Some of us have decided that this year, we will achieve that goal weight for sure. Some of us have weight we want to lose, while some of us have weight we need to gain. Getting genuinely enthusiastic about our goal leads us to splurge city – shoes, organic health foods, cute workout clothes and awesome headphones – you name it! But unfortunately, all of it is forgotten in a couple weeks. Have you been in this situation? Believe us, you’re not alone.
Have you wondered why it’s hard to get your body to become thinner or thicker? Here’s a two-word answer: unrealistic expectations.
We all tend to have them, because we see it as a chore. We want to eat as our heart desires, but still expect the scales to tip in the direction we want; we want to see results immediately; we want maximum benefits from minimum work. And these unrealistic expectations haunt us when we don’t see the desired results.
9 Realistic Things to Remember When Losing or Gaining Weight
It doesn’t all have to be sad – all you have to do is keep your goals realistic and remind yourself of it. Trust us, when you start doing this, you’re more likely to succeed because you’re being patient. If you’re struggling to get fit, here are 9 realistic things to remind yourself of regularly:
1. Don’t aim for perfection, because there is no such thing.
There, we said it. All the actresses whose drop-dead gorgeous bodies you want to have are actually a product of either excruciating exercise, a strict diet or Photoshop – you likely don’t have the time or money for an excruciating workout, and you most definitely can’t airbrush yourself in real life. Instead of losing hope because you can’t look like Priyanka Chopra, try and understand how your body works and set realistic goals – your body and mind will be eternally grateful to you.
2. It is not an overnight process.
You can’t do 15 squats in one gym session and expect to have a toned the next day. What works is consistency – doing those 15 squats everyday for a week and increasing it to 20 through the month can do wonders for your butt, your weighing scale, and your confidence to achieve your goal.
3. You cannot choose between exercising and eating right – you have to both.
There are two kinds of people who have unrealistic expectations when losing weight – one, who thinks that they can eat what they want and then burn it off at the gym, and the other, who doesn’t eat anything and thinks that is enough for them to lose weight. Even people who want to gain weight fall into this conundrum – because they are underweight, they think that eating junk food will not affect them because they have to gain weight anyway. The issue with this is that every body needs exercise and healthy diet – you cannot skip one and expect the other to miraculously change you. If you eat right and exercise at least 30 minutes a day (if not more), you will get the results you need. Don’t skip out on either – they’re equally important!
4. You will have bad days.
Prepare yourself for this – there are days when you will not be able to exercise as well as the other days, or you will end up eating too many slices of pizza at that party. It’s important to remember that this will happen, and it’s okay. Everyone is allowed a few slip-ups every now and then, because we tend to feel tempted or lazy or just mentally exhausted sometimes. If you forgive yourself when you slip up, you’re highly likely to get up the next day and get that workout done. Don’t be mean to yourself!
5. There are other ways to track your progress.
We cannot stress this enough. If you’re feeling adventurous, try this – put your weighing scale back into your cupboard and hide it under a pile of clothes, and never look at it again. You have been told all your life that your health status depends on how much you weigh, but that isn’t necessarily true. Your weighing scale simply tells you that you are X kg, but it does not account for how that weight is distributed in your body. 1 kg of fat weighs less than 1 kg of muscle – let that sink in! While working out, you are looking to convert your fat into muscle, so there is a chance you might weigh more when you’re actually healthy – so why use weighing scales to measure? Instead, go for more accurate methods such as body fat percentage. Aside from that, notice other things like if you can do more push-ups than you could do 2 months back, or how many flights of stairs you can climb without huffing and puffing. If you’re eating right and exercising regularly, you are already headed in the right direction.
6. You don’t have to do the exercises everyone else is doing.
Different things work for different bodies and minds – you might love going to the gym, but your friend might actually hate it! You don’t have to do the exercise your friends/husband/peers are doing to get healthy – you can choose what makes you feel most comfortable and stick to that. There are a ton of new types of workouts now – zumba, kickboxing, yoga, MMA, aerobics – take your pick! The idea is to feel comfortable in the way you’re getting fit, and not what the ‘hottest’ workout is.
7. Fad diets do not last.
Never, ever forget this. You might end up losing 20 kg by eating only fruits and one meal a day, but the moment you stop and get back to your regular eating habits, all the weight will come back. Similarly, if you think that eating all that junk food will help you reach your goal weight, it might – but it will also bring a host of problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, low stamina, etc. Fad diets like juice fasts, fruit diets, 2-meals-a-day diets, etc. can cause you more harm, sometimes even in a way that is irreversible. If you want to lose weight in a healthy way, be consistent with the kind of food you are putting in your body – it should be a healthy mix of carbs, protein, fats, vitamins and fibre. And eating on time is the best way you can achieve the results you want.
8. Remember why you started working out.
Every time you feel like you want to give up on your goal of getting fit and healthy, go back and remember why you made this resolution in the first place. Write down the reasons why you wanted to gain/lose weight, and go back to it when you feel down and out. It will restore your strength to achieve it.
9. You can – and you will – do it.
There is nothing you can’t do with a little consistency and self-motivation. Even when you have bad days, the one thing that will make you get up and continue is your need to achieve your goal, and remembering that every day is a great way to pump yourself up for your next workout!
Try telling yourself these 9 things when you’re on the journey to get fit, and watch how a chore turns into a fun, memorable fitness journey!