If you add it all up, I’ve lost over 200 pounds so far in my lifetime.
While you may think that my story is “unbelievable” and “inspiring”, I’m going to share with you why it isn’t nearly as impressive as it sounds…
You see, though I have lost a lot of weight in my life, it’s always been the same 5 to 10 pounds at a time.
Now, if you’re sitting here reading this post, thinking that my story is the exception- a rare occurrence- you’d be wrong.
In fact, if you’re like the majority of women who struggle to maintain a healthy (and happy) weight, then you’re story is likely not much different than mine.
The truth is, the average woman spends over 17 years of her life dieting! (source) During that time, the average diet lasts just 15 days, with as many as 35% of women gaining more weight than they lost in the first place once the diet is over.
What this research shows that for most of us, weight loss is not our problem. Where we mess up is in keeping the weight off for the long haul.
This is why we don’t need more fad diets or fancy weight loss products in our life; what we actually need is a better STRATEGY to help us maintain our weight loss results.
And that’s exactly what I’m delivering in the blog post. Keep reading, my friend, because today I’m sharing with you the 3 most common weight loss mistakes that are secretly sabotaging your weight loss progress.
Weight Loss Mistake #1: You jump into the weight loss process WITHOUT a proper plan in place.
While I praise you for taking action, here’s why this doesn’t work.
You see, have you ever jumped in the car without directions or GPS when you’re going somewhere that you haven’t been to before?
You need to get somewhere and while you may have a general sense of the area, you’re not exactly familiar with getting to this exact destination. For the duration of the trip you’re a little on edge, anxious about getting to your event on time. You’re nervous about making a wrong turn or missing the venue completely…
Maybe you make it to your destination on time, maybe you don’t- but the point is that the ride wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been because the whole time you were dealing with this unrecognized fear that you may not arrive where you intended to go.
Perhaps my example is a little dated because it’s hard to remember life before Google Maps. But my point is that when you decide to embark on a fitness journey without a plan in play, what actually happens is that:
> You do things like continually question whether you’ll ever reach your goals;
> You get caught in the trap of always “doing” more + more because you’re worried about not getting to where you want to go.
> And you start to feel frustrated by what often feels like a lack of results. Eventually you burn out.
We’ve all been there: we get to a point where we’re so uncomfortable with the way our body looks.
We catch an unflattering glimpse of our self in the mirror. We see an unexpected picture of our us that makes us turn up our nose. Or we become faced with the reality that an increasing number of clothing items in our closest just don’t fit like they used to…
Whatever the situation is, it’s uncomfortable enough that it prompts us into action.
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The problem is that we’re often so focused on getting anywhere besides where we’re standing right now that we fail to take into consideration where we’re going or how we’re going to get there.
Without a plan in place to guide your steps, it’s anyone’s guess as to where you’ll end up.
Attacking your weight loss journey without a proper plan, you know, jumping head first into a workout program or doing a 180 with your eating habits overnight, it’s like starting your favorite Netflix show somewhere in the middle -you fast forward through the beginning- avoiding the ‘boring details’ because you want to get to the ‘good stuff’ sooner, but in the end you miss out on the important details that helps bring everything together.
Weight loss doesn’t have to be complicated; it’s not about having the most precise plan on paper but it’s about creating a plan that works for you so that you stop wasting your time and energy into things that don’t matter.
What an actual fitness plan needs is:
- A method to put you in the right mindset– whether you realize it or not, your mindset is at the very core of every decision you make in your life. No single action of yours comes without a thought or belief behind it. Simply put, if you don’t believe something is possible for you, taking the action required to reach your goals will feel like an uphill battle.
- A proper goal– a goal that you’re not only happy to strive for but one that enhances your motivation to make your new and improved healthy habits stick.
- And of course, aligned actions backed by strategy that ensures that the change you’re bringing into your life that not only supports your goals but that actually sticks for the long haul.
These are all critical components of a fitness plan. When you skip over any of these items, problems arise.
For example, without a clear intent, it’s unclear whether your actions fully align with your fitness goals.
And when your actions don’t match up, the results get muddled. You become discouraged because the plan’s “not working” and you abandon ship, jumping to that next “shiny object” because you think it’s going to get you better results.
Pretty soon you give up all together because you feel like nothing’s working. You’re just spinning your wheels.
You become frustrated. You give up. And you settle for a life of less because you talk yourself into believing that this whole fitness thing just isn’t for you.
BUT when you have a good plan in play, you gain peace of mind that the results are coming.
Because of that peace of mind, you can relax and follow through with your actions. Ultimately you begin to become consistence with your plan. And I’m telling you, consistent action is the most important factor to realizing weight loss success.
I can’t stress enough the importance having a plan to support your fitness goals. It forces you to get strategic with your fitness journey.
More importantly, having a fitness plan (no matter how informal it is- even if it’s just notes jotted down on a scrap piece of paper) puts the power back in your hands; it’s a sign that you are taking responsibility to bring change into your life.
You’re no longer blaming the fast food industry, your mother’s genes or your hectic schedule for your fitness problems. Instead you’re acknowledging to yourself that while you may not be happy with where you currently are health-wise, you have the power to change that and this plan that you have, this is how you’re going to do it.
Weight Loss Mistake #2: You’re doing too much.
Yep, I said it! You probably feel like you’re not doing enough when it comes to your fitness goals but I’m here to tell you it’s likely the other way around.
Because the truth is: quality trumps quantity… every time!
So often, when it comes to improving our health + fitness, we convince ourselves that we don’t have enough time. Because in the back of our minds we’ve created this laundry list of things that we think we need to do everyday in order to get fit.
But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to do everything- you just have to do enough of the “right” things to tip the scale in your favor.
“Success isn’t a game won by whoever does the most, yet that is exactly how most of us play it on a daily basis” – Garry Keller
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Here’s what most women fail to realize: 80 percent of your results come from only 20 percent of your actions.
One of the biggest misconceptions about weight loss is that each and every action we complete has an equal effect on our end-result.
The truth, roughly 80 percent of our results come from a mere 20 percent of our efforts. It’s crazy to think but this is not some made up number that I have pulled from some obscure corner of the Internet. Rather it comes from reputable and repeatable research.
The 80/20 Rule or the Pareto Principle as its more commonly known, is a universal truth about the imbalance of inputs + outputs- not just in fitness but in all facets of life.
Given this truth, that 20 percent of your work drives 80 percent of your results, it makes more sense to become intentional with our actions.
Instead of ‘doing all the things’, hoping for the best, and burning ourselves out in the process, it’s better that we used focused energy to prioritize + accomplish those ‘big ticket items’ that are ultimately responsible for our success.
So many women start a fitness journey thinking they have to do it all.
> They have to workout everyday (which includes lifting weights, some sort of cardio + a quality stretch)
> They have to eat just right- no sugar, limited carbs, little salt…
> They have to stay hydrated, drinking a gallon of water every day.
> And they have to not only eat the right types of foods but also at the right time, eating every 3-4 hours, making sure their metabolism or blood sugar doesn’t drop.
> They have to get just the right amount of sleep and the list goes on…
Can you see how when you become focused on doing everything, your entire day becomes consumed by fitness? It’s no wonder that you’re left feeling like you don’t have enough time in your day to get it all down. I mean you have a life outside of just taking care of your health, right?
You have laundry to do and pick ups + drops offs to make; you have a house that doesn’t clean itself and bills that need to be paid… you can’t put your life on hold and expect to resume it once you lose the weight..
That’s why prioritizing the most important tasks and doing those with 100 percent effort is better than trying to do all the things at only 20 percent capacity
Overloading yourself with fitness to-do’s does not make you reach your fitness goal faster. Rather it complicates the process, leaves you tired + burnt out, overly frustrated + more willing to quit before you achieve the kind of success you’re after.
When it comes to your fitness journey (whatever your goal happens to be), the quality of your actions will far exceed the quantity of your actions.
That’s why I always encourage my clients to build a life you love around habits that you can keep.
Weight Loss Mistake #3: You’re not tailoring your fitness plan to meet your needs.
Instead you try to fit your life around or inside of some sort of cookie-cutter fitness program.
You see, we think that the secret to getting results is to will our way through a 60 or 90 day program, no matter how painful it may feel.
We’re alright with being momentarily uncomfortable because we view the entire fitness process as temporary. We tend to think: let me just make it through these next 60 days, then I’ll see results + this will all be over.
Spoiler alert: temporary action can only give you temporary results.
That’s why when you hate the plan, when it goes against your lifestyle, when it just doesn’t fit who you are as a person, the results will never be long-term.
And that’s why more often than not we find ourselves on the diet roller coaster.
We follow a fitness plan we hate, then allow unhealthy habits to sneak back in to our life and before we know it we’re back at where we started.
In case no one has told you, you don’t have to be a slave to your diet and exercise program.
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In fact, the best programs (while they may challenge you physically and mentally) they should still work WITHIN the limits of your current lifestyle- meaning they should take in account your preference for either gym or at-home workouts; they should take into consideration whether you are vegetarian or a meat-loving carnivore…
When your preferences are accounted for within your fitness plan, when your responsibilities + personal details are all included, you end up with a fitness plan that works for you, not against you.
You find it easier to adhere to the plan and you consequently realize that the results tend to take care of themselves because you actually enjoy what you’re doing.
Transformation is a process, not an event. When the process is enjoyable, the entire transformation has a way of sticking around.
This is why it is so important to not just follow another cookie-cutter fitness program that you’ve found on the internet. What you need is a system that is tailor-made for YOU.
Don’t follow the crowd just so that you can do what everyone else is doing. When it comes to your health, you have to find what works for your lifestyle.
So I’m curious, what’s holding you back from actually seeing results? Let me know in the comments below! (Yes, seriously!).
Is it the fact that you don’t have a plan in place to help you reach your goals? Is it that you’re doing too much? Or is your current fitness plan not a good fit for the life you live?
Whatever it is, know that you are in control. You have the power to correct these mistakes and experience lasting weight loss. You, my friend, are capable of accomplishing quite literally anything that you desire.
I know this because I believe in you.
Here to support you! XO- Britney (ms.fit.farmer)