What’s the rush?
“I want to lose 20 pounds before my high school reunion.”
“I have to lose weight before my wedding.”
“I’m doing a ‘Lose 30 Pounds in 30 Days!’ challenge.”
If you’ve ever succumbed to any of these weight loss strategies (and who hasn’t)
There’s nothing wrong with having a sense of urgency about losing weight or improving your fitness, especially if you have genuine health concerns. Losing weight can absolutely be a matter of life or death for some, and for those folks, time is of the essence.
But the other kind of urgency – the one reflected in the comments above – is borne of desperation. It’s a desperation I understand all too well, and one I shared as each year passed and I got heavier and heavier. By the time I reached 265 lbs. I would have said I would “do anything” to lose weight.
But for many of those years I had that same mindset: I would give myself a deadline by which I had to lose X number of pounds. And then I would fail.
Permanent weight loss requires permanent change.
And permanent change comes from a place of proactive acceptance, not desperation. Not fear.
In a recent podcast I asked whether you’re the “lean in” or “dive in” sort of person. That is, when you tackle a problem, do you like small incremental changes or do you like to focus all your energies on that goal until it’s accomplished?
I’m a diver, for sure! When I’m in, I’m all in! But the problem with that approach when it comes to weight loss is twofold:
- If you’re a perfectionist like me, diving in can get derailed by the inevitable slip-ups. Screw up a few times and well, I guess I’m not all in, so I might as well bail.
- Weight loss isn’t like most other goals, where you accomplish it and then it’s over. Maintaining weight loss requires just as much effort and vigilance as weight loss, so there is no finish line.
Having a sense of urgency about improving your health is fine, but lean in to changes until they become solidified. The weight loss journey isn’t a sprint and the slower you go, the more time you have to internalize healthy habits and make them your own.