It’s not uncommon to struggle with weight loss. After all, when you already don’t feel good about your appearance, it’s hard to push through and make your body workout.
The Weight Loss Struggle
When you want to lose weight, you have everything against you. Everything that is supposed to feel good, only makes you feel worse. It is really more about the power of the mind, but let’s talk about the issues you have to deal with.
- Exercising doesn’t feel good – When you are lean and in shape, you can run like the wind. It feels invigorating when you put on your running shoes and hop along the street. You feel better after you race past the other folks or finish your lap at a new record time for yourself. But when you are overweight, exercising just doesn’t feel good. It’s exhausting and you only end up frustrated with yourself when you can’t do what think you should be able to do. So instead of being encouraged, you end up more irritated. That doesn’t feel good at all.
- Exercise hurts – When you are dealing with extra weight, you are putting additional stress on every one of your joints. For every extra pound you carry, an extra 3-5 pounds are placed on your joints. Over time that
really stresses out your joints and wears them down faster. Also, the harder you exercise, the more it hurts. There is nothing enjoyable about stressing out your knees, hips, back, etc…
- Exercise is humiliating – When you are overweight, you often feel like everyone is looking at you. You just want to do what’s right for your body, but you often feel like others are wondering what you are even doing in the same gym as them. You might feel that they are all in great shape and they have no idea what you are going through.
- Going to the physician only makes you feel worse – Sure, you know you need to go to the doctor, but you know they are going to say you need to eat better, exercise, etc…., whatever that means. You have tried various things, but they just haven’t worked for you. Also, if your blood pressure is up, your physicians might want to put you on that medication. The last thing you want it to add a pill to your daily routine.
- Eating healthy is not enjoyable – You’ve accumulated a taste for the food you eat and it’s difficult to eat healthy. But when you try a diet it only works for a little while, or it doesn’t work at all. Truthfully, you would rather just starve yourself than have to eat all that food. You might feel disgusted eating and would prefer just to skip it.
Overcoming the Weight Loss Battle
I’d like to shed some thoughts on the above statements now. Maybe you are dealing with 2 or 3 of these, or maybe you are struggling with all of them. Regardless, I hope this will help you.
- Exercising can feel good, when done correctly – Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you are going to absolutely love it, but when you first start exercising, you should leave feeling better than before the workout started. I see too many people (personal trainers) push people beyond their limits. There is a time to push people, but when they are first getting started, you have to ease into certain things. For instance, there are times you should completely avoid certain activities. Intensity is a gradual thing, taken in short intervals until someone becomes more accustomed to it. When you are just getting started though, exercise is lower intensity with short spikes of higher intensity. You should feel a little tired, but refreshed after your workout is over.
- Exercise pain is not all the same – When you are exercising, it is crucial that you are paying attention to the type of pain you are having. If you are feeling the correct muscle burn, then you are just experiencing muscle fatigue. (Notice I said correct muscle, not the wrong body part. If your neck is burning when you are doing a chest press or rows, then something is very wrong.) If you are experiencing joint pain when you are exercising, this is also a sign that something is very wrong. Either you are doing the exercise incorrectly or the exercise is not appropriate for you. Either way, stop and find someone to help you advise you on the right thing to do.
- Exercise doesn’t have to be humiliating – There are many reasons people feel embarrassed at the gym. They are new to working out, they are overweight, they do something incorrectly, they don’t think they fit in with everyone else, etc… But in all honesty, these reasons can be applied to just about every area of life…meaning, we are always new at something (job, driving, experience), do something incorrectly (job, driving experience) or feeling like we don’t fit in (job, driving, experience, etc…, I think you get the point). We are all going to do silly things in our life, but you have to laugh at yourself. As far as dealing with the overweight issue in the gym. For one, I promise people aren’t looking at you like you think, even when it feels like it, but regardless, working out in the gym is the perfect place for you to be. I can’t tell you how many times I see someone working out, and I am so proud of them for making the effort. It takes a lot of courage, but you are trying! There is no better place for you to be. Now if you are really being humiliated or embarrassed by others, please find a better place to workout. At Medical Fitness Pros we love to support one another towards our goals in our TONE Weight loss program. That’s what it should be about!
- Going to the physician can, but shouldn’t make you feel worse – The accountability of seeing your physician is really tough. You know what they are going to say, and you know where you have failed. You have to use it as a motivator though. Turn it around. Go into the appointment with a plan. Tell them how you plan to get in shape and tell them the results you want to achieve before you visit next time. Your doctor will/should be more supportive and encouraging upon hearing your goals and plan. If you are struggling with this step, contact us. We can get a prescription from your physician and possibly get insurance coverage for you.
Eating Healthy can be enjoyable – Why do people always look so happy when they are eating healthy? That salad does not taste better than that slice of pizza! Well, that’s not entirely true. Let me explain. At first, you are going to be accustomed to a certain type of diet. You are not going to adapt well to changing the way you eat. That is why you have to start off by making small changes and then add to them over time. As you continue to improve your nutritional habits, it will get easier. This is months down the road, but it will eventually happen. The key parts of this? Accountability, removing temptation, surrounding yourself with others working towards the same goals, having a plan, and not beating yourself up every time you mess up. If you can do those things, eventually you could be as happy as the guy in the picture eating a salad. It’s happened to me once. I got off a plane from Italy and I was craving a salad so bad that I picked my next few places to eat based on who had the most appetizing salads. I really was happy. If you had ever told me I would eat this way when I was eating my worst, I never would have believed you.
They key is to get started. Don’t wait until the New Year, next week, or even tomorrow. What changes can you make today? We would love to work with you to accomplish your goals. The hardest part is taking the first step. Get going!