The other morning when I was training a client, she brought up her concerns about her weight (again) and how when she was on a trip with her girlfriends they were all faster than her on the hikes than she was, even though she exercised WAY more than them. So, we had a little chat.
Here’s the backstory on her. She’s in her late 50s, a mother of 3 (4 if you count her husband) and she’s exercised hard since the day I met her, which was about 12 years ago. She has also been trying to lose the same 10 pounds for the last 12 years:
Now some might say that it’s my fault, I’m her trainer and I should be able to make those 10 pounds fall off. But like the old saying says, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. See, she’s someone who is always trying the latest diet craze. If she stuck with one for longer than 10 days the 10 pounds would come off, but she barely lasts a week and then it’s back to her old ways, with a little bit of frustration wondering why she is still the same weight.
She’s turning 60 at the end of January and she is determined now to get the weight off. She tells me she is going to cut out the crap, count calories and be really good until her birthday. Except...she is off on a vacation this week, then for 10 days next week then over Christmas for 2 weeks with her family. Not exactly the recipe for success.
So here’s what I told her and for anyone else who is trying to lose a few pounds before the start of next year.
Be consistent when you can. That means cut out the crap when you’re just living your normal day to day life. No extras like wine, chocolate, or muffins with your morning coffee. And pick up your intensity of your workouts. Change something, whether it be hitting a new heart rate zone in your interval workout or trying a new class or workout all together. Get to the point of discomfort and work through it because this will teach you how to be comfortable being uncomfortable again. You need to be able to be uncomfortable to lose weight because not giving in to cravings and dragging yourself to workouts you would rather skip, all of that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you can’t push through that then success will never happen.
Don’t try and lose weight on vacation. If you know you have a girls weekend coming up or a family trip or some sort of incredible event, don’t try and lose weight then. Like I said earlier, be consistent when you are just maintaining your normal schedule and when situations arise where you can enjoy yourself, let yourself be in the moment. As long as you don’t overindulge continuously while on vacation and hopefully get in some sort of exercise (walking, hiking, or a workout in the hotel) you should come back to reality the same weight you left, and get back to trying to drop a few more numbers on the scale.
What I see time and time again is people either saying I can’t lose weight now because this trip or event is around the corner or they completely give up after one bad night. Don’t do that. Let’s say you lose 3 pounds before a weekend away. As long as you mildly behave when you get home you should be 3 pounds down still. Then start back up again. Lose 3 more pounds before the Christmas season arrives, survive that then in January lose another 4. That’s pretty easy, no? 1 pound a week when it’s available to you and maintenance when it’s not.
I know we would all rather lose it by next weekend but that’s not realistic, as much as others will tell you it’s possible. So if you’re one of those who keeps putting off losing the extra weight you’re tired of carrying with you just start now and be consistent. And send in any smutty fitness questions to me here at [email protected].