I have had a lot of questions come my way since I started My Balance Project. Mostly from people I know, but some through instagram that I don’t. These are woman who are feeling the same as I was a little while ago, stuck in a rut. A bad one. It’s an easy cycle to get in to, negativity feeds negativity and before you know it you’re just feeling shit about yourself all the time. What has worked for me? Well, here is my secret.
Once I STARTED, I felt good. I felt positive. I made changes - only small ones, that turned into big ones, and the results started to come freely. The positive started to drown out the negative, and I found myself in a positive cycle - not a negative one. Once you get to a place where you get results (and I don’t just mean on the scales), the positivity takes over. For me it wasn’t even the first weight loss, it was the very first day that I made the change in my head, when I committed to doing it and somehow I knew I would.
My start was committing to ONE change of habit - JUST ONE THING. So on that first day I said 'OK Justine, we are not eating chocolate or cake for the next few days'. It's not daunting, it's a simple, easy task that is easily achievable and I did it. No chocolate or fizzy at the gas station for me - win! Then I chose another one thing, and kept on repeating this cycle every few days.
When you set big goals it can be really really daunting, and I often think that we give up before we've begun. With me, for example, I need to lose at least 25-30kgs. That is a huge amount of weight and it seems impossible. You feel like you're not going to feel good until you get there (your goal) because you are so driven by the weight.
But here's the thing - if you just start with that one thing, or that one habit, you start to feel good almost immediately. Then it is that feeling that propels you forward and you start being driven by something other than the scales. This is such an important thing - it can't be all about the scales, just like it can't be all about the food.
Because of this, one of my bigger changes was how often I weighed myself. I was doing it every day. I've gone back and forth over the years between doing it daily and having a set day each week. I became OBSESSED! Well, no longer. As strange as it sounds, I'm doing it at random, at least 3-4 days apart.
Don't get me wrong, I jump for joy when I've dropped a kilo. It is so satisfying knowing that what you are doing is getting results. But, weighing yourself too often or on only a certain day I think runs the risk of building bad behaviours around those days.
When I was on weight watchers, the Thursday weigh in was terrible! I wouldn't eat hardly all day (bad) and then would have something I knew I shouldn't straight after - because I had a whole week to make it up right? Wrong. I knew I was only cheating myself, but I couldn't get myself out of that cycle because I wasn't really making the right kind of changes for me.
Remember that there are other rewards that aren't scales related - fitting an old pair of jeans, feeling that slack on the plane seatbelt, being able to tie your shoes better (yes, this is one of my successes although I'm almost embarrassed to admit it!!!), walking further, having ENERGY! These are all huge wins that you need to recognise.
Everyone's journey will be different, and different things drive different people, so set your own goals. If you really think about it, you KNOW the answers already. You know what works for you, you know what you are doing 'wrong'. Am I right?
Just one thing for now, you can do that, right?