Heading into 2022 are you ready to conquer the Covid 19, as in pounds gained during the pandemic?
For so many of us, our weight has crept upward. Once Covid turned our lives upside down, many tried and true habits and routines collapsed under all the pressure.
For too many of us, all bets were off. We turned again and again to our favorite comfort foods to calm and reward ourselves. The life is short, eat dessert first mentality ruled.
Does that sound like you?
So now that boosters are available and we’re heading into holiday season with more confidence and opportunities for gathering and feasting, it’s the perfect time to get started on a weight loss life style make-over.
It’s time to place your toes on the starting line and commit.
Yes, you really can lose the weight you’ve gained. Plus prepare wisely for the holiday feasting by getting started now on designing an easy, realistic food plan.
And, so essential for success, by creating a matrix of helpful thoughts to lift you up along the way.
Then you can hopscotch confidently, dare I say merrily, on your way to the peace and freedom around food, your body and your weight you’ve been craving for years.
Do you have a history of making ambitious plans to change?
Whether we’re talking about your eating, exercise, sleep, and/or alcohol consumption habits and routines, overly ambitious plans lead to burn-out and quitting. Once you lose momentum, restarting is daunting. And the follow through too exhausting to even contemplate.
It’s time to put a stop to that start/stop routine that makes it so hard to ever get traction and see results.
Kick those perfectionist fantasies of designing the perfect diet to the curb.
When we’re honest with ourselves, we know that there’s no such thing as the perfect diet or a miracle solution. We know that traditional diets don’t work long term. They only create temporary weight loss. And, so frustrating, usually a monstrous regain of even more weight.
The truth is that nothing less than a lifestyle and thinking make-over is the only approach that can work long term.
To lose weight and keep it off requires focus, awareness, intention, commitment and determination.
Aligning your thoughts with your weight loss goals builds the very foundation of sustainable change.
Creating a realistic food plan, supported by commitment and determination, will fuel your desire to get started and play the long game.
Don’t think you can lean on willpower for success.
Willpower is an unreliable fuel, easily depleted. It is a poor substitute for feelings of commitment and determination.
Define the very tiniest habits and behaviors you’re willing to do to eat on your food plan.
That’s the definition of the minimum baseline in a nutshell. It’s the least amount of ANYTHING that you are willing to do.
You decide what that looks like for you. This is a very personalized, customized process.
We’re not looking for perfection here. We’re looking for commitment to the minimum baseline.
If you know you have perfectionist tendencies, watch out for this this all too common stumbling block.
Perfectionists excel at making unrealistic plans.
The more you make unrealistic plans and don’t keep them, the more “making plans” becomes nothing more than a theoretical exercise. Bereft of results.
Even though much of the time you know you’re not going to keep them, making them gives you a brief respite from your harsh inner critic that chastises you for failing to succeed once again.
And then your self-esteem takes a gut punch. Delivered by none other than you!
When you tangle up perfectionist thinking and your self-esteem with your eating plan, your drink plan or your exercise plan, it’s too much pressure to succeed. It’s so hard to stay the course.
You don’t have to be perfect to feel good about yourself and commit to your plans.
You are human and, therefore, by definition NOT perfect.
When you can’t keep perfectly to your perfect plan, when you say mean things to yourself that you’d never say to a friend, you naturally feel terrible.
Trust me on this, you can never chastise or hate yourself thin. IMPOSSIBLE!
Sometimes, when you feel terrible but decide to try again, you think you need a new plan will make you feel better about yourself. So, you make another perfect plan and promise yourself that, starting tomorrow, you’ll be perfect.
The cycle continues. And drives you crazy in the bargain!
But think about this: Every time you make a perfect plan and don’t follow it, you stress out. This weakens your ability to make and keep commitments to yourself.
And then you use this result as even more evidence that you’re inadequate to the task, a weak person lacking self-discipline.
Please, don’t buy this load of B.S.
It’s what you decide to do over time that matters.
If you are at least an 8 out of 10, sticking to your plan at least 80% of the time you will achieve weight loss success.
Don’t make the mistake of tying your self-worth and self-esteem to your weight loss plan.
A plan is simply like a road map. Just like an old AAA map that shows you all the the possible routes to get from New York to Los Angeles.
You can see a multitude of possibilities. You can take the direct route, a scenic route or linger at any number of destinations along the way.
When traveling on a long journey, you know you can expect inevitable diversions, detours and wrong turns. No matter the zigs and zags though, you have confidence you’ll still get there eventually if you keep heading west.
Separate your self-worth from the plan — from any plan.
Your self-worth doesn’t depend on how closely you follow your plan or where and when you deviate. You were born worthy and that will never change, no matter how long it takes to reach your destination.
When it comes to weight loss, to gain traction and make progress toward your goal, employ the minimum baseline strategy.
It’s a simple concept. And, if you really practice it, everything can change.
Use the minimum baseline strategy as a cure for perfectionism.
Perfectionism tells you that you need to do everything, all at once, and perfectly.
The minimum baseline tells you that you need to choose one small thing at a time and do it consistently. Notice the word perfectly is not even mentioned,.
Perfectionism tells you to eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies at every meal. Work out at least 3 times a week. Limit drinking to two drinks on Saturday night.
The minimum baseline tells you to shop for whole foods once a week until that becomes utterly effortless. Then, add prep and cook food for 2 week days and repeat the process. Move on to the next minimum baseline once you’re in the groove with the current one. That’s it!
Your minimum baseline should be the smallest commitment you can make that you can do.
Of course this will involve managing your mind, but it should feel doable when you set it. If you harbor secret thoughts that you’ll never actually do it, scratch that idea and try again.
For example, you ‘re considering your your minimum baseline at taking a 15 minute walk 2 days a week. But your perfectionist brain loudly objects. That hardly seems like enough to make any sort of difference — it seems pointless. But trust me, it’s not.
If you really go for your walk 2 days a week consistently, you’re doing way more for your body than buying a Peleton, riding every day for a week, then not hoping on for 4 months. And then starting the cycle all over again.
Expect your brain to rebel against what seems too easy.
It might not like the minimum baseline strategy at first and will try to convince you not to bother.
That could be because your brain knows it won’t get this nice dopamine hit that can come from imagining your pretend perfect self keeping to the perfect diet, drink and exercise plan.
At first, the minimum baseline may seem boring and pointless.
But it’s the exact opposite. The minimum baseline is how you build an actual lasting habit and develop that integrity with yourself.
It’s how you develop the kind of relationship with yourself where if you say you’ll do something, you know you’ll do it.
You do not get there with overly ambitious “perfect” plans.
You get there little by little. By giving 80% or more day after day.
The point of the minimum baseline is to build consistent habits and trust with yourself.
Actually, getting results is really less important than honoring your commitment to yourself.
You will get results over time. But you can’t focus on the results when you’re getting started establishing minimum baselines. Because then your brain will say “but it would be so much better if we did this perfect, more comprehensive plan instead.”
Don’t focus on the goal in the beginning. Keep your focus on the relationship you’re building with yourself.
Establishing minimum baseline commitments creates momentum to make weight loss easier.
In my It’s Never Too Late Weight Loss Coaching program, I meet you where you are. I help you establish minimum baselines you can live with. We hopscotch our way forward and keep adding more.
Isn’t it time to take me up on my offer for a FREE Strategy Call so we can get started as holiday season is upon us?
I’m looking forward to meeting you soon. Make 2022 your year.
It’s Never Too Late to make your weight loss journey easier. A year from now, you will thank yourself you started today.
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