Can I do This ?

How many of us have got ridden with the physiological barrier of “can i do this ? “

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Recently , 3 of my very close friends have enrolled for weight loss packages . Like a good friend ,i wanted to check upon their journey ,pre- enrollment ,during the 12 weeks , and hopefully post their 12 weeks .

For the ease of understanding, let’s name them . First one is my chaddi buddy from school times , a Homeopath and a mother of two, lets call her Ms. V , second is my pal from a reality show, a working mom, three kids , lets call her Ms.A , the third is a neighbour, young, intelligent, a teacher, a very dedicated one at that, a mother of 2, lets call her Ms. U. Okay, i guess we are sorted out till here. Let’s move ahead .

A brief look into why they got into the weight loss journey in the first place . Ms. V has a school reunion coming up in December, Ms. A is having serious health problems because of the weight she has put on in the last 5 years . Ms. U wants to get to the best version of herself .

Day One : Ms. V was paranoid about quitting her Chai ,but surprisingly, she has sailed through the first day with minor discomfort . Ms.A is stuck at the thought of “bas itna sa khana syndrome” , and hasn’t started her journey as yet , Monday is what she is targeting at for the first initiation into the diet plan . Ms. U ,is super ecstatic about the process and has overcome her evening binging habit with the first day of her diet .

Now , i had mixed thoughts about how these three ladies have begun ,or yet to start their journey with different thought processes . Hence , i did a bit of reading on the vital yet the most important aspect of weight loss or lifestyle change –Psychology.

I am sure most of you will agree with the fact that psychology plays a very crucial role in any endevour we embark upon , be it a personal one or a bodily make over .

I for example, got into transforming myself because of a poor self image , jibes from my friends , health concerns and most importantly a school reunion in December . For people who know me , if i get on with something, i go about it with hammer and tongs till i achieve it. Of course, i have my stints with loosing focus, self doubts , derailing from the regime ( haven’t hit the gym for the past 4 days ), taking life easy and so on and so forth .

Now coming to the meaty part of this otherwise gyaan session, hope you all are not sleep induced with this post as yet , i got to try hard, if you haven’t ๐Ÿ˜›

When we think of weight loss, we often think about what we eat. The questions we ask ourselves tend to revolve around how much fat, protein and carbs to eat, or whether beets help take off the pounds. You get the drift?

Diets touted in the media as optimal for weight loss abound, yet we remain a nation with an obesity problem.

What we tend to ignore, when we think of weight loss, is how we are approaching and managing the process of change. As important as it is to focus on what you eat to lose weight and keep it off, it is equally crucial to consider physical activity and maintaining lifestyle changes over time.

First let’s address the changes in our behaviour, Key to it is its focus on making changes and sticking to them.This also will help members here who have been through the transformations and are a bit confused about what next ? will they put back all the fat that they so painstakingly reduced , will going back to the normal ghar ka khana is the end of the world as far as weight loss and that killer figure we have gained with weeks of being motivated and focused ?

1. Goal setting.

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If you want to meet the goals you set, consider the following three factors:

  • the more specific a goal, the more likely you are to achieve it 
  • ambitious goals are good, but overly ambitious goals can be discouraging;
  • regular feedback on progress improves outcomes.

When it comes to weight loss, then, a goal to eat fruit for dessert, rather than cake, is specific and can be clearly tracked. Specific goals around exercise or types of food you will eat โ€” behaviours you have control over โ€” are better than goals to improve cholesterol or glucose levels, which may fluctuate for reasons outside your immediate control.

2. Self-monitoring.

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Self-monitoring requires that rather than beating yourself up for not attaining a goal, you attend to your own individual experiences. When you self-monitor, you begin to notice barriers, pay attention to physical cues and identify challenges to changing your behaviour. Too often we rely on negative self-judgment to stay motivated and, in so doing, fail to recognise and plan for real barriers.

You can think of yourself as a scientist when you self-monitor. You may want to keep a log of your food intake or exercise routines, for example. Doing so will help you to problem-solve when life has gotten busy or you get off track. With greater awareness of your own experience, you are better able to find ways to maintain new behaviours when initial motivation is waning.

This is what worked for me the most , we all are aware that the consultation is virtual , so here the guruji won’t physically come over and check on you if you are being diligent enough , on track and not sneaking in those rasmalai and cookies. It’s your work to keep the danda on to yourself .

As they say the real workout/ diet is when no one is watching you . Keep your diet moral compass high ,don’t give into the devil named sugar  or cookies .

3. Feedback and reinforcement.

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It can be helpful to get feedback from outside sources. Having a health care provider regularly check in with you can provide an external measuring stick. Feedback about your diet or exercise routine can provide motivation or help you adjust your behaviour. Outside feedback also can help you keep your expectations ambitious but realistic.

The first week of my diet regime , i was flying on a virtual broom , i had managed to knock off 3.2 kgs of weight , i had that invisible crown over my head , looking down at my fat from a high horse of pride and indignation . However , my coach was quick to pull me down from that stallion back on my two feet by bursting the bubble – it’s only water weight . Sigh !!! i mentally cursed him for being such a dampener on my enthusiasm , but on hind sight i realise that he did a perfect job of not letting me have unrealistic hopes and ideas about the rest of the 11 weeks .

4. Boosting the belief that you can do it.

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When you go into any situation with the attitude that you will surely fail, you greatly reduce your odds of succeeding. It is essential to focus not just on behaviour, but also on your perception of your ability to make the changes you want.

The best way to improve your belief in your ability to succeed is actually to have some success. Setting concrete and achievable goals, such as eating fruit at breakfast or replacing an after-dinner TV show with a walk, can build your confidence to set more ambitious goals.

If youโ€™re looking to improve your sense that you can do it, it also can help to look for people in similar circumstances who have made the difficult changes you are trying to make and to surround yourself with people who will encourage your efforts.

Now, this is my favourite part , in my transformation post i categorically did not mention the kilos i had knocked off , as i knew it would let others have unrealistic ideas of kgs on the scale and that’s the most disastrous of all when it comes to keeping the motivation high . One is bound to get discouraged by that damn scale not moving down ,but one needs to keep hitting hard at the workout , screen their eating , bring changes into the diet while keeping afloat the vision of “yes! i would reach it “.

5. Incentives.

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The use of incentives to support change in behaviour has been extensively studied and the concept is now being applied to regaining and maintaining physical health. Examples include companies that offer lower-priced onsite fitness facilities as an incentive to exercise, offering cash incentives and gift cards, providing free health coaching and offering insurance premium discounts to those who meet certain standards.

Adopting a healthier lifestyle isnโ€™t simply a matter of changing the foods in your cupboards. Lifestyle changes take sustained efforts over time and whether we achieve our goals depends on how we make them, our mindset and what we put in place to maintain motivation.

I rewarded myself by paying for my gym ( ok, confession , my husband was made to pay ) for a yearly subscription . I also bought a bit of gym wear , my next reward is getting a sexy pair of gloves for those lifts ,though i love the way my hands look with the tough roundels of skin around my fingers , i take immense pride when i look at them .

Your rewards and incentives could range from a beach vacation , a cheat meal , a sexy LBD for the women folk . A big supply of supplement etc etc .

Now, winding this mammoth article ,i would say ,in all this a coach is like our mother , whom we can run to for comfort , who would give us a whack when we misbehave , who would guide us and keep us comforted when we crib about that cup of chai or that diet which looks minuscule.

A coach can guide to to a certain extent ,can hand hold you till a level , he does not have a potion ,two drops of which will magically transform you into a prince from the obvious amphibian ( i love animals and i have kissed quite a few frogs before the prince ๐Ÿ˜› , shitty collation )

The topic of Psychology in weight loss is vast and it is not possible to touch upon all the various labyrinths of the human mind and psyche in a single article ,without making it utterly boring and sleep inducing .

This is one of THE major aspect according to me which can either get great transformations or get trainees go into oblivion and settling for the fact that ” tumse na ho payega ” .

Thanks a ton , for your precious time.

I also hope the three musketeers Ms. V, Ms.A and Ms.U will read this and keep the focus on.

This i had written while i was on my transformation journey.

Write up by Nitu Bajwa
Nutrition and Fitness Coach
NESTA certified  

http://www.nitubajwa.com