Why your goals could be holding you back..
If you know me even moderately well, you’ll know that one of my goals is to marry Jonny Wilkinson, okay well maybe not “marry” exactly.
More like get him alone in a hotel room with a magnum of champagne, some strawberries and a vat of melted chocolate. (On training day obviously, so I can justify those carbs!)
Would I like it to happen?
What, spend the night with Sir Jonny?
Am I doing anything to make it happen?
Apart from following him on Twitter, no, of course I’m not.
Because I don’t truly believe it will ever take place. It’s just a silly pipe dream. A fantasy. Something I bring up in conversation to get a laugh.
I’m not committed to making it happen. (And if I were, I’d probably be arrested!)
So, what has this got to do with your weight loss?
Well, don’t you think you sometimes take this attitude towards your own goals? By that I mean, pay lip service to them, makes jokes about it but never actually commit to them.
You set them because you feel like you should – and this time of year is a classic time for this.
Summer’s coming and you know you’re not going to feel comfortable in less layers, so you know you should think about losing weight.
So you pick a figure out of the air. Two dress sizes, two stone, ten pounds, Lean in 15? Yep, that sounds like a good goal. And your mates are all doing that too so it must be right.
Don’t get me wrong, in an “ideal world” you’d love to lose two stone or be back in “those” jeans. But you don’t really think it’s going to happen so you’re not really doing what you need to do to make it happen. In fact, you don’t even know what you need to do. Eat less, exercise more? Eat more, exercise less? Do hot yoga? Ditch carbs? Go Paleo (Is that something to do with giving up the sunbed?)
You try some stuff, maybe jogging, maybe the latest exercise video, maybe join a slimming club where you have the mortification of standing on the scales in front of people. Yikes!
Some weeks you lose, some weeks you don’t, which is so unfair since you’ve barely eaten a thing and done Davina Mccall’s new DVD every day this week.
You come to the conclusion that you’ve tried everything and nothing works and it’s so hard and you’re hungry all the time and bloody miserable. Then defiance sets in. If people don’t like you and your extra two stone, then they can get stuffed. Why should you lose weight just to conform with the media’s stereotype of how a woman should look?
You tell yourself all of these things and before you know it, you’re back to square one.
If this sounds like you, then here’s the good news.
The problem lies not with you, but with what you think are your goals.
You see, the two stone, three dress sizes or whatever is not really the goal. If it were, no-one would lose weight and then gain it all back. The weight loss is just the catalyst, the means to an end.
The real goal is to enhance your life, add value to it or make a difference to it in some way.
Obviously, I can’t tell you exactly what your real goal is, that’s personal to you. I could hazard a guess though.
Maybe, if you’re honest with yourself, the real goal is to feel more confident in the bedroom. You know you and your partner are drifting apart a little bit, not because you don’t care about him any more, but because weight gain has made you self-conscious and put a dampener on your sex drive.
Perhaps you used to be athletic and sporty, but work life, home life and all the associated stress has resulted in you putting yourself last on the list of priorities. Your body doesn’t move and perform the way it used to because you’ve lost your fitness and put on a few pounds. Sometimes you don’t recognise yourself when you look in the mirror. You want to remember how it feels to be strong and fit and lean.
Could it be that you want to be able to be active with your kids? You’re sick of holding the coats while everyone else has all the fun, but you’re scared of looking stupid because you know you’re a bit slower than you used to be.
Here’s a real life example. Someone very close to me wanted to lose some weight. For one reason and another, she hadn’t trained for a while and had gained a dress size, maybe more. I would have been happy to work with her for nothing, but I knew that our schedules didn’t really match up. I also knew that, if you get something for free, you don’t really value it the same way as if you’ve invested in it. You’re not accountable.
I suggest she sign up to a programme at a gym where I train. She took my advice, really enjoyed the training and started to drop body-fat. This was helped by the fact that she also booked a holiday so wanted to be in shape for that. The holiday came and went, and so did her resolve. She carried on training hard, but probably wasn’t as on point with her diet as she had been before so hit a bit of plateau. Then, on the advice of her trainer, she started competing in weightlifting competitions where she had to weigh in and fall into a certain category to compete. All of a sudden, her focus was to ensure that she looked after her nutrition so she could step on the scales with confidence. She lost around a stone and half, successfully competed and came away with a big trophy. So in this case, the goal became doing well at the competition, the weight loss was the catalyst that enabled her to do this.
So, I hope this has helped changed your perspective a little. The message really is that if you only focus on what you have to lose, (the weight) rather than what you have to gain (your happiness) you’re going to find it really hard to keep going.
Improving your life is a massively-important project that you’re taking on, don’t do it lightly. Don’t follow the crowd. Don’t do something because your friends are doing it. It might not be right for you.
It’s your goal, it should have a meaning, an emotional value. You should have a sense of excitement in pursuing it because it’s going to make such a difference to your quality of life.
And if you happen to bump into Jonny Wilkinson along the way, give him my number!
* If you’re planning a lie-in, followed by a full English brekkie this weekend, here’s a healthy version you can try http://www.pammcvitie.co.uk/clean-full-english-breakfast-turkey-fried-egg-spinach-tomatoes/