Weight Loss: A Long and Winding Road

Expectation: Once I can finally decide to make the changes to lose weight, I should lose weight every week! If it were a line graph it should look like this one:


Notice that pesky word “should.” Take that word out of your vocabulary.

Should according to whom? THEM???  Who are they? YOU?? Where did you get your information? Most likely from THEM! And if you can’t do what They say you should do, what does that mean? For many, it means they have failed and will never be successful at meeting their goals. And… well, if you’ll never be successful then why even try?

Let’s go get some ice cream.

Next notice that word “never” that flows from “should” thinking. Take that word out of your vocabulary too.

Trying to live up to those ridiculous “shoulds” can lead to all-or-nothing thinking. Do you really think your HEALTH is an all or nothing proposition? Do you really think that a couple of small changes won’t make a difference?

Good news! Small changes DO make a difference!

If you want to set yourself up to restrict (go “on” a diet or be “good”) and then to binge (go “off” a diet or be “bad”) and then repeat again and again… then keep on using “should” and “never.”

And by the way, being mean to animals or rude to service staff make you bad, not eating a snickers bar. Let it go.

If you prefer to be kind to yourself and take advantage of the additive effect of small changes made consistently (did you just let out a big exhale and feel your shoulders drop two inches at that thought?), then let’s talk about what real weight loss looks like.

Reality: Once I finally decide to make the changes to lose weight, it will be a wild, unpredictable, up-and-down ride!

Next is what this can look like – this is my graph of weight loss since January 1.The blue line notes my recorded weights and the orange line is the trend line I was given based on my goal and time-frame – ah, I think I found THEM! (And see, they are telling me what I “should” do!)


Notice that when you zoom out to look at the big picture, there has been an overall loss. Notice too that when you zoom in to look at a few days at a time, there are times where my weight went down steadily and also where it went up. There are some times that are just up and down and up and down. When you do the math, I’ve averaged a 0.75 pound loss a week. I know a lot of people who would also be upset if they lost that small amount of weight in a week.

I’m not upset because it’s slow. It’s slow because I like Food Truck Fridays… and I’ve been spending more time on Yoga (love!) than Cardio…. and sometimes I’m hungry and tired and surf the couch while other times I’m satiated and energetic and active… and I’m not planning on any of that changing anytime soon.

It’s slow because I prefer to work on a healthy comfortable and enjoyable relationship with food and activity instead of an unhealthy restrictive controlling guilt-ridden relationship.

My hope with this post is to help you appreciate your efforts and be kind to yourself and to relax a little with the scale and numbers and restrictive behaviors. Unfortunately, I know that no matter what I say or write, only YOUR thoughts can change your thoughts. My words can only trigger a little sparkle of a new way to think – a little sparkle that I hope you grow into a great big glowing ball of awesomeness.

Because that’s what you are. One great big glowing ball of awesomeness.

Now, who wants to go get some of that ice cream?

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