Deciding, committing and taking action to embark on a weight loss journey is a big deal. It’s a big decision which can include a whooooole lot of changes. Changes like:
- eating different foods
- ordering a salad instead of pizza
- explaining to friends/family/coworkers why you’re ordering the salad instead of the pizza
- dealing with their reactions to your explanation
- people telling you they think your healthy food looks gross
- exercising, whether it be differently, harder, more or less
- saying no more than you’re used to
To anyone who has embarked on a weight loss journey, I seriously commend you because none of those things listed above are easy. Weight loss is HARD.
Knowing that all of the above is more than likely included in a weight loss journey, why is it that a lot of us almost refuse to give ourselves any credit whatsoever for our progress along the way?
Why is it that if we lose 3 inches in our thighs but “only” 1 inch on our waist, we don’t consider that success?
Why is it that if we prep 3 meals out of 5 for the week when we’re used to hitting the drive-thru 24/7 is this “not a big deal?”
I chat with my nutrition coaching clients pretty regularly and always ask four things:
- How things are going
- What they’re currently struggling with
- What’s going well
- How they think their progress is coming along
The first two questions, they’re off and running with plenty to talk about. Numbers three and four…crickets.
On a call last week, I asked one of my coaching girls what she thought about her progress so far being six weeks into the eight week program. She told me about how she was conquering emotional eating, taking more walks, giving herself a break for missing workouts, doing better about allowing treats without guilt AND her sports bras that used to feel tight were feeling more loose. Great stuff, right?! Not so fast. Until we talked it out, she couldn’t see all this amazing stuff as a success. She didn’t see these things as a win because she didn’t feel like she was losing weight in her midsection, which is her focus. The progress she wasn’t seeing was blocking her from seeing all the seriously awesome progress she’s making, and I get it. I can completely relate to this because I used to do the same exact thing.
Back in my poor body image and binge eating days, I used to do a morning ‘ab check’ each and every morning. After eating well for a couple days, I’d immediately check the mirror to see if my abs were showing yet. Of course, they weren’t. Two days of eating well vs. two years or serious ups and downs…those abs were nowhere near showing, yet I was still so disappointed. Even as my binge eating behavior was becoming a thing of the past, I would still check to see if my abs were ‘in’ yet. Again, they weren’t. This pissed me off…bad. I was working hard in the gym, eating well, feeling good…WHY DIDN’T I HAVE ABS YET?!
My abs, or lack thereof, were my sole focus. I didn’t even consider that I wasn’t bingeing anymore or that I was feeling more control over my food choices or that I was a whole lot happier and was making huge strides in terms of mindset…I was focused on my abs…? Looking back that makes no sense to me now (hindsight really is 20/20!) because the progress I was making in my mind was SO much more important than what my midsection was looking like. I only came to this realization, though, after a whole lot of self-reflection, so that’s why I’m sharing it with you!
If you have trouble giving yourself credit when credit is due, let this article be your wakeup call 😉
My questions to myself were why can’t I give myself more credit? Why can’t I celebrate my wins?
Here’s what I found after exploring these questions myself and working with a whole lot of ladies on the same stuff:
- We don’t want to be seen as bragging about ourselves
- We think we still have a long way to go and are stuck in a negative mindset
- We focus on what we could be doing better instead of what we’re doing really well
Again, I get it. I’ve been there. But here’s why we absolutely, positively, 100% SHOULD celebrate our achievements, no matter how big or small they are:
Do it to be more CONFIDENT
In the words of one of my faves, Demi Lovato, “what’s wrong with being confident?” 🙂 But seriously, why not be confident in what you’ve done and what you’re doing?! I’m not saying to rub all of your wins in the face of everyone you talk to, but when someone asks you how your weight loss journey is going, why not say “Great! I’m down about 6 pounds so far and have so much more energy than I did before!” without any downplaying like “but I still have a lot more to go.” Have you reached your goal? Maybe not, but you’re certainly on your way. Six pounds is more than 0 pounds. Be confident in what you’re doing and when people ask, share it with them. Who knows, you might even motivate them to get their butt in gear, too!
Do it to keep yourself going
OK so, you’ve lost 6 pounds with a goal of losing 30 pounds total. You have 25 pounds to go before you reach your goal weight…the magical number where life will become perfect and all your worries will disappear (please sense the sarcasm 😉 )! So why should you brag if you’re only a small fraction of the way to your goal? Because it keeps you going! It keeps you motivated! Reinforcing that you’ve made a dent in your weight loss goal will continually serve as a reminder that what you’re doing is working and will keep you going forward.
Do it to shift your focus
The more you focus on what’s not working, the higher the chances are that things aren’t going to work. What we give our attention to most will manifest itself 100% of the time. “I’m not eating as many veggies as I should be”, “I’m not exercising as much as I should be”, “I’m not drinking as much water as I should be”… The more you remind yourself of that stuff, the more you’re NOT GOING TO DO THOSE THINGS. It’s just a fact of life guys. This is how it goes. When we keep ourselves in that negative loop, that’s exactly where we’re going to stay. Instead, how about focusing on what’s going right? Are you eating more protein? Being more grateful? Doing better with emotional eating? Do you have more energy? Start seeing these as big wins, focus on them and remind yourself of them often.
It’s so important to celebrate yourself and your successes. By acknowledging your wins, you are building a really healthy attitude towards the changes you’re making, changing your mindset to a more positive one and keeping yourself motivated to stay the course.
Be proud of yourself. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that 🙂
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