How to Stay Committed to Your Weight Loss
For so many of us, commitment (to any goal) seems to be this magical, mystical unicorn gift that only comes to "special people." I used to have a belief that those people who "have their lives together" are just lucky. That they were born that way. And that I was just an unlucky wreck. That I was a mess, or weak, or stupid. And that's just how life is. But the truth is, I was just creating that reality for myself because I was choosing to think about myself in that way.
Some of us might think to ourselves, "I don't know how to stay committed," or "Commitment is hard," or "I want to be committed, but this came up." The thing is, we are all committed to something. And we ALL know how to commit. Think about your commitment to your work. Your school. Your relationship. Your family. Now think about why you are so committed to those things. The only reason why you are committed to those things is because of a thought you have about those things. Whatever thought that is for you, it's because you have that thought, which you believe 100%, that you are creating your ability to commit to that thing.
My next question is this:
If you struggle with losing weight and not committing to your food plan, why is that?
What is so hard about eating the food you plan to eat? You are committing to this: Writing down the food you'll eat, then eating it. It sounds so simple on paper, right? But what makes it difficult? Really think about that.
For me, it was several things, which I've listed below. I want you to think about which of these things resonate with you, because you may be doing these things without even realizing it! The first step to solving ANY problem is gaining awareness of what the problem is to begin with. For me, these were my personal road blocks to my weight loss goals and lack of commitment that I've believed for 5 years while working as a bedside nurse:
NOT HAVING A GOAL THAT WAS MEANINGFUL ENOUGH
First of all, I did not have a goal that meant enough for me to pursue it 100%. If I set a goal that I didn't really care about, then I wouldn't make an effort to follow through with it. At work as a nurse, I did not prioritize my nutrition at all. I went through most of my nursing career thinking of preparing healthy food as a burden, a waste of time, and too much effort. And my diet reflected this. I ate mostly out of convenience and would prepare foods that took little to no time to prepare. But I had absolutely NO problem finding time to work out, run over 40 races (including half marathons, full marathons, and obstacle course races), or go on vacation. And it was because having a healthy diet (at the time) did not mean enough to me. If you want to pursue a goal, you have to make that goal so meaningful for you that your life depends on it. That you'll stop at nothing until you get there. That is what it takes to reach your goal weight.
NOT HAVING A PLAN
The next reason why I struggled with commitment was because I did not have a plan. Because I resented the idea of preparing my own meals, cooking, and being conscious of my food choices, I did not adequately plan my meals. I prepared lunch for myself the day before, but I did not have a plan for when I would get hungry after eating that. I did not plan for my feelings of stress or fatigue during work. I always used stress as an excuse to overeat, as if I would be "forgiven" by the "Healthy Food Police" because I had such a busy day and I was so stressed that of course it's okay for me to eat the chips from the vending machine! My lack of planning also gave me a "free pass" to eat the free cookies in the staff lounge because "I have nothing else to eat, so I have to eat what's available!" In reality, I could have easily went downstairs to the cafeteria to buy something else, but I chose to eat cookies because they were easy (and they felt pretty damn good to eat).
Because I did not have a plan, I was not taking full responsibility for my food choices at work. I was allowing myself to eat junk food "because I have no food with me, I'm hungry, and I have nothing else to eat." I was allowing the junk food at work to take charge over me, rather than me taking charge over the junk food.
NOT WANTING TO FEEL
I did not want to feel hungry. I did not want to feel stressed. I did not want to feel tired. Food solved all of that for me, so I wouldn't have to worry about it. So I wouldn't have to put my big girl panties on and just be willing to feel the sucky feelings. Feelings are nothing but vibrations in the body. Physical sensations that come up for us as human beings. It's our belief that we should be happy all the time that causes so much pain for us. My belief that "I hope this is a good shift today" was causing me so much pain because there is never a guarantee that you’ll have a perfect shift. But because I wanted to feel good all the time, I wanted to get rid of all my negative feelings by eating. But eating your feelings will not get rid of the negativity. Negativity comes from your brain and from your own thinking. Thinking is the only thing that creates our feelings (both negative and positive). Food provides a dopamine hit for us that we misperceive as a positive feeling, but it's simply just an artificial pleasure that is temporary and will subside.
So, after reading all this, how can you stay committed to your weight loss goals? It only takes 4 steps:
Decide what your meaningful goal is
Make a plan to achieve that goal with small actions you can take every day (they all add up over time, trust me!)
Be willing to allow the sucky feelings when things don’t go as planned. Learn what worked and what didn’t work, figure out why, then keep moving forward (despite feeling sucky)
Believe in yourself the entire time
I believe 100% that you have what it takes to achieve your goal weight. And that you can maintain it for GOOD.
If you are a busy nurse who is still struggling with staying committed and would like 1:1 personalized guidance on how to move forward, click here to schedule your free online strategy session with me! There are no obligations, whatsoever. Just me & you working together to find your permanent weight loss solution! Click here to start losing weight now!