Making major lifestyle changes is always a tough feat to accomplish. Whether you're adopting a brand new diet, trying to get eight hours of sleep a night, or giving up alcohol for the first time, shifting to a brand new habit is far from easy. The same goes for losing weight. When you're trying to shed excess pounds, it often all boils down to a culmination of everyday choices we make. And we all know that those daily habits are the hardest ones to keep.
My weight has fluctuated over the years, but 2017 was finally the year when my weight-loss efforts stuck. I'm sure it was due to a combination of smart choices, like eating a plant-based diet and strength training more often, but much of my success can be attributed to one piece of weight-loss advice that made it so much easier to reach my goals: ignore everyone.
This may sound unconventional and perhaps a little wacky, but trust me, when implemented in a smart way, this instruction will give you all the tools you need to reach your own goals. Here are three reasons why this advice has helped me so much in the past.
People Will Always Comment on Your Weight-Loss Efforts
When you change up your diet or fitness routine, these changes ripple out and affect other parts of your life. Your friends and family will notice that you're eating differently and that you're spending more time at the gym. Because they love you (and because they think they know what's best for you), they will probably make remarks here and there about the changes they see.
They mean well, but they'll likely say the wrong things to you at some point. They'll probably tell you that you need to eat bigger portions, that you don't really need to lose weight in the first place, or that you're no longer any fun because you turned down that one dessert. It can be really hard to stick to your guns and take care of yourself when you have all these opinions flying in from various directions. Just remember that it's not their choice what your portion sizes are or which dessert you choose to eat.
I learned this past year that you can't listen to any of this crap. Other people will see and interpret things in their own way, based on their own experiences and judgments. You don't have to base any of your choices on anyone's point of view. The moment you let someone else sway your decision making is the moment you get thrown off the course you specifically set out for yourself.
The Only Ones Worth Listening to Are the Experts
When I say "ignore everyone," I don't necessarily mean you have to ignore everyone. I just mean that you have to dodge opinions that are always being thrown your way. However, when it comes to a nutritionist or trainer who you've sought help from, that's when it pays to listen up.
Do your research, and find an expert that you trust. It might be an online personality who offers detailed, well-researched information on whatever diet or fitness plan you're doing, or it might be your doctor that you see on a regular basis. But whoever it is, make sure they're a professional who has a trustworthy track record. This is the kind of person who will help you create a healthy weight-loss plan for yourself - regardless of what people around you think.
It's All About You at the End of the Day
Your weight loss has nothing to do with anybody else - it's all about you and what you hope to accomplish. When I finally realized that to be true, I felt liberated. I no longer had to feel bad that I was saying no to big parties that were full of binge-drinking, or that I was turning down my friend's invite to a fast food joint. I only had to focus on myself, and that gave me the freedom to do whatever I needed to do, free of guilt. Because I wasn't trying to please other people anymore, I had more time to meal prep, spend time with encouraging friends, and find fun workouts to do.
I highly recommend keeping a journal or making a laminated card that lists out all your intentions and goals. When outside forces start to weigh in on you, go back and revisit what it is you're working toward. This will make it much easier to block out the external noise and hone in on your goals.