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Identifying and Overcoming Road Blocks

What are some of the pitfalls to look out for when on a weight-loss journey?

Last week's challenge at Studio-310 was a little bit different than previous challenges. The contestants weren't asked to complete any grueling cardio workouts. We weren't tested to the limits of our physical endurance.

Instead, we spent an hour looking internally to answer one question: what do I need to do to be more successful?

It's a simple question but with many complex and different answers. It was a moment of reflection for me. I had spent the last two months logging my food intake, measuring each ounce of water my body consumed, tracking the calories burned on the elliptical machine at my gym. And yet, I hadn't really ever taken a step back to first, appreciate how far I've come in two short months and also, and more importantly, figure out some ways to ensure long-term success once the Biggest Loser program officially ends in a couple weeks.

The dialogue really centered on road blocks. What road blocks exist that stand in the way and ultimately often mean the difference between failure and success? 

During the discussion, we brought up a few road blocks that often get in the way of success in a weight-loss journey. Among the road blocks we discussed, there were three that stuck out to me:

1) Tolerance.  More specifically, what were we willing to tolerate by being overweight or out of shape that we often took for granted? Think about this for a second. How many times have you walked up two flights of stairs with a basket of laundry and felt out of breath? 

 If you know this feeling then you can relate and thus can understand how by "tolerating" aches and pains, being out of breath, or having your knees hurt running around the backyard, we allow ourselves to rationalize our current state and condition.

This was a big ah-ha for me. Even though I've lost only a little more than 20 lbs so far, I can already tell the difference in how I'm feeling. I used to be out of breath so easily just by carrying laundry up the stairs or running around with the dog that I rationalized my feeling as normal. I was tolerating this and for no reason.

2) The second topic we discussed was along the same lines as toleration. And that is, what lies do we tell ourselves to justify bad behavior? (By the way, this doesn't apply to only weight loss). Things like, "Oh, this one doughnut won't hurt" or "It won't be that bad if I skip my workout today," or "That pizza place was on the way home." 

While the truth is that one doughnut isn't such a bad thing, it's often these types of justifications that lead to a recurring pattern. One doughnut can lead to two or three or four. 

The point is, we lie to ourselves or try to fool ourselves to try to justify our behavior and not feel so bad. In the end though, it doesn't lead to anywhere but failure. 

3) The third topic was about patterns. If we are struggling to lose weight, are there any recurring themes or patterns that could help identify the reason why?Chances are, there is always a reason. Whether it's not getting enough exercise or not eating enough fruits and vegetables or not drinking enough water, usually by looking back at the past week's events, we can easily identify a pattern that is leading to failure.  This is why keeping a food log or journal is key. It allows us to easily identify gaps.

Again, the entire discussion was a bit of an eye-opener for me. While I have seen some success on the program, I could be doing better. I've certainly lied to myself a time or two over the last 60 days, rationalizing the few glasses of wine on a Saturday night or the fact that the treadmill will be there tomorrow.

The bottom line is, we need to identify the road blocks in order to overcome and find success in the end.

Chili Watkins March 10, 2011 at 12:37 PM
Thanks for your feedback about roadblocks and the "lies" we tell ourselves. My biggest roadblock is not exercising the first thing in the morning. I've been up since 5:30am, but I haven't exercised yet and I promised myself and a friend that I would exercise this morning. I've been 'distracted' doing work at home (and checking personal email) and now am considering a noon date with the treadmill. This type of dialog and lack of wake-hit-gym and then think about my day, is a very slippery slope. I have to remember my new year's resolution: Talk Less, Do More. Thanks!
Matthew Papuchis March 12, 2011 at 02:29 PM
Thanks for the comment! I learned that it doesn't matter what we "do", just that we do it!

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