So you’ve decided to lose weight. Congratulations! Often, making the decision, as well as actually getting started, can be one of the most difficult aspects of weight loss – but not always. I recently asked on Twitter what the most frustrating aspect of weight loss was for our readers, and was surprised at the number of people who had an answer ready.
Kalisa Hyman from The One in Heels – Those first several lbs. Once I’m down several lbs I am highly motivated to do more.
Shae from Skinny Shae – Working hard and not seeing body changes when losing weight. So sad to be so jiggly.
Holly Hazlett @hollyhazlett – When you do “good” and the scale doesn’t reflect it.
Katy at Sunny Brunette – Gaining ANY of the weight back and losing confidence in the once hot bod you had temporarily.
Robbie K. from Fractured Family Tales – Hitting a plateau, getting bored with work out, friends and family who sabotage weight loss efforts.
Lisa Eirene, from 110 pounds and Counting – Most frustrating part were the plateaus that lasted weeks, sometimes months.
Heather Sokol – Hitting a plateau…I’ve been there for months!
It seems that the overwhelming themes are the length of time it takes to lose weight, as well as the lack of visible results. If these are your experiences as well, take heart. These obstacles are not insurmountable. Think about your weight five years ago. Were you lighter than you are now? Odds are, the answer is probably yes. However, you cannot point to a particular date and say, “There. That’s the date that I put on twenty pounds.” That’s because weight gain is a slow, insidious beast. It creeps on you, little tiny bits at a time. One ice cream cone, one extra soda, one pasta dinner at a time.
In the same manner, the weight will come off. Maybe one pound at a time, maybe 1/4 of a pound at a time. I often had to remind myself that I gained the weight over 15 years, and so I should expect that removing it isn’t going to be super quick.
If you’ve hit a plateau, maybe it’s time to change things up a bit. When I was actively trying to lose weight, I hit a plateau at 55 pounds down. I couldn’t drop any more weight for anything. It wasn’t until I found a new form of exercise (running) and made a new diet change (cut out all HFCS from my diet) that I was able to drop the last 25 pounds.
If you’ve slipped in your diet habits, go back to the beginning. Remember what worked before – did you journal, did you eat a salad before dinner, did you only drink water? Have you slipped back into bad habits? Fix those.
Bruce, a CrossFit trainer, expanded further on his tweet from above by adding: “It frustrates me when I see people try a fad diet for 3 months, lose a large amount of weight only to gain the weight back and then some. Find the root cause as to why you are making the food decisions that you are and be brutally honest with yourself. Once you have done that then commit to making a lifestyle change, that means sticking to the basics of what has worked for thousands of years. A Paleo diet. If you need to, gradually work your way onto it.”
Take heart, keep working, and keep doing the right thing. It may not happen as quickly as you’d like, but those tiny, small changes that you are making to your daily life will have a positive effect.
Have you been successful with your weight loss attempts? What can you share with us?