When it comes to losing weight and making lifestyle changes, we at TNT Nutrition know first hand how difficult that can be. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it, right? We are continuously collecting testimonials participant experiences and journeys to reaching personal goals. These stories are always inspiring, and a continual reminder of what all is possible when you put your mind to it.
And with these stories you also hear “it’s a lifestyle change, not a diet”, right? Ok, we get that, but what you DON’T hear is what people go through to get there. When it comes to the right eating habits, it starts with the right mentality. The right mentality leads to more proactive behaviors that are more in line with one’s goals.
Through our weekly coaching call systems, Jenn and I continuously coach participants on the small steps it takes to make the lifestyle change. Here are common conversational topics that we come across. Why are we sharing this with you? So you know you’re not alone!
Losing Weight is a Psychological Game
Losing weight is not just about the numbers (proteins, calories, carbs, fats, etc). There’s a psychological side to everything. In fact, for many, it’s more of a psychological game than anything at every stage of one’s weight loss, whether you are just beginning or trying to succeed for the long term. Those of you who have been-there-done-that understand what I’m talking about! TO LOSE WEIGHT YOU HAVE TO IMPROVE THE BEHAVIORS AND ATTITUDES THAT PRECEDE WEIGHT LOSS! If you don’t, you’re dieting, and you will be back to old tendencies eventually. It’s another reason why so many people diet again and again is because when they come to that crossing where old behaviors and attitudes pop up, they don’t address it, and off the diet they go! You can’t just try to get to the other side of the bridge by jumping with one, easy leap. You’ve got to take it one step at a time. Sometimes you may fall through but you’re still holding on to the ropes, and you’ve got to pull yourself back up and continue to take it another step at a time. Eventually, you’ll reach the other side of that bridge and look back and say “wow-I did that!”
Role of Food Growing Up
Why it’s such a psychological game for many is because paradigms and habits are instilled in us that seem natural, normal, and comfortable. Where does this stem from? Many times it’s from our childhood, and we may not even think about this connection until it’s pointed out. For example, people get excited and choose whatever (non-nutritious) meal they want at a restaurant, and before they know it they are indulging into hundreds of extra calories. Why? One example is that some may have not had a lot growing up so when they did eat, they ate until they couldn’t eat anymore, and that sticks with them until adulthood. Others, cultural background may involve food as a celebrational component, so as an adult they still get excited and have warm, fuzzy feelings to indulge as that feeling of celebrating unconsciously returns. Once you are more self aware of why you feel what you feel or do what you do, you can address it.
Success vs Failure
Wow, this is a big one, especially for our weight loss clients. Can I just say I extremely, extremely dislike the bodyweight scale? It is such a mind player, and it interfere’s with one’s ability to see all that he or she IS improving upon! Success to many is ONLY measured by the weight on the scale. Makes sense though right? Especially if you’re goal is to lose weight! But again, the long-term weight loss can only come if you’re habits are where they need to be because the right habits and attitudes lead you TO the weight loss. For example, I talk to clients that are social butterflies and they tend go out frequently, with each outing involving a few glasses of wine. These habits are not in their favor when it comes to weight loss. Together we make a stepping stone goal and game plan to have only 2 glasses of wine instead of the usual bottle at the next social outing. They do so successfully, but then THAT WEEK they don’t lose weight and they say “Well if I’m not going to lose the weight by cutting back then I might as well enjoy myself!” Err, wrong! The weight loss will come with more and more efforts of taking the small steps across that bridge. It will! You just have to trust a new pace, and new approach in taking it slow and changing habits along the way! Another example is when one has an unexpected meal or snack from an unexpected event such as a conference meeting and they have no choice but to consume food from what is offered vs what they’ve responsibly pre-packed for the day. They do the best they can, keeping portions small regardless of the type of food, but then they get so down on themselves because they “didn’t follow their meal plan”. Well guess what, that’s life! There are things that you can control that you can stress about, and things that you can’t. You being in a situation such as the one described is maybe not in your control. What’s within your control is how much you have with what is offered. Did you do the best you could given that situation? Yes! Did you make a far better decision in this decision compared to past experiences in similar situations? Yes! That’s success, not failure! You constantly do your best to stay two steps ahead of the game with proper planning, but it won’t always work out that way and sometimes you have to roll with the punches the best you can. Again, these are the small steps that collectively in the end to put an end to dieting!
I hope you’ve found some comfort in the above and know you are not alone. It’s normal to not understand why you have difficulty in certain areas of your eating. Maybe that’s an opportunity to do some searching, or perhaps just start setting smaller strategic goals to start crossing that bridge one step at a time.