When we are working on losing weight, there are many ways and reasons it can go wrong. Weight loss is a long journey for most of us, and this journey is always at risk of hurdles. And the longer it is taking us, the more likely we are to encounter a hurdle. Which means we need to be prepared for them.
A weight loss setback is the most common reason why someone will give up on a diet, workout routine, or a goal. We just cannot bear it when we see that our weight loss has stopped, or that we have gained weight instead. It can make us feel as though all the hard work we put in was for nothing. And then we get hit by a wave of hopelessness where we are unsure whether we can carry on, knowing that our results could be set back so easily.
But a weight loss setback is not necessarily a sign that our diet or exercise routine is set up to fail, or bad for us. Sometimes it happens because of something we did wrong, sometimes it happens for emotional reasons, and sometimes it just happens, for no reason at all. It is important, before throwing in the towel, to assess why it is we suffered a setback, and see what we can do about it. Because otherwise how will we get back on track, and prevent future setbacks?
The first step to analyzing a setback is to prepare yourself emotionally. Very often, whatever we uncover about setbacks makes us feel guilty or ashamed, because we place a high level of blame on ourselves. It is important to remember that everyone experiences setbacks and that you cannot prepare for something you did not know about.
Working out why we suffered a setback isn't as easy as it sounds. You really need to get to the core of your problem. Ask yourself what caused the setback, whether it was breaking your diet, reducing activity, or a mystery. Ask yourself what made you change your habits. Ask yourself why you did not start dieting or exercising again as soon as the problem passed. Usually we will find an emotional, social, mental, or personal inhibition which affected our ability to look after ourselves as we wanted to.
No matter what the initial reason for your setback was, usually there are confusing elements. For instance, you may have eaten too much because of depression, rebounded by being extra strict with your diet, then been unable to keep control over your diet, resulting in a continual yoyo between too much and too little food. This is normal, and it can be stopped, but it can make it harder to work out what the original problem was. You really need to dig deep to discover what made the problems begin.
When we have found out what the main and secondary reasons for our setback are, we can look to correct them. If you are still stalling, or gaining weight, you can stop this by addressing the problem which caused them. This may be through emotional therapy, or it may be through hiding a new and exciting food. It could even just be making a bit more time for exercise. You just have to do whatever it takes to begin losing weight again.
Once we are back on track, we need to ask ourselves what we would do if we experienced a problem like this again. This can be a very challenging question to answer. Sometimes the trigger for our setback really was beyond our control. But just because the trigger is beyond our control doesn't mean we can't put things in place to make uncontrollable problems easier. You can't prevent getting stuck in traffic, or know when it will happen, but you can make plans in case you are home late and can't find time to cook or work out. Looking ahead like this is vitally important, as it will help us to make sure we are always prepared for potential trouble.
It is only when we seize control of our diets and lives, including our setbacks, that we can truly succeed.