"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.” I don’t know who said this first and I am feeling too lazy to google it. This quote is one of those things that sounds super smart, but really, it’s basic logic and pretty obvious.
In light of my lack of success losing any weight over the last two months, I feel like this quote is really speaking to me. A little over three years ago, I lost a decent amount of weight. For the next three years, I worked out, ate well for the most part and maintained my loss. I even managed to lose an extra 5 lbs. Of course, I wanted to lose more, but seemed to be stuck in a rut of losing 2, gaining 2. Last Thanksgiving, I joined Weight Watchers at Work. I had always followed WW and knew I wasn’t going to learn any huge new thing at the meetings, but joined because I thought the accountability would help. Turns out, it did! I lost 8.5 lbs from Thanksgiving to January. I was ecstatic.
Then I went on vacation and gained it back. When I went to lose it again, I found myself stuck. Beginning of the week, I was motivated and sure I was ready to lose. Mid-week, I’d be down a couple of lbs. and be feeling good. End of the week, I’d splurge on a treat or two and those lost of couple of lbs. had found their way back. Repeat week. I started to become frustrated and wonder why I couldn’t lose the weight like I had in December. When I dug deep and really thought about it, it’s because I went back to what I always did: just enough to stay right where I was, not losing or gaining.
During December, I stuck to WW every single day. Weekends were harder, but I remember thinking, “Yes, I made it to Monday again without falling off.” I counted everything that went in my mouth and passed on anything that wasn’t good for you. I worked out every day and did not cheat. When I think about why I was able to maintain that level of commitment then and not now, I definitely credit the weekly WW meetings. Here’s why:
Accountability. I knew I was weighing in every Thursday. I felt accountable and it made me think twice before eating something unhealthy. I constantly asked, “Is it worth it?”
I am Super-Competitive. While I wanted everyone at my work to lose weight, I wanted to do the best. Before breaking down and eating that cookie, I would think, is Alex eating that cookie? No, I didn’t think so. And if Alex wasn’t eating it, neither was I. No way did I want Alex to have an advantage over me.
Little “Prizes.” I have the mentality of a five-year old child when it comes to positive reinforcement. Not having ever been to a WW meeting, I was completely unaware we would be getting bookmarks that we could put fun little “benchmark” stickers on. When I got my first 5lb loss sticker, I was thrilled. I showed everyone my sticker as if I had won some fantastic prize. I wanted more shiny little recognition.
Eat, Sleep, Live, Breath WW. I really thought about food and losing weight A LOT. Now that I think back, it was probably borderline unhealthy to think about being healthy that much, but really, I was just very dedicated! It also helped having other people at work to talk with about WW. We were all in it together.
So those are some reasons why I think I did so well in December. I’m really looking forward to challenging myself again and after just a week of being hardcore with tracking and drinking water and exercising, I already feeeeel better. Yay for me.
On another note, I think the quote also applies to lots of other things (really anything you want it to), but specifically, it can apply to your eating and workouts. Often times, people get used to things and don’t remember to change things up once and a while. If your workout of choice is the elliptical and that’s what you do everyday, it’s good to do something else to challenge your body and engage different muscles etc. For instance, maybe one day a week, commit to taking a spin class or trying out that new pilates class. Trust me, your body will react! Plus, doing the same things all the time don’t just produce the same results, it also gets boring. So, mix it up and treat diet and exercise as exciting, not just a chore.
Let me know what things you guys do to keep challenged and keep healthy-living fun.