Every great journey needs a map. The best navigators are the ones who have considered all the parts of the journey. They take into account fuel, terrain, weather, equipment and other factors such as communication in emergencies.
It’s the same for you on your weight loss journey. If you are serious about making this happen, you need a game plan. And it’s got to be realistic – by this I mean that you must acknowledge what you’ve got and how you can make the best of it. In other words, if you are small and heavy you will not be able to get your body to look like something off the catwalk.
It’s a pretty tough call, particularly when we are bombarded with images of what ‘perfect’ women and men are supposed to look like. To some degree we are seeing a move away from this thinking, with role models who refuse to fall into line, who are happy with their bodies the way they are. But it’s hard not to be weight-obsessed with media headlines like ‘Celebs' FatDays’, ‘Celebs’ Beach Bodies’, ‘Detox in Three Days’, ‘Seven Days to Washboard Abs’….
It’s endless, and we all know it’s bullshit, but we still let ourselves get sucked in. So get past aiming for the unacheiveable and just take these images for what they are – digitally altered pictures of pretty boys and girls who have just as many bad hair days as we do.
We tend to hate our bodies when we are struggling with our weight, and we must accept, embrace and love our body because it’s perfect as it is. You won’t be able to move forward on your journey until you take this important step, so if you’ve been hating yourself, picking at your imperfections, beating yourself up about how you look, it’s time to do the opposite and start loving your body because it’s your body, and it’s the only one you’ve got.
Think of it like this: you’ve hated your body for a while now, but has it helped? What if you did the opposite and started giving it a little love? I have all my clients say out loud ‘I love my self and I love my body’. I get them to say it to me until they believe it.
The next step is to ask yourself what you really want. What is it that you are looking for? What is the life-changing result that you want to achieve? Is it only about weight loss? Or is ot about fitness too? Do you have some health issue that must be addressed, such as high cholesterol or high blood sugar levels? You need to be absolutely clear about your plan. And as with all plans, it needs to be SMART:
SPECIFIC – no fluffy stuff – be crystal clear about where you are going. For example, ‘I’m joining a gym today’.
MEASURABLE – get all the cold hard numbers so you can monitor your progress: get on the scales, take your measurements, try on your skinny clothes, calculate your BMI, see your doctor and get your blood pressure and cholesterol readings.
ACHIEVABLE- your goal needs to be one that you are capable of reaching given your available time, job and family commitments etc
REALISTIC – similar to achievable, but a notch higher. For example, ‘I’m going to loose 20 kilos in the next 12 weeks’ is realistic (especially if you are morbidly obese) but ‘I’m going to lose 20 kilos in the next 3 weeks’ is not, unless you plan to lose a leg in an unfortunate shark attack,
TIME-BASED – once you’ve set your goal weight, then you need to draw up a day by day, week-by-week plan and execute it with precision. For example ‘I will lose 20 kilos in 12 weeks, which is 1.5 kilo per week’.
You’ll notice that the words ‘want’ and ‘try’ don’t get used un the SMART terminology. ‘I want to lose 20 kilos’ means just that – you want to lose 20 kilos. ‘I’m going to lose 20 kilos’ means that you WILL lose 20 kilos.
Now you have a clear understanding of what you are aiming for, it’s time to go get it.