So now you've started trying to become healthier and you're having some success and seeing results! It's hard enough to find the strength and will power within yourself to stick to your health and weight loss goal so the last thing you need is your friends, family and coworkers dictating what is best for you. Unfortunately, this was a very common problem when I started my journey.
The External Struggle:
DEBBIE DOWNERS/BUZZ KILLERS 😒
People that love you and care about you want you to be happy so its not uncommon for them to listen to you talk about how you have strict guidelines to follow and then want you to ease up on yourself. Although I know most of my friends wanted me to succeed at losing weight, they also would be the first to tell me that "one bite won't hurt you", "you can do bad tonight and start over in the morning", or "it's okay to cheat". Although there is some truth to these statements, it's up to you to make those decisions. Try not to let anyone peer pressure you. If I would have eaten something bad every time someone said "one bite won't hurt" then I would have never made any progress. Trust me on that.
They don't know your routine. You are the only one that can be in control of this process. You have to make decisions based off of your guidelines that you have set for yourself. For example, I personally decided that I would be very strict with myself Monday-Friday except that I would allow myself to still meet up with my coworkers every Wednesday night and have girls night at a restaurant bar. For me this meant I didn't have to give it up completely but I did have rules that I had to follow. I told myself I could have one margarita and small serving of one of the appetizers and that was my limit, no exceptions. Of course every Wednesday my girlfriends would say "oh just get a second drink, it's happy hour", and "you will start fresh again in the morning and be really good then." I had to be strong though and stick with the rules I made for myself. Doing this, and not giving in to the temptation of peer pressure allowed me to still partake in girls night but just with some limitations. You don't have to give up all of your favorite things. You can allow yourself to still be you, only you're slowly making adjustments to yourself.
It's sad to say, but there are also some people in this world who just don't like to see others succeed. Beware of these people bringing you down. I had some people like this in my life at the time who would say things like "I think you look fine the way you are", "you should just accept yourself as you are and not feel like you need to change", or " it's going to be extremely hard and a big struggle, are you sure you want to do this?" The best way to power through these kinds of statements is to ask yourself why you are doing this and if the answer is for your health and happiness, then you are on the right path. Don't let negative people or comments drag you down. The more you believe in yourself and what you want to accomplish the stronger you will become. Every time someone would say something to me like "it's going to be really hard to lose weight", I would respond with something like "yeah, it's not easy but I'm doing it and I'm feeling better and stronger everyday."
So now that you have built your wall of protection against outsiders trying to bring you down, it's time to battle yourself.
The Internal Struggle:
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses 😔
We all know how easy it is to come up with an excuse as to why you can't stay on your diet. Things like "I don't feel great today, screw it I'm just going to grab whatevers easy" or " I'm just so busy there is no way I can take the time to figure out what is the healthiest option for food" or even " nobody else in my house is on a diet so it would be impossible for me to stick to one". I went through all of these myself. Although they are all valid statements and things that can effect your progress, the truth is they are also excuses. If you really want success you have to combat all of these things. It's not always easy but it is completely doable. It's really not as excruciating as people tend to think as long as you set guidelines for yourself that aren't so strict and won't set you up for failure. You have to be mentally strong enough when you decide to start making changes in your diet and eating habits. When you totally commit to become healthier the mental strength will follow, I promise. It may not be super strong on day 1 but with each day that you succeed it will get a little stronger until you reach the point where you are unstoppable. Try and set things up for yourself so that your excuses can't get in the way of your progress. Try creating quick grab food sheets that tell you exactly what to shop for and what to reach for when you're in a hurry or not feeling like making an actual meal. This is an example I've used several times in the past because it really worked well for me. (Amanda's quick grab sheets are available if you'd like to see them just ask!)
You can also try to ask a friend or family member to occasionally work out with you, if this is not possible then consider hiring a Personal Trainer if possible. I know a good one ;)
These strategies are all about helping you to hold yourself accountable. It's easy to cancel on yourself but it's a little harder to explain to someone else why you don't want to go on a walk today or go to the gym. I used to take my dog with me on walks after dinner every night and even he gave me the guilt stare if for someone reason I decided not to go! 😳
At times I would ask my sister to go to the gym with me simply for the companionship and someone to chat with. Sometimes it was just the little push that I needed for that day.
Another possibility that may help to get you going is to get a little gimicky! Try using some incentives to stay on track with your workouts and fight your excuses. When I first started my journey my coworker suggested that we would both start together and whoever lost the most weight in a month would buy the other person dinner and a movie ticket. I just recently saw another great incentive idea where you use a jar that you put a dollar in every time you work out and then set a goal like $50. When you reach your $50 goal you can treat yourself to something special, like a new outfit or a massage. These are great ways to get the ball rolling!
The point is what it always is, don't let excuses kill your motivation.
Strength is an inside job. Let your willpower fight in head to head combat with your excuses! 💪
Wage a war of inner dialogue against your negative thoughts, and against the negativity of outsiders. For every excuse that pops into your head, reply! Fight back. Don't accept these self-imposed limits as being your best effort.
The negativity will always be somewhere near, you can fight back if you stay focused on what you want for yourself. You are stronger than you think and you CAN do it!