The “Participation Trophy” in your fat-loss journey.
In our current world of entitlement and quick fixes, our journey of self-care can come with some heart-breaking realities. When your day comes to an end, having done everything you could and needed to do to get to your weight loss goals, the effects of that effort won’t be noticeable. There’s no magic hobbit to tuck you in each night and give you shamrock kisses because you behaved so well that day! We must rely on our own belief and satisfaction that each day does count, even if we can’t see it in the mirror or on the scale. We must grab on to the truth that consistency is the absolute key towards health, and that enough of those “good boy/girl” days spun together and we’ll result in digits going down on the scale and our waistline become smaller.
I recently coached an 18-year-old male. He was very small for his age, had not worked out before, and did not have nutritional awareness, and had never had a workout plan or nutrition plan. He was leaving for college in a couple of months and decided he wanted to “bulk up” before he left. I spent a great deal of time creating a comprehensive nutrition and custom 8-week fitness plan. “Follow this” I stated, “and you’ll increase your scale weight by 2-4 lbs. in 8 weeks!” If he did everything right, side by side photos would show a slight change in muscularity and weight gain – a very solid start to his goals.
After 6 days into the 8-week program, he wrote and said, “this plan isn’t working. I’m not buff at all on your plan”. My jaw dropped, and after I recovered, I reviewed the goal, let him know about consistency over time and reminded him of the “participation journey”. His attitude of impatience, expectation and entitlement demonstrated absolutely the opposite of the mentality needed to lose massive amounts of weight – consistency, aggressive patience and hard work. I chalked up his impatience to his young age – however we’re a culture of “right now”.
This “right now” mentality feeds the market and sets us up for failure with, quick fix diet pills, wraps, teas, fad diets, quick loss programs, and shiny fitness devices. The reality that everyone will experience at some point or another is: there is no quick fix. There is no shortcut to breaking habits and rituals in your life that are self-destructive. There is no trophy for having a good eating day other than the internal satisfaction that you did what you needed to do to get to your goals for one day.
If you need to lose a large amount of weight or even just 10 lbs., don’t look at the journey as a “diet” or a period of suffering to right your wrongs, but rather a complete life overhaul. Change takes time. Habits, beliefs, pre-conceived notions, or falling prey to the “right now” culture will leave us where we started. These are the things that got you to your weight gain in the first place. Make one healthy decision at a time, one step at a time, one day at a time, and the “participation trophy” will be awarded through your long-term results towards – better health, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Take the long-term perspective – short term will leave you disappointed, discouraged and back to your old habits.