I am guilty of feeling jealous when I watch weight loss shows like the Biggest Loser. I start to feel a little defensive and edgy as they boast their 10 lb per week weight loss. This angry little tape plays in my head: “Sure, weight loss can’t be all that hard when you have a kitchen stocked with healthy foods, a staff of fitness professionals at your finger tips, no job to worry about and a state of the art gym. Sure, it might be just a tad easier for me if my ONLY priority was eating right and exercising! But I live in the real world! I have a job, I have a life, I do my own shopping and cooking and cleaning!”
Prior to starting my weight loss journey I wasn’t even sure it was possible to balance it all. I was pretty certain that I couldn’t manage my work stress without self-medicating with food. I was convinced that there weren’t enough hours in the day to fit in a workout without sacrificing critically important sleep or down time. I genuinely believed that committing to weight loss would require trading happiness for progress.
I was wrong. In fact, I was TOTALLY wrong.
I found that cutting out junk food made handling work stress far easier. Making time for the gym increased my productivity and gave me MORE free time. Committing to weight loss brought me a happiness and sense of empowerment that I had never experienced. In hindsight, I’m not sure how I balanced life and obesity! That was far more challenging!
There’s no question that committing to lifestyle change will require making some adjustments to your schedule. It’s very possible that those changes might be a little uncomfortable at first. But before you do what I did and start to argue how impossible it will be to balance life and fat loss ask yourself this: how well are you balancing life now? Are you happy with the way things are? Do you love your body? Do you feel fit and healthy?
How do you know that your days won’t actually be easier when you start making lifestyle improvements? How do you know that as you cut out processed foods your energy won’t go through the roof and your improved mood won’t enhance every relationship in your life?
More often than not when we argue that something can’t be done or isn’t possible within our current life structure we’re just making excuses. We’re either afraid of change, avoiding potential failure or simply not ready.
If you’re wondering if you can do this, please remind yourself that this is not an all or nothing process. You don’t need to submit to a total lifestyle overhaul on day one. Take a close look at your lifestyle and identify one or two areas for improvement. Work on one small change each week and keep practicing it until it feels comfortable. As you master each change, take on a little bit more.
Life is always a balancing act. Let’s just stay open to the idea that adopting healthy changes might actually improve and enhance your productivity and mindset.
Here are a couple small changes to think about making as you build momentum:
- Stop drinking soda
- Walk for 20 minutes each day
- Wake up 15 minutes earlier and make breakfast
- Turn off the TV and get to bed by 10pm
- Commit to including protein at every meal and snack
I was wrong to feel frustrated and envious when watching those weight loss competition shows. You know why? I am so much more likely to be successful at managing my weight in the long run because I’ve managed to incorporate it into my life. I know how to balance eating well and exercising daily with a job, a family and taking care of my house. I know how to make good choices without living in a bubble and having someone else make my decisions for me. I know how to practice moderation, overcome plateaus and motivate myself. THAT is powerful. THAT is balance. That is worth every single change.