Let me start off with a report: Yesterday, I said i’d be pleased with maintaining my weekend after an… unhealthy… weekend in Boston. However, to my delight, I actually ended up losing 4 more pounds. That’s 10 down total. Feeling very successful and particularly awesome about that.
So then I got to thinking, what makes one successful on any diet or eating regimen? Do you need to lose weight consistently? Do you feel successful if you simply stick to your plan, knowing you’ve done your best? Does success translate in the form of your physical appearance?
These answers vary by person… personally, I love seeing the number fall on a weekly basis. However, it is hard when the number doesn’t change from one week to the next. But, when that happens, its even more gratifying the next week when you break through and lose those difficult few.
So, i’ve lost 10 pounds in just over two weeks, just about 5 per week so far; that’s pretty great. It means i’m 1/5th of the way to my goal. However, the sheer numbers don’t always matter… because if someone is smaller than me and they drop 2 pounds a week, that may be huge for them. It all depends on a few things: 1) Body composition 2) weight 3) height… people have different expectations based on their different bodies.
Additionally, its personally hard for me to quantify my weight… I think back to my days of weight cutting and remember that i’d lose 20 lbs in two weeks when I was in-season… that’s double what i’ve done in these two weeks of hard work. However, this is where you can’t focus on the sheer number on the scale, because in those weeks of practice and wrestling, I was dehydrating myself, sweating off a lot of water and not burning as much fat. This is a different kind of weight i’m losing. So that’s something to get used to when you step on the scale. Come to think of it, cutting weight was sickening… in one practice where I was luckily hydrated beforehand, I lost 11 lbs... in two hours… not healthy, to say the least.
So, the purpose of this post:
Remember, people can define diet success in many different ways. So, whether you’re proud of sticking to your plan, or if you’re dropping pounds constantly, or you’re proud of slight visual improvements to your body… understand that your personal gratification will come from how YOU internally define having “succeeded”.
Don’t let societal expectations or the preferred body image of the modern era dictate how you feel after some time dieting; be proud of what you accomplish, set little goals along the way, and keep your eyes on the goal at the end. If you’ll remember, I said in my first post that the best year of my life was my year at 197 lbs. It wasn’t because I was normal sized, or had a normal body fat % for the first time in my life, its because I achieved my goal... a very lofty goal, and I couldn’t have been more proud.
So my advice to you: Treat plateaus like brick walls.
Brick Walls? … Yes, Brick Walls. Think about it… the brick wall is keeping you from your goal on the other side. You HAVE to get through it. Now, it’s going to suck getting through them, but once you DO get through them, life couldn’t be sweeter on the other side.
Here’s a quote from an amazing inspirational speaker, Randy Pausch, observing the above allusion…
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!”
Always remember how bad you want it.