So, you've had enough of going at it alone after trying every diet under the sun to lose the weight that's been creeping on over the past few years. You're feeling miserable, fat and lacking in energy, your health may even be taking a turn for the worse. Nothing has worked so far and as one last ditched effort you decide to join a Vision Personal Training Studio that guarantees results or your money back, how could you possibly not lose the weight this time, right?
Wrong! Pretty much any weight loss program works if you stick to it, and there lies the problem, in sticking to it. After about a week or two when the novelty wears off, the deprivation and boredom can set in and you may feel like a social outcast. You realize after a weekend binge, that you're back to square one and feeling miserable again, and might even be a little heavier than before.
The solution is simple, but not easy. You need to be ready and set before you go.
In the book 'Ready, Set, Go', Andrew Simmons, the founder of Vision, explains that we have to be ready to change before we can get set and then go to achieve sustainable weight loss success. We might think we are ready, but how do we determine if we are really ready to change our habits and behaviours? At the end of the day being ready is what is required if we want to achieve long-term weight loss results. Completing the questionnaires found in the book and on the Vision Virtual Training profile page will give an honest insight into what we need to do to be ready to make a long-term commitment to maintaining the weight loss results we desperately desire, so let's take a look at the main ones in closer detail.
1. Readiness to let go of the past and embrace the future.
You can't change the past but you can change the future. How many times in the past have you turned to food or alcohol for comfort when you are feeling tired, stressed or emotional, and do you choose to play above or below the line? People who play above the line take ownership, accountability and responsibility for their actions and tend to be victorious in getting the results that they want in their lives. Those who play below the line are laying blame, using excuses and living in denial and these are the people who tend to become victims. One of the most common excuses I hear as a PT is "I don't have time" but this is the grown-up version of "the dog ate my homework"! Clients who really want results and choose to play above the line know it's not about having the time; it's about making the time.
Maybe it's time to choose to play above the line and become a victor instead of choosing to stay in the past and continue to play the victim.
2. Readiness to change your eating habits.
Did you know that 70% of your nutrition is responsible for weight loss? When knowing that, what are you currently doing to prepare yourself to eat well? Do you know what you will be eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner tomorrow and have you stocked your fridge and pantry with the foods that are going to set you up for success? I have a saying that I use often, 'when preparation meets opportunity it equals success' and you can apply this saying to how you approach your eating habits. If you turn to food for reward and comfort ask yourself what you can do instead of eating to improve your emotional wellbeing. Suggestions include treating yourself to a facial or massage, meeting a friend for a walk if you need to de-stress or get something off your chest. How strong do you feel saying no to your partner, family or friends when they tempt you with food or alcohol that you know is not going to fit into your daily macronutrient intake? Perhaps all it takes is to communicate with them and be up front about what you want to achieve, so that they can support you rather than unknowingly sabotage you. Communication is key.
Use your food diary to plan your week in advance, find any red flag days that will create challenges for you and prepare a plan to put in place so that you already know how you are going to handle that dinner out or drinks with friends. Finding time on a Saturday or Sunday to create and prepare your food plans in advance is also an easy way to plan what to eat for the entire week so that you are never caught off guard. It will save you both time and money during the week AND it will help you achieve your weight loss goals. Win-Win!
3. Readiness to change your exercise habits.
The most important conversations you have every day are the ones you have with yourself. If we can change negative thoughts into positive ones, we can achieve anything we put our mind to and that includes exercise. Being able to recognize negative self talk that starts with "I can't" or "I don't" enables us to turn it into positive self talk that starts with "How can I" and "How will I" which leads to finding solutions. For example, a negative thought might be "I can't run" but a positive response would be "what can I do to enable me to be able to run?" A positive solution may include starting with buying a pair of runners or asking your trainer for a beginner running program to follow.
Change those daily conversations inside your head from a negative to a positive and see your life change with them.
4. Readiness to change your alcohol habits.
Drinking more than 7 standard glasses of alcohol a week can slow your weight loss results considerably. This is because the body will automatically burn alcohol, which it recognizes as a toxin, before it burns carbohydrates, then fat. Ideally, abstaining from alcohol or at least cutting down on the amount of alcohol you are drinking during the week, will dramatically improve your chances of losing weight. Again, changing your behaviours and using self-discipline is the key to overcoming the overconsumption of alcohol. Perhaps you could try adding a couple of alcohol free days in a row and reducing the number of drinks you have on the weekend when you are socializing with others. Eating healthy food before you drink can also help you to moderate your alcohol intake as well as take away the temptation to eat the nibbles on offer that tend to go hand in hand with a drink. Being self-aware of when, where and who you are with when you are drinking is a great step forward in realizing whether you really need another drink or if it has just become a habit. Too much alcohol can also lead to dehydration and have a negative effect on your sleep, energy levels and mood.
So, there you have it. Four very important questions to ask yourself to find out if you are really ready to lose weight and get results. Be honest and make a commitment to yourself that you are going to do whatever it takes to be the best version of yourself, because if nothing changes, nothing changes.
Are you ready for results?*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.