Getting fit and healthy is essentially the same as building up your financial security via your 401k or various other investments. If you want to make sure you get a great return on your hard-earned money later in the future, you need to think long-term and create a strategy that is tailored to your situation and delivers results via continuous progress.
Similarly, when you finally decide to invest in your health and fitness, if you’d like to see long-term results and maintain them, you will need to seek a lifestyle that you can maintain for not only a week, a month or three months, but for the rest of your life.
Attempting to build up your money too quickly will often lead to disaster and the same is true when attempting to lose weight or get fit too quickly without having a long-term maintenance plan in place. Research shows that weight loss peaks at 6 months for many, but if there is no long-term weight maintenance program in place, 50% or the patients return to their original weight after about 5 years.
Here are 4 ways to start working towards a better quality of life, lose the weight and keep it off.
1. Have A Little Patience
It’s important to realize that weight loss does not happen overnight. Sustainable weight loss can take months, even years depending on a few factors, including your general health, genetics, metabolism and age. As you are approaching your middle ages, achieving weight loss becomes more challenging and slower.
Many people want to drop 30lbs in 30 days but if you want to keep that weight off, losing it isn’t enough. You need to work towards a long-term plan for your health and fitness. If you are patient, then ultimately you will see the long-term results you desire.
2. Practice Self-Discipline
Of course, slow weight loss can make it difficult to stay on track. You may become impatient and frustrated if your progress is not as fast as you expected. That soon can translate into loss of motivation. You’re less likely to hit the gym if last week’s hard workout didn’t seem to garner any results. Unfortunately, this can lead you on a path of diminishing returns where you will continue to see fewer results simply because you’re not putting in the effort.
That’s why you need to make sure that you’re pushing yourself to show up 80-90% of the time and complete that workout, even when you don’t feel like it. Believe me, once you are in the gym in your workout gear, your body will go with the flow. Get your mindset in gear and focused on your goal and let your body do the rest.
3. Create Your Structure
If you think of fitness and health as a must, but you hate every second of it, you are less likely to stick to your plan. Instead of forcing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy, try to find activities that are in line with your goals and don’t feel like a chore. Having fun while getting fit will make your new lifestyle feel natural and will be easy to incorporate and sustain.
On another note instead of making all the changes at once, focus on one habit at a time, let it become second nature then move onto the next one. I use a software called ProCoach with my clients to accommodate this approach. Everything is laid out for them so it’s easy to keep track of what they need to do so they can focus on their fitness goals and ultimately succeed.
4. Stay Organized
We all lead busy lives. We all have personal and professional commitments that can’t be ignored. That’s why it’s important to plan as much of your day, week and month as you can to set yourself up for success.
Planning your meals, scheduling your workouts and prepping your food in advance will help you stick to your fitness goals while making your tight schedule as efficient as you can. Sticking to this plan will help you avoid cheating yourself and make sure that your investment in fitness pays off.
Finally, I will leave you with this quote from Craig Ballantyne:
“Success is simple once you realize how hard it is.”
In other words, if you embrace the challenge you will find the strength you need to accomplish your goals.
I am a wife, mom, grandma & former professional “diet and exercise hopper" who understands the challenges of being 40lb overweight after having children & the damage repeated sense of failure can cause to your confidence and self-esteem.