What I have learned in my 47 years on this planet is that it isn’t from our perfection that we learn the most about who we are, but when we make mistakes and learn from them that we find our true essence.
Below are my top 10 weight loss mistakes. I can tell you this wasn’t too difficult to configure because I certainly could come up with at least 10 more. Feel free to add to my list so that maybe others can learn from our mistakes.
- DIETING-Plain and simple diets don’t work. Trust me, prior SparkPeople, I spent 32 years trying every diet under the sun. Everything from The Mayo Clinic (name only, not actually endorsed by the Mayo Clinic), The Grapefruit Diet, The Hollywood Stars Diet, even the Hot Dog Diet, you name it I have probably tried it.
- EXPECTING INSTANT RESULTS-I can’t tell you how many times I started this journey in the past expecting instant results on the scale only to find myself gaining and not losing early on. It was so frustrating not to see the results, but I have learned with healthy living it takes time for the body to change.
- UNDERESTIMATING THE POWER OF TRACKING MY NUTRITION-This has been such a huge learning tool for me. There have been days when I just knew I had eaten over my calorie range only to discover that I was far behind and vice-versa. This is the number one tool, now that I am in maintenance, which I return to when I feel my nutrition habits slipping.
- OVERESTIMATING MY CALORIC EXPENDITURE VIA MACHINES-Before I joined SparkPeople I would go by the readout on the machines on my at home elliptical and at the gym. I was shocked to discover the machines were overestimating my caloric expenditure by almost 250 calories per day. This could have been a big reason as to why it may have taken me longer to see results.
- BELIEVING THAT EATING LESS THAN MY CALORIE RANGE WOULD BRING QUICKER RESULTS-I have since educated myself and learned that one must eat to lose. It is far better to become more active than it is to eat fewer calories which can lead to frustration and almost a guaranteed binge somewhere down the road.
- NOT GETTING ENOUGH Z’s- I never take getting a good eight hours sleep for granted any more. I am by far a healthier person and more in control of my eating when I get that good ol’ 8 hours of shut eye every night.
- EXPECTING OTHERS TO SHARE MY ENTHUSIASM FOR GETTING HEALTY-What I have learned is when others are not ready to embrace a healthy lifestyle, there is little you can do to guide them along the way. They have to want it as much as you want it for them.
- NOT STRENGTH TRAINING-By far one of the biggest changes in my body has come from adding strength training into my workout regimen. Not only does it allow for better overall tone, it has improved my running, as well as my active daily living activities.
- BELIVING PLATEAUS MEANT I WAS DOING SOMETHING WRONG-This was one of the toughest obstacles I had to get past. Plateaus just mean that our body has adapted to this new way of living and we just need to determine ways to shake things up.
- NOT ALLOWING TIME FOR RECOVERY-This is where the "some is good so more must be better" mentality has to be shattered. After being told that my recovery time is the time my body begins the adaptation process to the exercise, I never underestimate the power of a good day or two off.
Keeping the list to ten was hard. There have been many more mistakes I have made, but by far the biggest lesson I have learned is this is a life-long journey that will have many twists, turns, and obstacles. But no matter where it takes me, I am in it for the long haul. I will never go back to the way things used to be.
Have you made any weight loss mistakes? What have you discovered to be the most significant change you have made since joining SparkPeople?