I don’t know if you ever saw the show The Weakest Link, which aired for about for about 12 years. The show pitted people against each other and the “weakest link” was eliminated until there was just one winner.
I saw a part of that show on a You Tube video this past week and it got me thinking about the weakest link in the quest to lose weight.
A weak link could come from several different areas of our lives but four that came to mind right away were:
Thoughts and Emotions
To be successful at losing weight, you really have to make sure that you pay attention to more than just one thing. For example, if you focus mainly on food but ignore the emotional component of your journey, you may have trouble being successful.
Let’s look at each component and examine ways to make sure that one of those components does not become the weak link that breaks your effort or causes you to have to start over.
Your food choices are so important when it comes to losing weight. Whether you are a “clean eating” dieter, one who combines convenience foods with natural foods, or follows a commercial diet program, you have got to eat. Food is often the first thing we tackle when we lose weight, and with good reason. We got to be overweight because we were taking in more calories than we were burning through normal life or exercise.
No matter what your diet plan is, be sure to continually “check-in” with yourselves in terms of the foods you chose to eat. Make certain you are eating foods that fuel your body and keeping your calories in line with your goals. It’s easy to slip-up and start to eat a few more calories than you need or even go off on a binge with tempting foods like sweets or chips. If that happens to you, analyze what caused the slip-up and commit to getting back on track right away.
Exercise was my weak link for a long time. I honestly do not think I ever exercised when I dieted until the time I dieted successfully. If exercise is your weak link, I’d encourage you to make a commitment to just try it. (Assuming you have your doctor’s okay.) I could barely walk to the mailbox when I first started losing weight, but I forced myself to walk for a few minutes each day. It didn’t take long until I could walk 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and then 30 minutes. Those were victories!
At the other extreme are people who rely solely on exercise to lose weight and forget some of the other components. Burning calories is important; however, equally as important is doing exercise that you can continue for years to come. None of us can exercise like the Biggest Loser people forever. We have to find the balance between intense exercise and real life.
Thoughts and Emotions
Thoughts and emotions are hugely under discussed in the weight loss world. If this is your weak link, I understand. It took me so many attempts to zero in on the myriad of emotions that were causing me to gain weight and keep me from losing weight. I finally learned that I needed to stop being afraid of really feeling the emotions in my life. I learned that I was stuffing myself with food in an attempt to stuff the emotions inside.
Therapy works. Journaling works. Group support is helpful. Self-examination is key. If you are like me, it will likely take a combination of one or more of these techniques to get to the emotional root of the problem. Don’t let emotions be your weak link forever, because your emotions can also be your strongest ally in time.
You might be surprised how many times people really need solid information before they can be successful at losing weight. Label reading, understanding nutrients, figuring out what percentage of their calories is coming from different places, and how to devise a workout plan are all areas that we need to learn about when we are trying to lose weight. The lack of knowledge really can be a weak link when it comes to weight loss success.
I’ve had people in my weight loss classes who tell me they had never really looked at a nutrition label before or had no idea that the information on the front of the boxes wasn’t always true. There are also folks who didn’t know that walking for exercise works and that strength training is important.
Do you think you have a weak link or are you pretty balanced when it comes to your weight management efforts? How do you stay strong in all areas? Diane