It would be wonderful if life could be like movie montages. Life where you could cut out all the moments without motivation, the low points that make you feel bored or anxious, and just focus on what works. You’d be able to fast-forward to the end of the montage, when you emerge victorious having accomplished the goal you set out to achieve.
Of course, reality doesn’t work in quite the same way. Instead of speeding through to the triumphant moment when everything in your life falls into place, there are pitfalls and potholes along the way to trip you up. While this is true in every facet of life, it’s particularly true when it comes to a fitness or weight loss journey.
The Enthusiasm Of A New Start…
At the start of such a journey, you’re motivated and enthused. You’re sure you’ve made the right decision, and you’re actually looking forward to the idea of turning away from your previous bad habits and adopting a lifestyle that will guarantee you eventually look and feel better. You throw yourself into your new way of living, delight in it even, and wonder why you waited so long to get yourself on the right health track.
Then, the intensity in your focus begins to waver. You begin to be sidetracked; you start to feel you’ve been denied the things you once considered pleasurable, be it a slice of cake or just enjoying a lie-in rather than heading to the gym. You lose focus on the way your new lifestyle is going to benefit your life, and instead focus on the things you have lost from the old, comfortable lifestyle you were used to.
If the above sounds familiar to something you have experienced, then it may be comforting to know that you’re not alone. If you have struggled to be consistent when it comes to reaching your weight loss and fitness goals, then you’re falling into the same trap millions of others have fallen into.
So– what’s the trap? And how can you ensure that you avoid it so that the next time you start such a change, it sticks?
The Multiple Traps…
There are actually multiple reasons why someone can be derailed from their weight loss and fitness goals– and it may be rewarding to know that willpower isn’t one of the issues. The people who acknowledge they have an issue and seek to change it don’t lack willpower; they’ve already done the hardest part, which is acknowledging the issue. What they do lack is a lifestyle that they can entirely dedicate to their fitness and weight loss goals.
Think of it like this: in movie montages, how often do you see the subject of the montage battling with all the complexities of life? Rarely. Usually, the montage consists of the subject being able to focus, 100 percent, on their goal– so they hit the gym or work hard on their presentation, until they are able to triumph. Real life doesn’t work like that. Real life is messy. There will always be other demands on your time, life events to juggle, and other priorities competing for your attention.
In those early few weeks of a new regime, it’s easy to keep yourself on track because your new way of living is still figuring as important in your mind– but over time, it slips down the priority list. This is inevitable — no one can maintain an absolute focus on a single issue at all times — and learning to combat the problems you experience integrating your goals with your actual life are absolutely key to resolving this issue once and for all.
There are three primary life events that can influence your ability to succeed with your fitness and weight loss goals. Events that happen to all of us, and have the power to rock us from our newfound determination and have us slipping back into old habits. Learning how to cope with these events is vital if your new regime is going to allow you to make a positive change that lasts for the rest of your life.
So, let’s examine these events, and take a closer look at the solutions that can help to keep you on track if you experience them.
Life Event: Pregnancy
This applies to both men and women. For women, pregnancy is a huge life event that will change your perspective forever. For men, your wife or girlfriend becoming pregnant is life-altering also. Ultimately — before you even get into the biology of the matter and how much women who are pregnant can exercise — pregnancy signifies that your life is about to change in a fundamental way.
Pregnancy requires life to change in the immediate sense; making time for appointments and planning for your new arrival. Pregnancy also means that your future goals are going to change too. When there’s so much to think about and prepare for, it’s no wonder that pregnancy can throw a spanner in a weight loss or fitness regime.
What To Do…
There is an argument to say that abandoning your weight loss and fitness goals due to pregnancy is 100 percent acceptable. After all, from the moment you saw that positive pregnancy test, the world shifted on its axis. Your priorities have changed; your future plans are entirely different.
However, there is another fact to consider: being healthy for your baby. If you thought you had motivation to change your life before, you have even more reason now. Yes, life is going to get more complicated and you’re going to have less time to yourself– but you also have more motivation to be the best you that you can be, for the sake of the life you’re about to welcome into the world.
Women can exercise safely during pregnancy, and watching your diet becomes second nature given the huge lists of foods you shouldn’t eat while expecting. Providing your doctor sanctions your efforts, you can extend these basics to incorporate ways to keep fit and establish a new regime that you can continue as you make the journey into parenthood.
The same applies for guys even moreso, as they are less restricted by the biological necessities. Now is the perfect time to fix a focus on what you want to achieve; the kind of father you want to be. Talk to a personal trainer to help you stay focused on your goals, and see the advent of fatherhood as a time in your life you want to be able to experience feeling as good as possible.
Life Event: Ill Health Or Injury
Falling ill or suffering an injury is always going to take a toll on your ability to further your weight loss and fitness effort, but this is even more true if you fell unwell or suffered an injury because of those efforts. It’s difficult to persuade yourself to get back on the horse — so to speak — if your previous attempts caused you physical harm.
If you promised yourself that you were going to cycle before work every day, then that’s great. A positive change. However, if that change led to an accident and you needing to rehab an injury and make a bicycle accident compensation claim, then persuading yourself back onto your bike takes a lot of work. The same is true if you ate a new, oh-so-healthy meal that gave you food poisoning; it feels like you’re somehow being punished for trying to better yourself.
Whatever the cause of your ill health or injury, it’s inevitable that your weight loss and fitness efforts will be compromised… isn’t it?
What To Do…
If you had a bicycle accident and have your leg in a cast, then it might be tempting to just shrug off the idea of weight loss and fitness until you’re better. However, the question is… why? You’re still going to want to improve your life when you’re back to full health and fitness, so why delay the inevitable?
You might not be able to engage with weight loss and fitness efforts as much as you once planned, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. There are exercises you can do while remaining seated, and you’re going to want to eat a healthy and nutritious diet to ensure you heal as quickly as possible. Give yourself a couple of days to feel sorry for your misfortune, then get right back to it.
Life Event: Holidays
This is “holidays” in both senses of the word; holidays such as Easter or Christmas, or going on vacation. Both have the potential to derail your efforts for the duration.
If you’re away on holiday or wanting to enjoy Christmas, then give yourself a break. We all need time to relax every now and again. However, it’s vital that once the celebrations conclude, you get right back to the weight loss and fitness efforts– don’t keep extending the “time off”. Set a date for when you start back on your original plan, and promise yourself you will stick to it. This means you can have your fun, but ensure that you keep moving forward with your overall goal.
Life will always get in the way of your fitness and weight loss efforts, but hopefully now, you will have a better idea of how to handle it. Good luck.