Has anyone ever let you down before? I think that most of us can answer yes to that question so you’re familiar with how it feels to be let down by someone else.
What I think is the more important question is: how often are you letting yourself down? How often do you make commitments to yourself, perhaps regarding your weight loss goals, but you don’t follow through with the action you need to take to make those healthy changes in your life?
The “Let Down”
When we really examine the feeling of being let down, it’s us who has placed an expectation on the other person or the situation and when they don’t come through like we expected them to then we feel the “let down”.
The same thing happens when you set yourself up with expectations -unrealistic weight loss and fitness expectations. Now we’re not talking about having reasonable expectations of yourself, just like when you have reasonable expectations of another person (e.g. they tell you they are going to do something simple and don’t do it, and this happens over and over again).
Nope, I’m not talking about having realistic expectations of yourself, like when you follow your healthy eating and exercise plan and expect to lose 1 or 2 pounds in a week and instead your result for the week is no loss/no gain. Sometimes this is just how it goes when you’ve been on the weight loss track for several weeks or months – you just won’t lose weight every week even though you “do everything right”.
Instead I’m talking about expecting of yourself that you’ll lose 4 or 5 pounds every single week. Maybe you’ve watched shows like The Biggest Loser and think that you should be able to reach the same weekly milestones as the people who are living weight loss 24/7.
Or maybe you take the unhealthy crash diet route instead of making healthy lifestyle changes that last. You know what I mean – those fad diets that promise quick weight loss and don’t teach you how to live to keep it off; those fad diets that give you high expectations of how much weight you will lose and how quickly that will occur but don’t give you a lifestyle plan to keep it off, nor do they address the inner reason that you gained weight in the first place.
3 Ways to STOP Letting Yourself Down
So let’s look at how you can stop letting yourself down, how you can stop feeling like you aren’t living up to your own expectations of how you “should” be doing with your weight loss:
1. Set Realistic Goals – Set small, realistic goals for yourself, daily, weekly, and even hourly if needed! For example, if you have been very sedentary for years make it a goal to walk 5 to 10 minutes every day. You can always add more and build up to 30 minutes a day but starting out small will get you going and you’ll be a success immediately by completing those small goals.
2. Take the Focus off the Scale – Instead of putting your entire focus on the numbers on the scale set different goals that when you achieve them will give you success whether or not the scale moves. For example, if you make it a goal to stick to your healthy eating and exercise plan, get plenty of rest each night, and take consistent action to reduce daily stress (which exercise will really help with) and you follow through with these actions and reach your goals then you are a success whether or not the scale moves.
You simply cannot rely on that scale to give you a feeling of success each week because sometimes your body needs to readjust to a lower weight and it won’t always release excess fat. (At the same time however it’s a good idea to measure yourself each week in addition to weighing because you will find that sometimes you lose inches and don’t lose pounds.)
3. Drop the Perfectionism – When you let go of the need to be perfect you’ll be on your way towards dropping the “let down” with yourself. There is no such thing as being perfect unless you are speaking of the fact that you are a perfect being living in human existence – that’s a different topic. When it comes to being perfect in your weight loss journey you are setting yourself up for feeling really let down because there will be times that you don’t get in your exercise, for example.
If you hang on to the thought that you must be perfect you won’t really enjoy the process of getting fit and if you don’t enjoy it and if it’s not fun then why do it? The joy is in the journey, not in the destination. 😉