Around this time of year lots of gyms and personal training centres start advertising their annual Weight Loss Challenge. So many people committed to having a healthier year and have found themselves in February not much better off than December and still trying to work off the damage they did in the holiday season. (Not to mention the Australia Day drinking!)
Entering a weight loss challenge can really mess you up!
So many people enter these competitions and 3 months after it has finished are in a worse position than when they started. At Vision we have been running 2 challenges a year for over 10 years, so we have seen plenty of people be successful and use a challenge as a launching pad to a healthier and fitter lifestyle… but we have also seen too many people do them for the wrong reasons and find themselves mentally, emotionally and physically messed up by winter.
So here are the reasons to enter that have danger written all over them! If you are thinking of doing a challenge and these reasons have crossed your mind, I urge you to re-think the whole process!
REASON #1 - I really want to win the prize!
Let's face it, if you are just in it for the prize, you aren't really there for the right reasons at all. With so many people entering, you really have to do amazing to win the grand prize that attracted you int he first place. So far we have given away trips to NY to watch the tennis, Hawaii, Las Vegas and cash prizes. This year we are giving away $20,000 as well as local prizes. So the incentives are huge! What you MUST do is while you have your eye on the money, the real prize is the person you become and the habits you develop along the way.
REASON #2 - I just want to do 9 weeks, lose a bunch of weight and my life will be sorted!
If you are in this for the short term, you will definitely rebound. And remember, when you rebound you don't just go back to your start weight, you put a little extra on as interest. I see so many people who try to starve themselves, train like crazy and drop 3 kilos a week only to put it all back on before July. I also see people who invest time and effort in learning what foods help their metabolism, eat more of these good foods, develop good habits, maintain a sustainable exercise program and lose 3 kilos a week. The latter always are more successful over the long term.
REASON #3 - I want to prove everybody wrong/ make my ex jealous!
It is really good to have some outside motivation, lots of people work really well on the pissed off vibe! Unfortunately this energy rarely lasts and if it does you end up living such a negative and hateful existence it kinda defeats the purpose. When searching for outside motivation, look towards things that will last a long time. I eat well and exercise regularly because I know what a massive influence it will have on my 2 little girls. They are only 3 and 18 months right now, but they already are picking up on my habits and think that eating great food and exercising is just something you do. I don't want them to grow up with body issues and self-confidence problems, so I know the best way for me to teach them is to live it. I am also regularly inspired by people in their 60's, 70's, 80's and even 90's doing amazing things like running marathons, hiking great walks, competing in sports. What ever is going to motivate you to get going and keep going, find it, use it regularly and best of all… tell your trainer about it. When you most want to give up they will be the first person to remind you about why you started.
If you are going to enter a challenge this year (which I believe is a really good thing to do) here are a few really good reasons to give it a go.
- To put health further up the priority ladder in your life. If it has been slowly dropping down your priority list and you consistently put yourself last, this might just turn it around. Contrary to what most people think, the more selfish you are about your health, the more energy and time you have to give to the ones you love.
- To learn the habits that you can sustain for ever to be a long term healthy person.
- To break an addiction to foods that are making you sick, old and weak. I don't believe that there is a long list of foods that are off limits for ever. I do however look at what you are putting in your body and why. Just because it is for sale and legal doesn't mean it is a good idea. Everything in moderation is CRAP. Don't do heroine in moderation! And there are some foods that fit this category too. The biggest addiction I see people having here is sugar. It says something that when you stop eating it for a few days you have a come-down… like you are getting off a drug! Understanding the trade off you make when you eat some of these foods is one of the biggest lessons you can learn. Then you see them in a different light. Sometimes you might be prepared to make this trade off, but understanding it is the the key.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.