Ambition kills more weight loss than any other factor.
When you first start a new diet and exercise goal what do you do? You want to run out and buy a new treadmill. You want to go buy a new bike. Get new workout clothes. Get new shoes.
You might eat nothing but cabbage for 3 days. Luxuriate on meals of carrot tops and wheat stems. Flax seed becomes the snack food of champions.
New diet goals are a lot like falling in love. Married people know the falling in love stage lasts a short time when bumped up against 10 years of marriage. The in-love phase, where passions are high, where your eyes glass over and your heart races when your love appears might last a few months. But only a base of realistic expectations, builds a base of stable and solid love that can last a lifetime.
When you first create a new diet plan, you get excited. This is when the inspiration and motivation is high. But sadly, early diet goals can be like falling in love. Eventually we get to the point where we see the not so pleasant side and passion wanes and pain increases.
Your treadmill becomes a clothing rack. Going to the gym starts to suck. The idea of eating just one more salad makes you want to gorge on Boston Cream Pie
I call the loss of passion and motivation the dip.
The dip happens in business. It happens in dating relationships and in marriage. Similarly, the dip happens with workout and dieting goals too. But you knew that already, didn’t you?
When you’re in the dip, it is easier to slack off and believe slacking it isn’t so bad.
However, we all know the result of accumulated days of slacking. As the days of lethargy pass and pass, there will one day be an accounting. And then what?
We go back to falling in love with another system. And history repeats itself.
The dip is not only for weight loss, falling in love with any goal early without developing a long term plan is dangerous.
Here is a prediction for you – am I psychic? Pick a long term goal. If your goal will take a month or more to reach, you will hit the dip. At some point you won’t want to follow through. Not doing will feel better than doing. No need in complaining about it or weeping into a 1/2 gallon tub of ice cream. Expect the dip and plan accordingly.
You might ask how we can plan for and compensate for the dip when trying to lose weight.
We have all heard the way to permanent weight loss is to make a lifestyle change. But rarely do we hear how to do it. This is so irritating I want to beat myself over the head with a meat tenderizer.
Whoever says just make a lifestyle change (without telling you how) needs a swift kick in the butt because if we dont know how, it is impossible to do.
A Lifestyle Change is Serious.
A lifestyle change is huge.
It means changing your life forever! Did you ever consider that when someone said make a lifestyle change to lose weight ?
Therefore, I am going to give my how-to on creating a lifestyle change for losing weight.
When starting out to lose 50 or 100 lbs. most people usually take on too much too soon. Its exciting at first, but then 3 or 4 days in, we get tired, our muscles ache, the day of fasting lemon-rinds soaked in fungus tea makes the head throb. So we want to quit. Hint: That is the expected and natural result. You should not be surprised when you quit.
Going back to the lifestyle change, you cant go from 10 years of rest to 10K marathons in a week. Its common sense right? Yet dieters push to get fast results to keep motivated for the long term.
Here is an idea – forget about motivation for a minute. And think about 20 years from now That is how the smart money investors think.
Picture yourself as an investment strategist.
A new investor comes to you for some advice about what to do with $10,000 they painstakingly saved. He says he wants to put it all into the stock market by buying shares in a brand new company. You find out this company is one he overheard some people talking about at Starbucks.
He wants to get in on the ground floor of this stock before it shoots to the moon.
What do you think of his investment strategy? How much growth can he expect in 20 years?
You know the odds are staggering in favor he will lose all his money. He is moving too fast into a direction he knows little or nothing about. He is going all in so there is no way for him to adjust for market fluctuations no way to adjust for the dip.
So you tell him to forget about the quick fix long term investing is where the real money is made. You put together a portfolio of mutual funds that balance risk with security. Then finally, you tell him to put his money in for the 20 year stretch.
Permanent weight loss is what it is permanent! Permanent results from temporary changes rarely, if ever, work. So we need to start thinking permanent in order to make it happen.
How do we reach a state of permanency when it comes to being thin or trim? Like our new investor above, we make a long term investment. We think 20 years out and we don’t do anything we can’t reasonably expect to do unless we can do it for that 20 years.
Can you subsist on cabbage soup and eggplant seeds for 20 years? Of course not. Can you start out by running 5 miles a day within the first week? No, you would be crazy to try.
Within reason what small changes can you make to your diet today that will last 20 years? And do mot give me that I can drink 2 slim fasts a day for the next 20 years nonsense! I said within reason. We cannot make unreasonable changes and make them stick.
How about I will eat at least one green vegetable with every dinner? That is simple enough is not it? It doesn’t require any measuring, weighing or graphing on a scientific calculator. Just look for the color green on your plate come dinner time. If none exists, find some.
Here is a tip where you do not even have to give up anything When eating a sandwich at lunch, I will cut it in half. I’ll eat 1/2 and save the other for later in case I get hungry. I probably don’t have to tell you how this cuts calories and helps cut down on unnecessary snacking. But at the same time, the psychological pain is minimal. You haven’t given up the whole sandwich, just the timing of how you eat it.
Here is another idea I will never eat 2 side orders of starch during the same meal. Seems simple to me. It is not painful. In fact, its been my personal eating philosophy for nearly 15 years.
Here’s something to do today I expect you to do it today. Print this article and fill out the form below signing it as you would a contract. It is a contract with yourself to do 3 simple things every day for the next 20 years. I recommend hanging this contract on your bathroom mirror so you can see it every day.
Follow through with this contract or the kitty gets it!
You know you’ll be able to do it because the three changes are reasonable. I cant stress this enough. They should be so simple, you should feel guilty they aren’t hard enough. Seriously!
Make a list of 3 reasonable changes you can make to your diet or exercise you can follow through on for the next 20 years.
Don’t make excuses! Do it now!
I _______________________hereby promise to follow through on these three habits for the next 20 years. At the end of 20 years I will have effectively changed my lifestyle.
My three habits:
Signature: ______________________________ Date: ___________
Witnessed by: ___________________________ Date: ___________
Craig is the founder of LifeGuider, he is dedicated to improving not only himself but also others in being more physically fit and mentally capable of handling life’s challenges. He is not your regular life coach, no fancy clothes or fast cars, just a regular “Ole Joe” who has experienced the ups and downs of life like everyone else.
It’s a new week and a new meal prep menu, this week I’m…