If you’ve decided it’s time to lose weight, congratulations! As you begin your journey, you might be looking forward to changes in your future. Perhaps you’re thinking about a favorite pair of jeans you want to fit into or the extra energy you’ll have to do things you’ve been putting off.
But what many people don’t anticipate are the emotional challenges, both good and bad, that happen when a person loses weight. Getting healthier is just as much a mental process as it is a physical one.
Don’t let this scare you away from making positive changes in your life. If you prepare yourself for emotional and mental obstacles that may arise, you’ll be able to cope with them and move past them. Here’s how.
1. Enjoy the initial feeling, but keep a level head
When you first start to lose weight, you may find that you lose several pounds quickly. This feels really great — and makes people excited and optimistic. While you should enjoy the feeling of success, keep your eye on your long-term goals.
If you have a solid weight-loss plan in place, stick with it. This is the time to solidify those healthy habits so they become like second nature before the challenges set in.
2. Don’t let plateaus defeat you
No matter how well you’ve planned and how dedicated you are, you will probably hit a weight-loss plateau. You may go through a period where you don’t lose a pound or your weight loss slows dramatically. You may feel like losing weight is too difficult. Your mood and energy levels may take a dip.
Don’t let this setback derail you! Most, if not all, people who work toward a healthier weight will run into this obstacle — sometimes more than once. It’s temporary, and if you have a plan in place and support, you can keep moving forward.
3. Take it a week — or even a day — at a time
Many people feel overwhelmed when they think about how they have to change their eating habits for the long term. A healthier life means you have to adopt healthy habits for life — and this can feel like you’re climbing a never-ending mountain at times.
Keep this in mind: it won’t always be this hard. At some point along the way, many of these changes will become second nature to you and won’t require so much effort. But if you think about doing this 10 years from now, you may feel anxious or exhausted.
Instead, just keep doing what you’re doing. Use small, manageable steps to get through each day. Keep track of the progress you’ve made in a journal, which will inspire you to keep going.
4. Distance yourself from negative people
It happens more often than we’d care to admit: people in your life may resent you for losing weight and getting healthier. They may be jealous, or may miss the “old you” who would go out and indulge in foods and drinks that you’re now avoiding.
If these people are important to you, you may want to try to explain that you’re doing this for your own well-being. Tell them that their support and friendship is important to you.
Of course, if they won’t accept this — or worse, if they try to derail your efforts — it may be time to create some distance in the relationship. If this person is your spouse, however, you may need to reassure them that you’re still the same person as always. Tell them that your new habits will not change how you feel about them. If necessary, discuss whether you both would benefit from counseling.
5. Don’t go it alone
You need accountability and support to keep going when things get tough. Set up a support system now. Do you have a friend or family member who understands what you’re going through? If not, consider an online support group.
In addition, you should utilize a weight-loss clinic that offers support to its clients, rather than giving you a plan and sending you out the door.
6. Don’t compare your progress to others
Comparison is the thief of joy. This is your journey, and it won’t look like anyone else’s.
Now may be the time to say goodbye to those Instagram accounts that leave you feeling bad about yourself. And don’t worry about what the latest celebrity looks like or what her diet involves. As long as you stick to your plan and follow your own path, you can be successful.
You can reach your goals
Weight loss is a challenge, but we’ve got you covered. At Garcia Weight Loss and Wellness Centers, we won’t ask you to count points or try a one-size-fits-all plan. We offer customized weight loss solutions that fit you and your life. Contact us today for your no-cost consultation!