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Are Your Weight Loss Goals Sustainable?

by | April 30, 2016

The quick-fix weight loss “solution.”

A client sits down for their first session. She’s super motivated, pumped and ready to roll.

She has her wedding coming up in two months, and wants all her friends and family, but most importantly, her future husband to see her the leanest and fittest she has ever been.

The client is a high achieving executive who’s used to getting things done. She wants a precise, take-no-prisoners meal plan and she wants us to kill her in the gym.

Great! The plan is created, and gym killing provided three times a week.

This client is 100% compliant with her eating and exercise plan.

She runs hard enough to throw up during every session, and she never so much as sniffs at the homemade cake brought into the office each week. When she isn’t steaming broccoli and surgically dissecting the skin off her chicken breasts, she’s in a spin class or swinging kettlebells on the treadmill.

She sheds so much fat; she seems to be melting. She hits her wedding looking like an underwear model.

Then we don’t hear from her for a little while.

Eventually, we run into her in town.

She’s put on all the weight she lost, with interest.

What happened? Well, that hardcore approach just wasn’t sustainable.

And the same principle applies to you.

Ask yourself; What will you be doing in a year from now? Five years from now? Ten years from now?

Now consider this:

If you continue to work at the pace you’re working right now in the way you’re working right now can you last?

 

Sustainability

Sustainability is the ability to endure – to make it through over the long term. In a broader sense, sustainability means that things can last.

Anyone can go all out short term.

We’ve all seen friends and family that got spectacular weight loss results, or stick to a strict plan, for a little while but then fell off the wagon.

It’s a lot harder to stick with things for the long term. And that’s what we’re here for.

Ideally, we want you to build a sustainable self-care practice.

That means:

  • having the guidance to grow and develop;
  • having the time and space to do it;
  • building the skills to bounce back and recover from setbacks when life punches you in the mouth;
  • finding the right pace of improvement;
  • balancing all your competing demands (e.g. work, family, hobbies, etc.); and
  • giving yourself the ability to stick with it.

This is sustainable self-care practice.

 

Making sustainability happen

When our clients come to us at first, they aren’t self-care gurus; they’re jugglers.

They juggle one or two jobs. They juggle work. They juggle family responsibilities. Or travel. Or early morning and late night shifts. Or a million other things.

How can you make this sustainable?

Here are some suggestions.

Firstly, merely be aware of the issue of sustainability.

Ask yourself:

  1. Could I do this for a long time? Could I keep running at this pace?
  2. If not, how can I slow down or pace myself?

Second, focus on one thing at a time.

That’s the underlying principle behind our entire coaching method. And it works.

Research on human cognition and attention shows that we do our best when we focus on one thing at a time – one goal, one habit, one behaviour, or one task.

Yeah, everyone wants fast results, whether that’s turbo-charged fat burning or massive muscle building. But you know it doesn’t work that way. You can only go forward one step at a time. And you can just do one job at a time.

Which steps are you choosing to do?

 

An image of a quote saying, yeah, everyone wants fast results. But you can only for forward one step at a time. And you can only do one job at a time.

 

Third, use outcome-based decision making.

This is another crucial part of our science-based coaching method. Sustainability depends on outcome-based decision making – deciding how to proceed based on real, valid, reliable and measurable results.

At Health by Science, we will ask all our clients (and ourselves) a deceptively simple question.

Most importantly, hows it working for you?

In other words, what results are you getting? Are they the results you wanted? If not, what do you need to change or adjust?

For now, try applying it to your self-care practice – particularly when you consider sustainability – and see what you come up with.

 

What to do today

Consider sustainability in your current health behaviours:

  • Can you keep doing this for the long haul?
  • What needs to happen for that to occur?
  • How are your choices within your self-care practice working for you?
  • If what you’re doing now isn’t sustainable, how might you change or adjust your course?
  • If what you’re doing is sustainable, great job! Keep doing it! See you in 20 years!

Help build a sustainable self-care practice by committing to the small habits that make a big difference.

 

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