If you’ve ever bought an exercise or diet plan, the first reaction is usually excitement: “Cool!” You’re looking forward to dropping excess weight and envisioning a more fit and fabulous you. Now, everyone’s reaction is a little different, and some may take different paths. The second reaction, may be either: “This is different; that’s what I need. I’m going to follow it.” Or maybe it’s: “Wait…I don’t like this!” This last reaction is usually out of fear. It takes you out of your comfort zone, and making these changes makes you uncomfortable. This is where most people stop, never move forward, and never make progress. Don’t stop here. Try the next step:
If the plan doesn’t fit you, for whatever reason, some people tell themselves: “I’ll just cross off stuff I don’t like.” If it’s foods you don’t like, I get it, see if you can find a similar food, like swapping out broccoli for asparagus. Or if it’s an exercise you don’t like, try swapping out the leg press for reverse lunges. If the exercise is awkward or difficult, that just means it’s something you need to work on. The more often you do it, the easier it gets. If the exercise hurts, stop. No exercise should hurt. Know the difference between a muscle being worked, and pain. You should never be in pain. On that same note, a diet shouldn’t be so restrictive that it’s making you depressed, that you can’t ever go out to eat, or you can’t sleep properly. Maybe some small changes are in order, instead of tossing the whole plan out the window.
The next step some people go to, is giving up on trying something new. They say something like this: “Maybe I’ll just do my own thing.” Please don’t! What you’ve been doing doesn’t work! Please move onto the next step.
Acceptance. You tell yourself, “What I’ve been trying either doesn’t work, is too hard, I lose weight, but gain it back, so, the methods I’ve been doing, doesn’t really work. I should, at least, give this new plan a try.” Then, you follow the program as best as you can. You may not do it 100%, but you are trying (that’s what counts).
Be honest with yourself. Are you really giving it your all? If you’re working with a coach, let your coach know what isn’t working, and why. Maybe you’re too tired after work to exercise at 6pm. Maybe the morning traffic is too stressful, and causes you anxiety. Is there a better time to get to the gym? Can your coach change the time, or come to your house? Or maybe you hate cooking. Is there a food preparation company you can get your meals from that you, or your coach, can customize the macros (carbs, protein and fat?), so you can still lose weight?
Final outcome: The plan is working, you’re getting results at a slow, but steady pace and you understand that progress takes time, and you’re going to continue. Or, the plan isn’t your cup-of tea: start a brand new program. Not every diet or every exercise program is good for every person. I don’t give my Indian clients American or Chinese recipes, when they tell me they prefer Indian food. I don’t give my seniors the same exercises or weights as I do with my clients in their 20’s and 30’s. The point is, don’t give up when things become difficult; think of it as a challenge you’re going to excel at. Try your best, try something new, and never ever give up on yourself. Accept imperfection, and strive for improvement.
P.S. I offer personal training sessions, a workout plan that I customize for each client, and I also sell two books: the High-Five Diet, and Slimming Dairy-Free Smoothies and Desserts, both available through me, or on Amazon. For detailed info and to place your order, go to my website at theHighFiveDiet.com