As human beings, we are constantly wanting to win the race and win it at a fast pace. Many times we forget to enjoy the process and realize that it is through the process that we make our biggest gains.
Whether our goal is to lose weight or to run that marathon, the bottom line is still the same. We have goals that we are taking strides to achieve. So why then are we trying to hurry up and get there? I think the biggest connection we can ever have with people is to not only recognize people’s struggles but also to have had experienced it ourselves that makes us invaluable to others and quite frankly makes us human.
And so it is with weight loss and getting healthy. What needs to be remembered here is that if we are at a state that we are unhappy with our bodies, it didn’t happen overnight. It probably didn’t even happen in a six month time frame. Typically weight gain sneaks up on us and happens slowly over the course of time. So why then do we expect the weight loss to happen in a matter of weeks? This simply cannot be done. The rate of gaining weight is faster than the rate of successful weight loss because we are only able to lose 2 lbs. of fat per week. Anything more than that comes from water and muscle tissue and is not fat loss. Remember it is not the number on the scale that signifies how healthy you are, but rather it is the percentage of fat that our bodies are carrying around. So by this standard, true success in a weight loss program is the slow steady pace of taking it off.
It is through the process of change that we learn the most. We learn how to achieve a healthy lifestyle so that we can incorporate it for the rest of our lives. And the best part about this is it is easy over time. It becomes a part of us not something that we do for six months until we reach the goal. Because in this scenario, after you reach your goal in six months, what do you do on the seventh month? We plan and plan for that one goal and when we get there the next day we are left empty handed. When we plan the goal to change our lifestyle so that we can become healthy, we incorporate habits over time and with each habit formed, we build upon that. Before you know it, you are living the healthy lifestyle rather than striving to achieve that one goal that was set a short distance of time from now.
But this is not always easy to consistently stay in this mindset. Typically we set goals, achieve them, and move on to the next goal. When we say I am going to live my life in a healthy way, this is for a lifetime not a moment in time, and so there is no endpoint in sight where we can definitively say on this day I reached my goal. So sometimes we are left with the feeling of being unaccomplished. What needs to be celebrated is the perseverance that we have in realizing that changes are made consistently over a time period. How great is it when we achieve a goal and acknowledge it ourselves but also others around us acknowledge it as well. But then think about how great we feel when we continually work on smaller goals to achieve a better lifestyle and two years down the road have accomplished being in a healthy weight range and maintained that and formed lifestyle lifelong change. That truly is winning the prize.
If your process is longer than what you would have hoped, remember that you are forming habits for a lifetime. That it is through your perseverance that others will see and connect with you and they too will realize it is about a lifetime and not that moment in time. It really isn’t about those size 8 jeans. It is about perseverance for that healthy lifestyle. Just believe and you will succeed.
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