Torres column: Revisit your goals to get back on track
A lot of hours in my day are dedicated to understanding my clients and to continuing to discover ways to deliver results for them. I spend my weekends creating new tools and gathering information to help them change their body and get results.
This is because I see many of my clients struggle with the same issues. Talking about these issues reminds them of something they already know but have forgotten. Lately I have been seeing a pattern of things that many have forgotten about: Everything is a process, and they must revisit their goals.
Not too long ago I was talking to a member on whom we did a before-and-after assessment last year. She saw great results, but now she is getting stuck and has even gained some weight. She said that she is not losing weight, and she is thinking of using a fast method where she puts BB-gun pellets in her ears to lose weight. While this is different from pills, pomades, diets, fat removal massages, wraps and others, it’s still a myth.
She forgot about what she had been applying in the past. Weight loss is not an event; it is a process. Weight loss requires time, patience and persistence. If you think about your daily tasks, you know that everything requires a process. Getting ready to work is a process. It may take you 10 minutes to an hour. Washing your car, doing an oil change, cooking, applying math, writing, teaching … everything is a process.
How long you have been carrying the extra weight, how ingrained your bad habits are and what you are doing to change will determine how much time you need to lose weight. If you have been carrying that extra weight for more than 10 years, you shouldn’t expect to lose it within 10 days. Also, walking won’t deliver better results than running even though it is helping you to lose weight. Taking into consideration that you do have bad habits to change and you are willing to change them will help you to get to your goal faster.
Don’t worry, you are not alone here. I also work on myself every day finding these bad habits. This is what makes me unique, and it makes me better every day. I find my bad habits, and I attack them. It is about improvement. Relapsing to your bad habits is not the best feeling. Many people give up because of relapses. As a matter of fact, I just relapsed to one of my bad habits, and it hurts a lot because I know better. It is very painful. I make sure it hurts. I am hard with myself, but I do not dwell on it. I bring it up and continue with my goals making sure that I can overcome my bad habits. This is where persistence makes a difference. Relapsing is part of being human, but you don’t have to give up just because it is painful and you think you are not worthy. Rather, you need to understand that you need to go back to your dream and goals. Give yourself time, be patient and persist with the process.
Many of our members signed up for our program because they want to feel self-confidence. While weight loss can help, it is not everything. There are guys who have nice bodies but opt to do steroids because they lack confidence. You can find women who have very nice bodies yet become anorexic because they lack confidence. Losing weight and having a nice body helps, but it’s only part of the equation.
What is more important is your promise, the contract you make with yourself and others. Each time you choose to lose weight and set a clear weight goal — such as losing 60 pounds in a year — you have set a contract with yourself, and you are more committed when you set a contract. When you fail to honor your contract, your self-confidence lowers. Each time you do it again, you don’t trust yourself anymore because you know you give up, and it comes to the point that you stop trying because you are lying to yourself and others. This lowers your self-esteem.
Avoid this by revisiting your goals. When you revisit your goals, you remember the reason why you signed a contract with yourself in the first place, why you are waking up early to exercise or to run, why you are preparing your breakfast, why you stopped eating fast foods, why your diet is high in veggies, and why you are making an effort when life is getting difficult, when you have a fight with your significant other, when you lose your job, when your child is sick, when you’re suffering financially, when you are sick, when your shoulder hurts or when you are afraid. Revisiting your goals will wake up those feelings you had in the first place when you were ready to change and will give you the energy to go back and continue doing what you started a couple of months ago.
I used to go out and drink with many of my friends. I used to pay for their drinks and dinner and then drive to the city to go shopping and party. They were there for me when it was about having fun. I changed my life to become a better person than who I used to be; I raised my standards, and all of those people disappeared from my life. No one called me later to see how I was doing.
I am not saying this because I feel left alone. As a matter of fact, I am so happy they disappeared from my life. I could not have achieved what I have achieved if I were still around them. That does not mean they are bad people. We just need different habits for different goals. If I continued drinking, partying, wasting time and talking about trivial things, I would not have the knowledge to help other people. For me to help others, I needed to change and learn. Not one of those friends were ready for that. I needed to move on.
What do your friends do to help you reach your goals? Are they taking you drinking? Are they asking you to eat the wrong foods? Are they inviting you to watch a marathon TV series? Do they really care about you and your goals? Why then aren’t they asking you to go for a hike instead of watch TV? Why aren’t they asking you to nourish your body with the right foods and not intoxicate your body to reach your goal? Why aren’t they helping you cook or encouraging you to cook and keeping you company in the process to reach your goal? The friends who really care about you care about your goals and you progressing to become a better person.
Get on track by remembering that everything is a process, and it requires time, patience and persistence. Revisit your goals to wake up old feelings that drive you to go back and do the right things and find out who is around you helping you become a better person.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and author of the book “Lose Weight Permanently.” His column appears on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in Body & More.