Extreme weight loss. Losing weight. Beginning a new chapter of your life, starting a new journey, deciding to become the best you that you can possibly be. We all hear others talk about how we can be anything we want to be and do anything we want to do. We are told to follow our dreams and that anything is possible. Often times, especially on a weight loss journey, we are told: “just do it.” Part of having success is having a plan. How can you be successful if you don’t know how to get there?
I know people don’t like talking about the hard stuff or the stuff that may not be so pretty along the path to success or following our dreams. But I think these hard moments are just as important as the pep talks and the “you can do its.” The fact of the matter is, that losing weight is so much more than just losing weight. It can get messy, complicated, scary and lonely. It can take you down a dark path and make you feel lost and alone. So what are some of the ugly truths of weight loss that I feel are so important and helped me become who I am today?
Excuses…everybody has them and uses them as to why they can’t lose weight
Yes, I made a bunch of excuses and justified to others and to myself why I would not and did not want to lose weight. It is very easy for others to tell you to just lose the weight and say it is easy and that you are just making excuses. Chances are, you are the one stopping yourself from making the changes because you are filling your head with excuses. A lot of times we are afraid of failing or afraid of putting in the hard work in so we do say “ I am too old, I have this pain, I have weak knees, I am too busy, I have no money, I hate working out”……the list goes on and on.
When you make excuses it is not because you cannot do it, it is because you don’t want to do it. So before you begin anything, it is important, to be honest with yourself and realize if you are the one, the thing, standing in your way. Yes, people can say what they want but at the end of the day, it is up to you. How bad do you want it? Stop making excuses and start reaching for those goals.
You are the one in control and you are the one who has the power. If you tell yourself that you can’t do it and keep making excuses, then more than likely won’t do it. But that is not because you are too weak, or do not have the magic wand that everyone else has. It is because you don’t want to put the work in and it is because you are filling your mind with self-doubt and negativity instead of positive reinforcement and self-love.
Losing Weight is HARD!
The truth of the matter is that losing weight is hard. Like really hard. I don’t care what anyone else says, it is hard. Period. I think that a lot of times people like to say it may be “easy” because they have not personally gone through losing a large amount of weight themselves. Maybe they think “fat people” are just lazy and make excuses and that is why they are not losing weight. Maybe they have even lost an extreme amount of weight themselves and they think that everyone else should be able to just do that too. Some people think that if you really wanted to lose weight, you would just do it. Even though there is some truth to this, I will talk more about this later.
I think that after we accept that it is going to be hard and admit that no, it won’t be easy and that there are no shortcuts or magic pills or magic wands to wave to lose weight, then we are really ready to make the changes and be successful. I feel that the most important part to actually being successful at losing weight is accepting that yes, it will be hard. Starting off thinking that it is going to be easy can set you up to fail or become angry with yourself, when you are struggling or realizing it is not, in fact, easy like others say. You can start thinking “what is wrong with me, why is this hard for me.” “Why can everyone else do it and not me?”
So yes, losing weight is hard. But just know that because it is hard does not mean it is impossible. It does not mean that you cannot do it. No one really likes to talk about the negative stuff, myself included, but I think that being real and honest, even with the not so good stuff is so important especially when it has to do with making a huge transformation. You want to set yourself up to succeed, and I feel part of being successful is first realizing that it is not going to be easy, but also remembering that it does not mean impossible.
You are going to fail
Another truth of the matter is that you are going to fail, fall down, and mess up….and that is ok. My journey started as just wanting to lose weight, but then I learned that this is not just a weight loss plan or a diet for me, this is going to be a lifestyle change. I needed to change from the inside out, and that required a lot more than just losing weight. It took me changing a lot of what I believed, how I behaved and what I felt and thought about myself and food. I started my journey thinking I would never cheat and never fail or mess up…I became obsessed with the number on the scale and I would not even look at “bad” foods because I was so determined that I could be successful.
I thought I was different than everyone else who “falls off the wagon.” I had myself convinced that I could lose all of my weight and never give in to life, temptations, or treats. But guess what? I am human and I ate a cookie…or 5 and I ate a plate full of nachos from time to time. After I would do this I would be miserable, I felt like I had failed. I told myself I would never do this and here I was. I felt like a complete and total failure. I felt like I was weak and pathetic and I HATED myself for it.
Having a treat here and there or enjoying drinks with friends was not bad and did not make me a failure.
Having a treat here and there or enjoying drinks with friends was not bad and did not make me a failure. It took me a long time to come to this realization. It was normal, it meant that I was human. But for me, going into it thinking I would never mess up or make a poor choice or that would never fall down again was unrealistic. Whether we want to admit it or not, there are going to be times we are going to fall down and mess up.
No matter what it is we are doing, weight loss related or not, there will be bumps along the way. Knowing that these moments are guaranteed to happen and knowing how to handle these situations when they come up and knowing how to move on is so much better than setting yourself up for failure. You will mess up and you will fall down. But what matters is how you stand back up and keep moving forward. Just because you make one choice that knocks you down doesn’t mean that you keep making those choices. Notice that you made a poor choice and make the next choice a better one. Don’t stay on the wrong path get back where you need to be as soon as you see that you are swerving off the path.
There will also be times that you want to quit.
You will think it is too hard and that it is easier to just give up. I had those moments several times along my journey. I thought that losing 3oo pounds would take forever and that I would never make it. That is why it is so important to be prepared and ready. Knowing what to do when those negative thoughts pop up, and what to do in those moments of weakness where temptation and negative self-doubt are knocking at your door is part of having a plan and being successful.
Having moments where you feel like you want to quit is ok. You are ok. It is ok for it to be hard and for you to feel like giving up. In those moments remember this, “ I am stronger than I think.” It is all about what we do and how we react when those negative thoughts attack us that matter. Because truth is, they are going to come whether we like it or not! So don’t try to force it not to happen, but be prepared to recognize what is happening, know what to do and how to move forward when it does happen. It is ok to feel like quitting…it is NOT ok to quit because it gets hard.
You think everyone will be supportive and be happy for you, but the truth is…not everyone will support you.
One of the hardest lessons for me to realize and understand is that not everyone is going to be supportive or understand your journey. Something happens to other people when we decide to change. You think everyone will be supportive and be happy for you, but the truth is…not everyone will. I had people stop talking to me when I lost weight, I had friends trying to have me “cheat” and tell me I was crazy for not eating junk, or call me crazy for never wanting to miss a workout. I had doctors who did not believe in me and thought I wasn’t good enough. Still, to this day, I feel like I have to explain myself and my decisions to others and it sucks. You would think that your “friends” would support you no matter what…but sometimes we find that those people aren’t really our friends.
You are the only one who fully knows what you are going through and how you feel
This one is really hard for to talk about for me…because…it hurts. You are trying to better yourself and you would think everyone would be happy for you. But at the end of the day, this is your journey. Remember that. You are the only one who fully knows what you are going through and how you feel. You don’t need to justify yourself to anyone. Eat the cupcake or don’t eat the cupcake. That is your choice your decision, not theirs. Don’t let what others say affect you or make you change your feelings. The truth is not everyone is going to support or understand your journey and that is ok!!
Nobody wants to talk about how anger can keep you from being successful
No one wants to talk about how you might feel angry with yourself. Nobody wants to talk about how this anger can keep you from being successful. How you feel about yourself and how you talk to yourself will absolutely determine how successful you are in achieving your goals no matter what they are.
You are the one who is in complete control of whether you succeed or not. Of course, there will be times you want to give up and times you think you can’t do it. More than likely you will have a day or two where you will throw your plan out the window. There will also be days that you are angry at yourself for even being in a position where you need to lose weight. There will be other days that you will follow your plan exactly and be angry that you couldn’t eat this or do that. Instead of being proud of yourself for all that you have done to better your life, there will be times that you will feel like giving up and nothing is worth it.
Chances are while you are on this journey you are going to stop believing in yourself and your ability to succeed. This happens to the best of us. We all at one point or another want to just give up and think we cannot do it. When these moments happen this is when self-love and positive self-talk are the most important. It all begins with you and believing in yourself. You will need to remember that getting angry at yourself will happen and you will also need to remember how to recognize that this is how you are thinking and feeling and step in an treat your self with love and talk positivity.
What can you do or tell yourself in these times of weakness or struggle? How can you keep loving yourself and keep moving forward? That is what matters. Being angry at yourself, doubting yourself and wanting to quit does not matter as long as you realize this is going on and you change your behavior and your way of thinking and know that this is the time you need to love yourself more than ever!
Will you allow all of these “ugly” things to stop you from being successful?
You are going to have some excuses. It will be hard, you will mess up, fall down and you will want to quit. You will hear people talk about how easy it is and along the way, you will feel like a failure. There will be others who want to see you fail. There will be people who just don’t understand. You are going to be angry with yourself along the way, but don’t let that stop you. I hate to put it like this, but this is the reality. Will you allow these things to stop you? Will you let these comments and opinions of others stop you from living your life? Maybe you will continue to let your excuses and negativity stop you from taking that first step towards losing all of that weight?
I think it is time that you realize just how strong you really are!
The power to change is inside all of us.
Admit that it will be hard. It will take a lot of hard work and self-love. You may fall, bleed, sweat, cry, scream and yell a lot…but also know that no matter how many times all of these things happen, you are strong enough to stand back up. It does not get easier, you get stronger and honestly, the most important part to remember, is that loving yourself through it all is what is going to get you through.
You have to love yourself when you fall, mess up, cry scream and bleed. You have to love yourself enough to not only stand back up and keep moving forward but realize just how amazing, beautiful, strong and worthy you really are. You deserve all of the self-love you can give no matter what happens. That is what is important. When things are hard, they can seem impossible. But just because something is hard, does not mean it is impossible! You have to know when you need to give yourself that extra little push.
These are the ugly things that nobody wants to talk about. You have made excuses, it is going to be hard, you are going to fall down, it will not be easy, not everyone will be accepting or supportive of your journey and you will want to quit and give up. Knowing these things is part of setting yourself up for success. Knowing what to do when these moments happen is what is going to set you apart from everyone else. It is going to not only allow yourself to reach your goals but crush them as well. Don’t be afraid to talk about the hard stuff. Don’t be afraid of being honest and real with yourself. Always remember that the power to reach any and all of your goals starts and ends with you!!!!!