Getting started on a new diet and fitness regime is easy. I mean really… we all know what we “should be doing”. And the initial motivation is pretty easy to come by… being unhealthy and overweight is not fun. And lets assume that you haven’t fallen for any gimmicks (pills, shakes, get-thin-quickies) this time around… and you purchased that gym membership, set an appointment with a personal trainer, and got rid of all of the fake food in your house. You go with great gusto and determination through the first days, maybe even weeks. But inevitably, the novelty *will* wear off. What then? This is where 95% get bored, sidetracked, and fall off the wagon all together.
So what worked for me, that kept me in the successful 5%? Well, I do believe that going Paleo, and lifting heavy were absolutely crucial in my campaign. And I do need to point out that I still abide by a Paleo Lifestyle and Lift Heavy 5-6 days a week, running the other two days. I will admit that in the beginning, I thought the diet and lifting would be short-term… just to lose the weight and get skinny. As I highlighted in my introductions, I learned that those changes would have to be permanent for me to be healthy and keep the weight off permanently. So with the “permanent changes” in mind… you cannot have your special number on the scale as the goal. At least not as the only goal. You will reach that special number, then what happens? Well- most people gain the weight back. And again- we don’t want to be that 95%- or most people.
I think having other goals that are performance based is the best way to stay on track. Those goals can be competitive or fun- but I really and truly believe that you have to find something that motivates you beyond weight loss. Having performance goals will keep you going during the plateaus, and keep you engaged and away from boredom. For me that began with my trainer-friend asking me if I could do a Pull-up or Chin-up. Nope. I couldn’t. But, you know what? I really wanted to be able to do them- when I took a second to think about it. So I started incorporating exercises and looking up progressions to get me to that first pull-up and chin up. Soon after that I found out about Obstacle Course Racing (AKA: OCR’s)- like the Spartan Race, Warrior Dash, and the Tough Mudder. So I started training my running speed and my strength for those courses and obstacles. (I ran my first OCR at the Warrior in Alabama in October ’12, and I will be running my first Spartan Race in March ’13 in Atlanta…. I am so geeky excited!!!). I also have weight lifting goals- being able to bench press XXX or deadlift YYY. Yes, my weight continued to trickle down… but that has just been a happy consequence of working hard at my other, more primary, goals.
The point is that there are plenty of days that I really just want to eat that brownie, or say “eff it” to working out. And if “weight loss” were my sole motivator… I would have likely found an excuse. Having other goals have helped combat the “eff it’s” and keep me consistent and motivated… and firmly in the 5%. 🙂
See you next time,