When you have more than 100 pounds to lose, weight loss is a different ballgame. Those tips on the magazine covers, and funny teas or wraps people sell all over the internet, are not going to solve your problem. You are facing a unique set of circumstances that someone with 10 pounds to lose may not fully understand.
There is pain, there is fatigue, there are digestion issues, there are limited workout clothes, there are often shame, fear, and nervousness about fitness. It really can be overwhelming to consider losing 100 pounds. I know, because I’ve been there, and done it.
The fears of trying and failing, the fear of wasting more money, the fear of being embarrassed, or of losing the weight and gaining it all back. I get it. The fears are real. The possibilities are too! It can be done if you are willing to work on your mindset. I came up with some steps to help you get started on losing your weight.
1 – Understand Your Starting Point:
We’ve all had the moments where we see a picture of ourselves and are shocked we are that heavy. Or we get on the scale thinking we’ve put on 10 pounds, to find out it’s more like 20. If you have a destination, in order to lay out a map of directions to get there, you have to know where you are starting, right?
Most of the time people don’t really know how much they weigh, what they look like, or where they want to go to be healthy, energetic and strong. It is important to face where you are starting, and know where you want to go, so that you can live in reality and set clear expectations.
I recommend getting on your scale and taking before photos. This can be embarrassing, so I always just use the timer on my phone to take the pics, or take them in a mirror. No need to bring anyone in to help. Once you know where you are starting you can move forward.
2 – Set Realistic Expectations with Milestones:
Okay, so you’ve faced facts and you know you have more than 100 pounds to lose. This is NOT the time to start focusing on losing 100 pounds. That is so far way, it might as well be impossible. It’s is also not the time to tell yourself crazy stories about being able to do it in 3 months.
Unrealistic expectations cause so much emotional turmoil. Feeling like a failure, doubt, overwhelm. It all comes from not really knowing what is real. If you burn 500 calories a day, you would lose 1 pound per week. If you eat 500 calories less and burn 500 a day, you would lose 2 pounds per week. That means when you have 100 pounds to lose, and you workout every day, and eat well every day, at best you are looking at year.
Obviously there are extreme diets, crazy plans, fads, pills and other things that can make you think it’s possible to do it sooner, but the slower it comes off, the longer it STAYS off, and isn’t that really the point?
Instead of focusing on that year, focus on the first 10 pounds, and make that your first milestone. Maybe reward yourself with new workout shoes, a sports bra, or a pedicure, for making it, and then get focused on that next few pounds. The time is going to pass, but days only come one at a time, so that’s all you need to worry about right now.
3 – Make a Specific Plan:
Saying vague things like “I’m going to eat healthier” or “I’m going to start working out soon” are not actually helpful. What is healthier? If you eat one less candy bar this week, is that technically healthier? Um yeah I guess lol. Did it work though? What is soon? Like today, tomorrow, Monday, next Month, January?
Be clear with what you are going to do! Write down what you are going to eat for at least your breakfast, lunch and dinner for next week. Pick a day, or two that you want to get moving next week. Once you have those deadlines in place you’ll be forced to do other things, like go grocery shopping, find your workout clothes, and figure out your schedule.
Don’t get crazy and go overboard and have some big system. The more complex you make this, the harder it is to keep up. You don’t need a crazy detailed perfect meal plan to start. You don’t have to workout 6 days a week for an hour to start. Keep it small, manageable, and simple, and just start!
4 – Don’t Do Things You Hate:
Weight loss does not have to suck. Don’t turn this into a thing where you torture yourself at a boot-camp you dread, or only eat steamed broccoli that makes you want to gag. Walking at the lake, dancing with friends, organizing your garage (yeah some people like that sort of thing lol :P), or doing your favorite old cheesy workout video ALL COUNTS. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Your body doesn’t lose weight faster if you are having a bad time, so don’t choose that!
Not sure about healthy foods? I have recipes on my blog if you love to cook, but I also have a No-Cook Challenge on Facebook, a Crockpot group, and so much more. You can always take your not so healthy favorites and look for healthy swaps that are close to the real thing and don’t have you hating what you eat. Maybe you take a fun healthy cooking class near you and learn how to make some foods you love. Just because you don’t know how to enjoy healthy food YET doesn’t mean you can’t learn.
5 – Don’t Jump on a Fad:
Whatever you do, avoid the latest fad diets. I know your friends on Instagram swear by them, but listen, if you jump on something that is weird, confusing, or goes against ALL of your natural food likes, you will not be able to do it for a whole year. Even if you can, by some miracle, not “cheat” for a whole year, what have you really learned besides “sticking to diet”. Focus on quality nutrition, realistic food groups, easy to learn meals, and things that make your body feel good, not just lose weight.
The last thing you want to do is spend a bunch of money, time, and energy, focusing on a diet that is the latest craze, just to feel sad, frustrated, alone, and worse off than when you started. It can be done by simply making more good choices for yourself each day. They do add up!
6 – Tell the People Closest to You:
I’m not saying make a huge announcement and tell the world. That always sets us up for a few things that can suck. Like if you post on Facebook and all your friends start throwing different fads at you, or worse, are negative and say hurtful things, that is not going to help you stay excited. However, studies show that when you tell the people who are CLOSEST to you, you are more likely to have success long term.
This is going to be that best friend who is always trying to drag you to happy hour, that coworker you are with all day who is always suggesting a potluck, and the people who live in your home. Be clear, and firm, that you are serious and that you absolutely expect they not sabotage you. It might be hard for them, they might still do it, just because you may have made these declarations in the past, and they don’t know that you are serious. Stay the course and don’t give in, after a few times they will get the point, but you have to be strong first so they understand.
7- Tackle Your Mindset:
I have run quite a few 100+ pounds to lose to lose support groups over the years. This is the ONE thing that people fight me on and I can tell you, it’s the most important. I will never understand why people think you can change your body without changing your thinking. It’s key that you be willing to grow, learn, and do new things.
It’s vital that you replace the negative internal dialogue, with some positive external voices, for a little bit each day. Humans need BELIEF and it is not created in the same mind that let you gain 100 pounds, binge eat, emotional eat, self sabotage, and treat yourself like crap. We need a different mindset!
It is crucial that you find a way to fit in mindset reading, or audio books. That you follow pages on social media that inspire you, not bring you down. That you spend your tim
e with like minded happy people, who want to see you succeed. These types of things are going to have a huge impact on how you look at food, what you believe is possible for yourself, and the determination to stay the course long term. You can see my 5 favorite books on Emotional Eating as an example.
Slowly, but surely, if you are consistent, you will shape a new mindset!
Obviously I could go on and on with tips, tricks, ideas, and comments. There is no need to dig in to all of that if you are just getting started. I really do hope this helps you do just that!
I absolutely believe that YOU CAN LOSE THE WEIGHT. If you would like a little more support, consider joining my Stare Where YOU Are 75+ pounds to lose support group. We kick off September 17th! I have lost 110 pounds, and helped hundreds of women do the same. I’ve been there, and I get it. I’d love to help!