressful job to devote myself 100% to Primal Potential. I went from spending 9-12 hours a day in an office to being home all day. Major change. I had to learn quickly to structure my days because I know I tend to go on the prowl for food when I get bored. So I did just that. I’m a morning person so I play to my strengths. I get up, meditate, work for a few hours and then take a break to workout. After my workout I come home and work for a couple more hours. My dead-air time is the late afternoon. My brain is fried, I’m getting tired. I’m restless. I’m bored. I’m at the house by myself. All my friends/family are at work. After a few weeks I quickly found that it was a hard time for me. It was in those afternoon hours that I was having more cravings, trying to talk myself into indulgences. I didn’t let it go on for so long that I stopped making progress towards my goals because I’m blindly snacking through the afternoons. I identified my feelings, I acknowledged that I do much better and feel much better when I’m busy, and I created a strategy to address that tough time of day. I knew I couldn’t shift my work blocks to the afternoon because I function much more optimally in the mornings. I couldn’t move my workouts to the afternoon because my trainer isn’t available then. I didn’t want to say “do more work!” because I know it wouldn’t be my very best at that time of day.
So I decided to use my afternoons as my “study” time. I love it. I now look forward to that time of day. I get a cup of tea (too late for coffee) and either curl up on the couch with whatever book I’m reading or sit in my office and listen to a podcast. I’m never short on things to read or listen to and this allows me to relax and recharge. I read & study things that motivate and inspire me. Its perfect for me. What’s most perfect is that I’m responding to my pain points and finding a work around. I’m not thinking “oh its impossible to lose weight because I just get so hungry in the afternoon and I can’t control it”.
Are there scenarios or times of day that are hardest for you? I often hear that the evening hours are most challenging. People graze from dinner to bedtime – mostly out of boredom and loneliness. I get it. That’s super common. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck in that place. Study it. As yourself what is going on. Seriously, sit down and really think about it.
Are you hungry?
Is this a reaction to being bored?
Do you feel like you need to have something going on all the time or else you’ll think about food?
Have you conditioned yourself to need food in order to enjoy your favorite TV show?
Are you tired?
Identify what’s going on and then start trying different things to overcome it. Maybe you could make dinner time a little later and bedtime a little earlier. Maybe adding more fat and protein and fiber to breakfast and lunch will reduce your evening cravings. Perhaps you could pick up a hobby and work on it in the evenings like learning to play an instrument or learning to knit. What about taking a cooking class a few nights a week or joining a Bible study group?
No matter what your pain point is, there is a workaround. You just have to stop avoiding it or accepting it as your lot in life. Identify your pain points. Strategize. Practice, practice, practice.
Don’t forget! Thursday December 4th at 8pm EST I’ll be hosting a webinar to talk about the keys to my fat loss success and how I maintain motivation over the long haul. I’ll go step by step through what works best for me, what hasn’t worked and how you can start to create your own fat loss formula! Space is limited so click here to reserve your spot!