THE FITNESS COLUMN: Setting your goals

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Reaching a certain weight, smaller clothing sizes, improved fitness levels and better health.

Those are some of the various goals that people have in mind as they work hard to see their weight and fat levels move in a downward direction.

As the fat percentage moves closer to the “magic number” or the fitness levels increases to a new high, a strange phenomena sometimes happens.

Fear and worry set in.

I’ve seen it more times than I can count in the contact I have with individuals who are working hard to lose fat and get healthy.

They lose some fat, and as they get closer and closer to their goal weight, they began to experience fear. Often times it seems as if this fear leads them into complacency, and then the complacency sometimes causes them to regress back to old habits. It’s very hard to watch, because I know how hard they’ve worked to reach their goals, and how much they wanted to maintain their success.

I also see clients trying to lose weight and never getting anywhere close to their goal weight. But, they did lose the same stone over and over again. It seems like that stone is the magic number for them.

They would lose a stone and think, “I’ve got this sorted, so I don’t really have to watch what I’m eating anymore.” Then as soon as they began to have those thoughts in their head, the pounds come back on, and usually a few of their friends came with them!

If you are someone who finds that they go through the, “the more I lose the closer I get to my goal weight the more concerned I get. What would life in maintenance look like for me? Could I really keep off the three stone? Would I keep up with the exercise? Could I stay fit? Could I prove to all the people who said I couldn’t do it that I really wasn’t going to regain all my weight?”

If this is you the answer is YES YOU CAN.

The first few months are a little bit frightening.

You are thrilled to be a smaller size, a healthier weight, and fitter. However, you will find you are still learning to live in your new body, and finding out what you can eat without gaining weight. But after the first couple of months, maintenance is FUN!

You have to realise that fear and worry have no place in maintenance of weight and body fat. Rather than fear you should start to find the fullness of life in a way you have maybe forgotten. Fear should be banished, complacency should not be part of your vocabulary, and embrace your new body and attitude.

With speaking to clients and friends who have stopped short of reaching their goals, and regained their lost weight/fat, that fear often plays a role for them. Somewhere in their minds they are a little bit afraid of what the “thinner, fit” person may be like.

There is a comfort in the status quo, and to move past what they’ve always known into new territory can be scary. How do you feel when you think about losing weight/fat and beyond? Is there any part of you that worries what it will be like?

If you do harbour some secret fear, I’d encourage you to take your hesitation and fear out of the cupboard and look at it in the light. I’d encourage you to trust me when I say that maintenance is the fun part – the reward for all the hard work you’ve been doing.

There is nothing REAL to be afraid of.

If you’ve lost weight/fat by changing your relationship to food, getting fit and healthy, and worked on a true lifestyle change, then you can maintain that weight/fat loss – whether it be a stone or 10 stone.

Don’t let fear of the future stand in your way or hinder your progress.

If you do find that fear overpowers you a lot of the time, take that step back and realise it is normal to feel that doubt, you just have to be focused on your goal and be positive about even the small steps in your health and fitness.