Are you having trouble starting a diet? Does the thought of exercise make you want to hit the snooze button and hide under the blankets for another hour? Or were you well on your way to reaching your weight-loss goals until you hit a plateau and fell off the wagon?
For most people, the real problem with losing weight is that it simply isn’t a priority. With busy lives full of personal and professional obligations pulling us every which way, stress and poor sleep habits adding to our fatigue, and the idea that we simply don’t have time to take the steps necessary to lose weight, we quickly become our own worst enemy by erecting mental roadblocks that keep us from reaching our goals. But if you learn to spot the signs and arm yourself with the necessary tools to set acceptable milestones (and meet them), you will soon see the results you crave in both body and mind.
So here are just a few common mental roadblocks and how you can overcome them on your way to weight loss.
1. Not enough time.
This is something that most people convince themselves is the reason for the sorry state of their body and their health. But you’re the one who controls your calendar. Yes, you have to work. And maybe you have familial obligations, as well. But there are many times during the day that you could easily squeeze in 30 minutes of cardio instead of sleeping in or plopping down on the coach to watch TV. So instead of ho-humming about how you don’t have any time, save your breath for that kick-boxing class at the gym.
2. Not enough money.
Many people seem to be laboring (or not, as the case may be) under the misconception that you have to spend a lot of money to lose weight. And if you plan on joining a gym, installing equipment in your home, or tackling a diet plan that makes you buy their overpriced food, then you might be right. But just so you know, jogging and hiking are absolutely free and the cost of incorporating healthier foods into your diet really isn’t more expensive once you take the junk food off your grocery list. Stop making excuses and find a plan that fits your budget.
3. Not enough knowledge.
This is less a mental roadblock than a cop-out. If your excuse for neglecting to lose weight is that you don’t know how, then you need to take the initiative to learn. Nothing worthwhile comes easy in life, and losing weight and getting in shape is definitely worthwhile. You went to college to learn your profession, so why not go back to school (so to speak) when it comes to weight loss. Hit the books (or the internet) to learn about the type of exercise that will suit you best (if the impact of jogging hurts your joints, try an aerobics workout or the elliptical machine instead) as well as the recipes and diet tips that will up your nutrition while you drop pounds. And check out sites like Spark People that offer a community of people in the same boat who will offer advice and encouragement to help you along the way.
4. It’s no fun.
If this is your attitude when you start, you’ll likely find that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You need to get creative. Try examining your interests. Do you enjoy sports? Maybe you should join a local league. Or if you prefer spending time with your dogs, take them for a much needed jog over to the dog park for some playtime. Perhaps the real problem is that doing it alone bores you. So get a friend or family member on board – you can both get the support you need to succeed!
5. Results are too slow.
The first option is to increase your efforts (hard as it may be). Increase your workout times, throw in some weights if you’ve just been doing cardio (remember, muscle may weigh more, but it also burns more calories, so it’s going to pay off in the long run), and take a closer look at not only what you’re eating, but how much (portion size). And if all else fails, consult with your physician. Perhaps there are medical factors contributing to your weight that are holding you back.
Chris Larue writes for Fatty Weight Loss where you can find articles on health and nutrition in addition to information on behavioral weight loss and diet tips.