I bet that’s the last thing you would expect from a health and wellness expert who has an online business to say to you. But the truth is, if you’re on a weight loss journey – the LAST thing you should be doing is following accounts that are associated with weight loss or transformations in any way. Which is why after having my second child, I’ve vowed not to post a single thing about my weight loss journey. Why? Because all those ‘Motivation Monday’ weight loss stories, photos and before and afters can actually deter you from hitting your goals. And that my friend, is the LAST thing I want for you! Don’t believe me? Here’s why:
What Works For Me Isn’t Going To Work For You
We’re all different and what works for me isn’t going to necessarily work for you. We’re likely not the same age, have different lifestyles, different stressors, different food preferences or sensitivities, different body compositions, etc. Just in the same way that someone else can do Paleo or Keto and see massive results and you don’t or if a 130 person followed a specific meal plan that a 180 person followed. Different people have different needs and therefore require different approaches.
Which means that it’s best to put your blinders on and focus on finding out what your body needs and what works for you. It doesn’t mean that you can’t practice the same methods that I use and see results. What it means is that those methods should be catered specifically to you in order for them to be effective and for you to see results. Which is a bonus because when you do find a solution that fits with you perfectly, you’re 100 times more likely to stick with it and see the results that you desire.
Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy
We’ve all heard the saying before but it’s popular because it’s true. Comparison is rampant in our society these days thanks to the introduction of social media. Facebook and Instagram have created a whole new way to compare yourself to others – whether it’s your body, looks, or lifestyle – with every scroll or swipe, you’re shown perfectly curated, filtered and edited photos of other people’s best lives and ways that yours just isn’t measuring up.
Instead of once encountering small instances of comparison with our friends, family members, coworkers and neighbours after interacting with them now, we no longer have to leave the house to feel bad about ourselves!
The worst part of all is that we ourselves engage in this behaviour fully aware of the impact it has on us, yet we still continue to post photos we know are not a true picture of what is going on behind the screen. We’ll post the ‘before and after’ but not the binge after a fight with our partner. We’ll post our green smoothie, but not the bottle of wine we drank after a long hard day at work.
Whether or not you are conscious of it, exposing yourself to this for hours each day is going to impact how you feel about yourself, even on a subconscious level. This is even more amplified if you’re striving for something in your own life, like weight loss goals as you’re always going to compare your results to someone else’s and get discouraged if your efforts are matching theirs.
Social media is smart, my friend. So smart that Facebook and Instagram operate on algorithms that use the tags you’re searching, the posts you’re liking and what you’re commenting on. That means that if you’re trying to lose weight and are following weight loss accounts, you’re going to be bombarded by even more weight loss accounts! This will lead to one thing and one thing only – complete overwhelm – causing you to question everything that you’re doing and doubting yourself constantly.
You’ll see one post that says carbs are the devil and the next one telling you that they’re the key to burning fat. All it will take is one day where you’re feeling low-confidence or one week of no weight loss and you’ll jump ship from your current program to a shinny new promising diet.
Overtime, this constant questioning and jumping from program to program will wreak havoc on your confidence and your metabolism. Consistency is KING when it comes to dieting and with all the conflicting information out there, it’s no wonder no one can lose weight when they’re jumping from fad diet to fad diet in the pursuit of results.
Key Factors To Finding Your Own Weight Loss Success
So what can you do to ensure that you stay focused on your own goals and success and not get derailed by someone else’s? Here are my key tips to staying rock solid on your own journey and seeing your diet through to the very end.
Stop Being a Squirrel
If your health goals are important to you (and I assume that they are) then you need to take the time to really figure out what will and won’t work for you. When you find a program that supports you in the areas of your life that you need most and fits with your lifestyle, losing weight will never feel like an uphill battle again.
If you have kids and a husband that you’re cooking for, don’t sign up for a program that’s based in meal plans – making two meals for you and your family is not realistic and trust me – your kids are not going to eat your ‘diet food’. If you don’t have time, you’re not going to want to sign up for something that requires hours in the kitchen preparing extensive, lengthy recipes.
Once you find something that works for you, you won’t be deterred by other weight loss offerings on your feed because you’ll feel confident in what you’re doing, see the results that you’re getting and finally feel in control of your diet and your health.
Have a Plan
When it really comes down to it, the real reason why so many people focus on other people’s weight loss journey’s is that don’t have an actual plan to lose their weight. They’re desperate to find a solution and hey – if cutting out sugar worked for you’re old highschool friend Susan who just posted her before and after on her Facebook page, then it’ll work for you! Just because Susan put an end to her sweet tooth, doesn’t mean you can just ditch your post-dinner ice cream and expect the pounds to fall off! You need a plan!
‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ is true for a reason – you don’t just ‘cut out carbs’ or start eating Paleo – you need timeframes (which is determined by how much weight you have to lose); solutions for obstacles like your cousins wedding, that two-week vacation with your in-laws, or your monthly boozy brunch date with the girls; strategies to overcome plateaus (because you will have them); and what the plan is to maintain your weight once you hit your goal.
If you neglect to consider these things before you start your diet and map them out accordingly you are DESTINED TO FAIL. Believe me, no one wants to give up 6 weeks of no ice cream only to see 1 or 2 pounds come off. Which is why there’s no point in even starting a diet and investing your time and energy into something if you’re going to get derailed the moment life throws you a curveball. So have a plan and work out the problems before they occur so that you can maximize your time and get the results you deserve.
Find Your Tribe
This is by far the most important component to a successful weight loss program. Have you ever started watching a show because your best friend couldn’t stop raving about it and then suddenly found yourself addicted to it? Have you ever not been able to make it through a magazine but then suddenly joined a book club at work and bam! You’re reading a novel every other week! THIS is the power of community.
When it comes to weight loss, we are more successful when we have a group of like-minded people around us. When you’re surrounded and supported by people who are following the same program, going at the same pace and dealing with the same challenges it can make all the difference in the world! You’ll have people to not only support you in your wins, but raise you up during your loses and help you through the darkest of times because they’re going through them as well. Community keeps you rock solid, accountable and will help you stay the course so that you can finally achieve your results. Finding your tribe is the true differentiating factor between starting a diet and finishing one. So once you find yours, hold on tight and don’t let go!
More than anything, if you’re feeling lost when it comes to your weight loss journey my best advice is to ask for help. Weight loss has many moving parts and the more time you waste trying to do things on your own the more discouraging and overwhelming things can feel. As always, if you need any help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to help you find your perfect solution.