“Today’s the day! I’m gonna finally start trying to lose that inner tube. I’m gonna go do a 2 mile run and I’m only gonna eat salads today. Beach body here I come!”
Who has had this inner pep talk? Chances are if you have joined a gym you had a similar pep talk with yourself the day you went to go become a member.
You walked into the gym with all the best intentions and started working out hard. We wanna be like the success stories we see on social media of people picking themselves up by their boot straps and lose hundreds of pounds in a year.
That first week goes well, then other things start to get in the way and we start trying to “get to the gym if we can today.” Then we weigh-in and get disheartened when we check the scale to see that we have lost little to no weight. This leads to a negative experience with trying to lose weight and we give up until that moment of inspiration strikes us again next year.
Why is this story so common? I mean it lead to one of the longest running reality TV shows in recent memory, “The Biggest Loser.” And, if anything, that show contributed more to this cycle than it helped.
What can you do? How can this rut be overcome?
The answer starts with your goals.
Let’s go back to the beginning. “ I’m gonna finally start trying to lose that inner tube. I’m gonna go do a 2 Mile Run and I’m only gonna eat salads today.”
These goals seem approachable right? We have seen other people do it, why not us?
Well if you have been doing a 9 to 5 desk job and going home to watch Netflix while your diet consists of fast food, it’s gonna be difficult. Very difficult.
Our bodies have this thing called “homeostasis.” It’s our bodies natural reactions to return to what it views as normal.
View your weight as a skateboard on a halfpipe in a giant warehouse (#90skidwritingthis) and the half pipe represents your current weight range. That skateboard could be at any point on the pipe but when you let go of it, the board will return to center.
Those weights you are used to seeing are the ends of that ramp and the average of the high and low weight range you see is the center of that ramp.
Now you want to move that ramp to a different part of the warehouse, where the lighting is better for photos and the wind is cool (losing weight). That ramp isn’t just gonna move over there in a day. You’re gonna have to move that sucker a little bit at a time.
For most of us we look at that task as daunting and go “NOPE!” This is the same as that goal of eating only salads and running 2 miles a day every day to lose the inner tube. The goal is too far off and if you push really hard for a short amount of time, your body will return the board and ramp back to where it was.
The people who succeed in these massive changes take a look at the massive goal and break it up. To return the ramp analogy, they know the ramp has to get to the other side but they also know it won’t happen quickly. They pick a spot thats 10% of the way there and focus on getting it there. Once they get there they feel a sense of accomplishment and are invigorated to get to the 10%.
With our goal of losing the inner tube, the best thing to do is make one change. A small change. Like “I’m gonna start eating until I’m 80% full.” or “Let’s workout at least once this week.”
These goals are not only more attainable but they will lead to a habit change. If you practice them for 3 weeks+ they are likely to become part of what you do normally. These choices suddenly go from becoming a concentrated effort to 2nd nature!
During this slight change you’ll notice you may only lose a fraction of your goal, but those pounds will be way more likely stay off! All because we changed a habit.
As we repeat this process it will become easier to set goals and keep them.
After a while you won’t even recognize yourself and doing less healthy things will be as difficult to return to as the journey you just took seemed to be.
But, how do we start these goals? How do we know what is the best goal for me?
A good place to start is by finding a nutrition coach to help you push that ramp!
An even better way is to couple a nutrition coaches help with the support and common journey of a community!
Starting September 12th we will be starting a challenge at Vegvisir CrossFit that aims to provide you with just that!
See our last blog post to learn more!