Are you trying to lose weight? Then ask yourself this question – why is it important to get skinnier? Is it vanity? Societal pressure? Health? Or you feel ashamed of who you are? If you are trying to lose weight I think it’s vital you ask yourself why? I don’t think the answer will determine if you can achieve your weight loss goal, because if you try hard enough you can lose weight. I think questioning why it’s important to you will play a big deciding factor on if you’ll be able to maintain your weight loss.
If you are doing it for the wrong reasons then you’re wasting your time. If you only have a short-term view, like – “to fit into my favourite jeans” – then you’ll only focus on getting to your goal and not be putting the effort into making real sustainable changes. I know this because this was me.
I am the Queen of Yo-Yo Dieting. I’ve lost 15 kilos, put on 10, lost 5, put on 10, lost 15, put on 20 and am now slowly making my way down again. Those of you who’ve been following my Wobbly journey know that so far I’ve lost about 10 kilos and have about another 10 to go. Yes, I have a goal in mind. Yes, part of it is driven by vanity and part of it is driven by shame. But mainly it is driven by the overwhelming need to be healthy, for me and for my children.
Losing weight, maintaining a regular exercise regime and questioning my mindset is one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced. I am my own worst enemy. I talk myself down in most things I do. When I walk into a room, I tell myself I’m boring. When I write, I’m convinced nobody wants to read my crap. When I go to exercise, I tell myself I’m wasting my time. When I see donuts, I have to use all my willpower not to eat them. I am working hard to change the way I think. This is the biggest part of making real progress.
The challenge is not to focus on the short term and instead delve deeper into your psyche to make lasting change. Without challenging your mindset and shifting the way you think about yourself and your health, you will easily fall back into old habits. Slowly your weight will creep up again, you’ll stop exercising and your inner voice will win out. Before you know it, BAM, you’ll be back at the place you started. You’ll feel crappy that you let yourself down and it will be harder to face your battle again.
If this is you right now, don’t give up. One day it’ll click and you’ll realise that you can’t face your weight loss journey purely as that – a weight loss journey. It’s a health journey. It’s a life and mindset journey. If it’s easy, then you’re doing it wrong. Making real change is hard. Making real change is a challenge. You have to ask yourself the big questions. You have to work on yourself from the inside out. Because we all know beauty isn’t only skin deep. It’s what’s inside that matters most. To be healthy you need to work on your inside you, to get the best outside you. That’s the real challenge, not simply just fitting into your old jeans.
We can do it. You can do it.
* This post was first published on Kidspot. It was my first challenge post as a finalist in the Personal and Parenting category of the Voices of 2014 competition.