It is referred to as a weight loss journey for the main reason, that it is a journey. What do we think about when we think of a journey? Car journey, train, flight: we think of little bits of stress, periods of enjoyment, undulating, bumpiness, comfort and occasional discomfort. Ultimately, hopefully, a great deal of satisfaction at the end of it and the thought of:
‘Well, that was worth it!’
A weight loss journey is just that.
Periods of hunger (by the way, if you aren’t ever hungry when losing weight, you’re probably doing it wrong!), mood swings, motivation, demotivation, satisfaction, dissatisfaction. You’ll be delighted when someone notices and insulted when someone else doesn’t. You’ll catch a glimpse of your jaw line one morning and then lose sight of your abs the next. It’ll play havoc with your brain.
A little extra carbohydrate will promote a little water retention meaning you feel a touch fuzzy one morning. A drop of alcohol may dehydrate you and make you look ‘tight’ the next. It doesn’t mean you should ditch carbs and get pissed each night. But it may affect your mood about your progress in the short-term.
Following my return from Serbia, I embarked on my own weight loss journey. Tipping the scales at 73kg was too much for me. It wasn’t a weight that I felt comfortable with and needed to act. I was tracking my weight, I weighed myself every day. Occasionally this focused my mind when I had a day in which my weight had shot up a little. It also enabled me to show graphically a representation of what any weight loss journey truly looks like.
Weight loss is an undulating course – with the outcome being that you finish a lot lower than you started. However, there will be periods of rises, periods of plateaus, and periods of significant wins.
This is not me telling you to weigh daily. Weekly, for most, will suffice. But what I do want to show is that even amongst your ‘seamless’ progress on the weekly weigh-ins, there will be bumps and diverts that have taken you there – whether you were aware of them or not.
Understanding a weight loss journey is as important to its success as doing it. Why? Because when you hit your first challenge, be it low energy, hunger, weight gain, bloating – all of these can make you quit if you don’t understand the process.
If I said to most of you that you could lose 5-6% of your bodyweight in six weeks, plus increase your fitness and improve your body composition, you’d bit my hand off, right? If I was to then add that the approach is sustainable, allows you to eat the occasional takeaway and drink the occasional glass of wine, you’d doubt if it were possible. It certainly doesn’t tie in with the chicken and broccoli from a Tupperware box brigade. But it truly is possible and what’s more is going to happen. You only need to begin the process.
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