Top 5 tips for kicking off your weight loss goals
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Is weight loss one of your goals this year?
Every year we make some sort of health and fitness goals for the New Year. I want to lose weight, I want to eat better, drink more water, run a marathon; the list goes on. It’s great to have these goals, and I encourage goals that create a healthier stronger you, but there are some things you should address before starting any health and fitness-related New Years’ resolution. Here are my top 5 things to do before starting any health and fitness-related journey.
Have a strong why
This is the part everyone likes to skip because they think they know why they want to lose weight! They think I don’t need to write it down, it is ingrained in my every day as to why I want to lose weight, but I promise this is important, let me explain.
When you think about the reasons you want to lose weight, how does it make you feel? What happens if you don’t lose weight? What happens if you do?
Your reason for wanting to lose weight has to be bigger than your excuses. Your why has to get you out of your comfort zone because I promise, starting out, it is not comfortable.
Your WHY has to be strong enough to get you out of bed in the morning to work out or to eat the veggies instead of the whole large pizza. I promise, hard times will come and you will need a really good established why if you want to overcome it in the long run.
I want you to get real about your why too. Don’t write, I want to lose weight for my kids if that isn’t what really drives you. Yes, that can be a secondary benefit to losing weight BUT you have to really get serious about what it is your seeking.
You have to dig deep with this one. Ask yourself “Why do I want to lose weight (or whatever your goal is), and keep asking why. For instance, here is a good example of asking why over and over.
Why do I want to lose weight? Because I want to look good in my clothes
Why? Because I don’t want to feel like a busted can of biscuits when I put jeans on!
Why? Because it is uncomfortable to walk around feeling like everyone can see your muffin top over your jeans.
Why? Because it is all I think about when I am out. I wonder if Karen is looking at my muffin top when she sees me. I just want to feel confident when I walk anywhere, I’m tired of never feeling pretty or confident. I just want to feel good about myself, I want to feel like I have my crap together, because this would make me HAPPY.
Keep asking why until it gets emotional, that is what is going to drive you to keep going when things get tough, and they probably will, and that’s okay. Nothing worth fighting for has ever come easy.
Weight loss is hard, being overweight is hard… choose your hard
You should set goals that are what we like to call SMART.
Your goal should be specific. For instance, if you want to lose weight, you should say I want to lose 10 pounds, instead of I want to lose weight. Or if your goal is to get stronger, you may say your goal is to do 25 pushups up off your knees. Be specific about what you’re wanting.
Next you’ll want your goal to be measurable. I want to lose 10 pounds in 5 weeks. These are both things you can measure.
Then your goal should be achievable. You don’t want to have a goal so big that you can’t do it. Don’t make your goal something outrageous like I want to lose 20 pounds in a month. Not only is that dang near impossible ( I said dang near), it is not healthy, nor is it sustainable.
You want your goal to be relevant. If you want to lose weight, don’t make it your goal to do 100 pushups. While 100 pushups may make you stronger, it does not mean you will lose weight.
The last part of the SMART goal is Time based. Your goal must have an end date or there is no urgency to get it done. Grab my SMART goals template here to work on your goals and keep it where you can see it so it inspires you!
A good weight loss goal maybe, “I want to lose 6 pounds in 4 weeks by exercising 4 days a week for 30 minutes each day and making half of my plate vegetables for lunch and dinner.”
Make a plan and write it down
When you sit down to make a plan, it does not have to be perfect or complex. I know it may be tempting to change every single thing immediately, but really think about. Look at your goals, your effort should match your goals.
For instance, I wanted to lose 50 pounds so I knew I had to get serious about changing my nutrition, working out, and taking care of myself. But I also did not totally restrict myself from enjoying ice cream after a baseball game with my boys because that would be a miserable existence. But I did recognize my weaknesses and worked around them. I am unstoppable around pizza, I CAN’T CONTROL MYSELF AROUND PIZZA OR PASTA so I do not even try to bring a large pizza into the house when I am in weight loss mode. I told myself that once I reached a healthy weight, I could enjoy pizza in the house again, but until then either my husband took the boys to get pizza or I got a personal pizza and a salad. You have to really plan every meal, and if this sounds like something you are not interested in, maybe you need to take another look at your goals.
It is not going to be easy, and there will be sacrifices, but it is about making lifestyle changes, things you can manage even after you get to your goal.
Make your plan simple
Your plan does not have to be complex. You do not need to cook big fancy dinners or join some fancy gym, it’s about eating more whole foods and moving your body. The more complex you make it, the harder it will be to stick to. Make small manageable changes and let them compound. The goal is to make this a lifestyle, not a diet that you stop as soon as you reach your goal. Use my free meal planning guide and tips to get started!
Grab a weight loss accountability partner
I firmly believe having someone holding you accountable is key. Make it someone who will call you out on your bull crap, but can also help you find grace in your mistakes. Let them know your goals and your why so they can remind you when times get hard. I personally think it should be someone you can message or reach out to immediately when you need support. You could even find a supportive group of people if you don’t have anyone you feel comfortable telling. To be honest, when I first started my journey, I was so afraid to tell any of my friends or family because I was afraid if I didn’t lose the weight, I would feel like a bigger failure than I already did. I found a group of women to share inspiration and we helped each other along. In my first month, I lost 10 pounds and I felt so good that I finally shared it with those I loved so they could cheer me on too. Having someone who you have to check in with can really help you stay on track when you feel like giving up. If you know someone is going to be meeting you at the gym or on a zoom during a home workout, you’re more likely to get your butt up and workout.
Ultimately, you have to decide what you want and how you’re going to get there. You have to put in the work.