Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Not losing weight? Three things to remember...

An acquaintance of mine on Facebook has been talking about her weight loss journey. I'll spare you the details to honor her privacy, but she recently posted something that I think we can all relate to. These aren't her exact words, but she's been "eating less and working out" and "not seeing any changes on the scale." Sound familiar?

It should. I think it's a plan we've all subscribed to at one point in our lives. And it sounds completely logical, right? If you're gaining weight, you must be eating too much. So if you stop eating so much and start working out, then you'll lose weight. Right?

It's not always that simple.

Without knowing your exact situation, and since I'm not a Registered Dietitian, I can't exactly tell you good from bad when it comes to a diet that's right. BUT—I am a certified personal trainer. So I know some things. And I'm human, so I know other things, too. Which is why I am comfortable sharing with you three things to remember about weight loss.

1) Weight loss is not a destination. It is a journey, and one that you must travel with an open mind. It's not simple, it's not easy...but it's very enlightening when done correctly. You'll learn things about yourself, both physical and mental, as you embrace all of the twists, turns and roundabouts commonly associated with weight loss. While it's absolutely essential that you set achievable goals and/or benchmarks to hit along the way, try not to get too caught up in them. This is how you miss all of the smaller, littler achievements that truly make a difference. In essence, don't focus on losing ten pounds. Focus instead on how you're going to lose ten pounds...focus on what you're doing to lose those ten pounds.

2) Weight loss is not about restriction. When you can't have something, that's when you really want it the most. Teach yourself the right way and the right things to eat, and you'll really make a difference in your life. After all, it's truly not about eating less. Weight loss is about eating right.

This is especially true if you are working out, too. (Ahem, which you should be.) Remember that food is fuel. Rather, good food is fuel. So you have to find a balance, one that nourishes your body and soul without going overboard. Restricting yourself can send your body (your metabolism) into hibernation mode which means it will just hold on to what it's got to run its systems because it doesn't think it's getting anything more to work with. Does that make sense?

3) Weight loss cannot be judged by numbers alone. There are many factors that describe the success and/or failure of a weight loss journey. The numbers on the scale...they only tell part of the story. Think of them as one overarching number. I know...I know. You've heard this before. "Don't pay attention to the scale," blah...blah...blah. But it's so true. I can absolutely, 100% tell when my weight is up or down based solely on how I feel, how my clothes fit and how much energy I have. And right now, I feel like I'm actually down a bit because of all the running. But if I stepped on a scale right now, I bet for sure that I'd still weigh the same amount that I've weighed for a few months now. How is that possible? Because I've lost body fat and gained muscle. These things balance each other when it comes to the numbers. So, seriously...don't judge your progress by the scale alone. It only tells part of the story.

Tomorrow, I give you a kettlebell workout. Don't miss it!

Question: What's the one thing you always try to remember about weight loss?

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