What I Wish I’d Known About Weight Loss
At one time, I was seventy pounds heavier than I am now. That number doesn’t seem like it can be right, but it is. Along the way I’ve tried several approaches, bounced back up thirty pounds or so, and undergone multiple big life changes that impacted my ability to manage my weight. And now that I’ve done all of that, I’m frustrated to see weight loss information that either peddles hacks and secrets, or is based on science but fails to take into account the constraints and challenges that real people face.
I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t think there’s one set of guidelines that will work for everyone. People are different. Their lifestyles, income, available time, and health goals are different. And that’s why my advice is not based in tricks and tips. Instead, it’s some grounded perspective from someone who has been through the full weight loss journey. This is the advice I would go back and give to myself when I was starting out.
Don’t beat yourself up over this
Making a major change to your daily habits is hard. Most people can’t make an immediate, lasting change to their diet, daily routine, and lifestyle. You will almost certainly slip from time to time. You’ll overeat, or indulge on sweets after a hard day, or otherwise not follow your plan exactly. You’ll even go a few weeks without progress, or even with some weight gain.
Don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s not an indication that you’re undisciplined, or incapable of change. The thing you’re trying to do is difficult, and you should give yourself some grace. Let it go. Wake up the next day, and get back on the program. Instead of getting mad at yourself, think about why you slipped, and what changes you can make to do better in the future. That might mean adjusting your plan so that it’s easier to follow, even if it pushes back your goals. And that’s okay.