I believe that losing weight is a skill that anybody can learn and execute successfully.
Any progress you make as a result of learning this skill however, can easily be undone or even reversed if a lack of awareness leaves you running into the same obstacles over and over again.
My goal with this post is to leverage off my mistakes (and I've stumbled with many of the obstacles I've outlined below) to build that awareness within you and help you pin-point what yours are--if you're struggling with this particular area of your life--so that you can start clearing the path to your goal.
Let's dig in:
OBSTACLE #1: Your mindset is working against you
Every setback that you encounter or ounce of confusion and frustration that you feel takes you 10 steps back and leaves you stalling. Instead of seeing these setbacks as feedback and lessons you can learn from, you see them as irreversible, devastating signs that you've reached your limits.
Break past it: The next time you feel like giving up when disappointment sets in, ask yourself "What can I learn from this so I can have another go at this in a smarter and more efficient way?". One thing I've learned from struggling with my own weight for over 10 years is that if my external situation isn't changing, something that's inside of me has to change first, and often, that 'something' involves learning from my past and tweaking what's in the present.
OBSTACLE #2: You're eating your emotions almost daily
You're stressed out from work and you're coping...by turning to food. You try to go on a diet to lose the extra pounds that seem to be piling on, but you just can't seem to say "no" to the pasta and wine when your cravings creep in.
Break past it: Identify the triggers that are driving you to eat when difficult emotions surface and practice coping with them without food. Overcoming that initial resistance you feel when you try to not turn to your usual source of comfort will be hard, but once you move past it and start to drop your old habit in favor of a new one, your weight will begin to drop too.
OBSTACLE #3: You're on a highly restrictive diet
The number on the scale keeps triggering a rush of panic and anxiety, so you do the most logical thing you can think of: You Google 'best diet for weight loss' and pick the one that tells you to eat as little as possible. It seems to be working, but six months later, find yourself slowly regaining all the fat weight you've lost.
Break past it: Yes, cutting back severely on your calorie intake can help you lose weight in the early stages, but studies are showing that that huge, initial loss is often followed by a plateau, weight gain and eventually, an increased inability to lose weight thanks to a metabolism that's gone haywire. Your best bet when it comes to weight loss that you can sustain and maintain for the long term? Sharpening your ability to listen to your body's hunger cues and learning how to stop eating when you're no longer hungry.
OBSTACLE #4: You're surrounding yourself with people who constantly sabotage you
You're ready to put a stop to your chronic overeating and finally, feel good in your own skin. But your friends are making you feel bad about your new habits and constantly trying to talk you out of the 7PM workouts you've scheduled into your day, so you can get sloshed with them at the bar.
Break past it: The saying goes that you're the average of the 5 people you associate with the most, and as cliched as that sounds, it's absolutely true. This means that if you want to conquer your first 5K but spend most of your time with people who hate running, guess what? Your 5K dream is probably not going to happen. I'm not suggesting that you cut these people out of your life entirely, but try working towards spending more time with people who are already doing what you want to do--this will greatly increase your chances of reaching your goal and getting the support you'll need to succeed.
OBSTACLE #5: You don't believe that you can win
That shiny new weight loss diet and exercise program is calling your name, so you sign up. Your hopes are through the roof as you enter your credit card number, access your program material and shop for all the ingredients you'll need to prepare your meals. But after two weeks, you feel like progress is coming too slowly, so your motivation and enthusiasm starts to wane. By month three, you're back to your old eating habits and barely working out once a week. The hope you felt at the beginning of your program has gone flat because you just can't see yourself crossing that finish line...ever.
Break past it: Self-doubt can cripple you if you let it. The one thing that's helped me move forward despite the doubt, fear and shaky confidence is this: Breaking down my goals into tiny, so-easy-anyone-can-do-it ones. Once I've conquered each tiny goal, I move on to the next goal, and eventually, these baby steps add up to something a lot bigger and help bring me closer to my big picture goal. This process helps me build the belief and trust in myself that I need to tackle newer, bigger and more challenging quests.
If this post has given you a better idea of what your weight-loss obstacles could be, go ahead and zero in on them so that you can finally reclaim the power that they have over you with my FREE 'Uncover Your Weight Loss Obstacles' workbook.
I can't wait to see you on the other side.
This article originally appeared on michelelian.com
Photo credit: Stokpic.com