New Year, New You
Happy New Year! 2020 is here… a new calendar year, a new decade, a new beginning, another chance, a clean slate and an opportunity to take action…. Is this going to be your year?
When we look at statistics, ‘Lose weight and eat healthier’ are the leading resolutions people make year after year. In 2017, 33% of Canadians polled sited improved personal fitness and nutrition as their New Year’s Resolution last year as reported by Statistica. While Statistic Brain reported that 21.4% of those polled wanted to Lose Weight / Healthier Eating followed with 12.3% indicating their resolution was Life / Self Improvements. The reality is that 42.4% never succeed and fail on their resolutions each year.
Changing your relationship and habits around food and creating new lasting positive habits related to diet and nutrition are often some of the hardest challenges to overcome.
Let’s explore this a little more:
Have you ever signed up for a gym membership at the beginning of a year with high hopes that this membership will help you to achieve your health/weight loss goals?
Let’s paint a picture here : you start off on a really good note. Your food choices are aligned with your resolutions, you go to the gym 4 to 5 times per week, you attend different classes to have variety, you feel almost high with the new behaviour you are mastering.
Then along comes week 5 or 6 and the self-sabotaging behaviour starts. So now, what used to be your ‘close to perfect diet’ is taking a downturn. Little treats are finding their way in, the gym appearances drop down to 2 to 3 days per week for a few weeks, and all of a sudden that becomes a new routine for a while.
Fast forward a few more weeks… you start noticing that your weight loss is not happening as fast as it did in the beginning. In fact, you feel you’re becoming stuck at the same weight. Your motivation is taking a hit, gym visits are becoming more scarce, and now you’re starting to lose confidence in whether this is something you can do…all the while wondering whether it’s worth the hard work.
Before you know it you abandon your healthy eating and gym visits altogether, ending up with a year long membership, monthly payments and feelings of frustration, overwhelm and wondering, “How am I ever going to reach my goals?”
Does this story sound somewhat familiar? I know I can relate!
New beginnings inspire us to work on behaviours that we would like to change or improve. We have good intentions, we try our best, but it does not always work out the way we hoped…
We often find that people underestimate what it really takes to lose weight and embrace healthy living.
Now to be fair, lots of people can lose weight. The challenge is that they often gain it back. And enter into the yo-yo cycle of weight loss without ever reaching their goals and often gaining more than when they started. Which leaves them feeling like the odds are stacked against them.
The Globe and Mail reports that “the latest poll shows that almost two-thirds of Canadians have tried losing weight in the past five years, but the vast majority have failed to keep it off.”
So what is the key to lasting results?
Changing our environment, surrounding ourselves with people that will support our efforts, finding a fun way to move more, giving the kitchen and pantry a makeover to support our health efforts are great to kick start our journey, but when it comes to long term success, it requires US to CHANGE, to GROW.
To GROW OUT OF our beliefs, our attitudes, the old way of how we think about ourselves and our ability to achieve what we so desperately want to achieve that holds us back. When we allow ourselves to grow, we open up and stretch our minds to new ideas, we try them on and see how they fit and if they fit all right, we shed the old ones and keep the new.
To grow also means ditching the old habits and patterns that no longer serve us and developing new set of skills that will allow us to progress or to move forward with this new idea.
Let’s have a look at how the framework can look like when we apply this concept to weight loss…
- Make a decision to lose weight (Not a wishy washy “I am thinking about it,” but a decision)
- Take action Immediately (whether you join a gym, buy a weight loss program, join a walking group, …)
- Commit to something (like I will aerobic class 20 minutes 3x per week for this month, or take 20 mins every day to prep my food, or meditate)
- Take stock ( of attitudes, actions, behaviours… what are you prioritizing here that is just not working? Ex: Are you spending time surfing the internet instead of prepping food for tomorrow and blaming in on “having no time”? Instead of blaming circumstances or others, assume responsibility for your choices and whether they are serving you here.)
- Ditch the junk ( If you are not getting closer to your goals, then you are standing in your own way by giving in to this whole idea or label – that you have attached to yourself some time in the past – that is stopping you to move forward today. If you have tried in the past to lose weight and ended up not being successful – which resulted in feelings of failure – you might have attached a label onto yourself – something like – “I will NEVER be able to do this, I am a failure”- which is now contributing to your sabotaging behaviours and keeps you stuck.) If you got to this point and feel stuck, it is best to reach out to your coach or therapist to work through those limiting beliefs to be able to break through them and move forward.
- Adjust, adapt and reflect (Every month or so reflect on your work and see how you are doing. Is there something that you can improve? Is there anything that you need to learn in order to keep moving forward?….)
This framework will allow you to ditch the “all or nothing attitude” way of thinking and allow for space and wiggle room to work through challenges that may come your way and build the confidence you need with each action step you set into motion.
Small steps, small actions day in/day out that set you on the path of long term success. When we stretch our minds to think in terms of “ What can I do RIGHT NOW or TODAY that will bring me a small step closer to my goal then I was yesterday?” we give ourselves the space to reframe our experience and create hope that anything is possible- where the SKY is the limit…..
We hope to empower you to know that it really is possible! It’s possible with the right approach, and we want to help you to make it happen by providing some solutions to the most common challenges people face when trying to not only lose weight, but to keep it off.