The Importance of Measurable Self Image Goals

“I am fat”.  “I am unfit”.  “I am unhealthy”….. or am I?

The age old question of “to be or not to be…”

Working through my self image issues as I progressed with my fitness and health quest, has been no simple task.  No matter how successful you end up being, since self image driven results are so subjective, there will always be that niggling disbelief in the result.

Even when you reach your weight loss goals, it is easy to still look in the mirror and be unsatisfied with your appearance.  You still have that skin or this shadow in the wrong place.

This inevitably becomes a significant source of stress and agitation leading to other issues, including eating disorders and psychological conditions including depression and anxiety or just a simple lack of self confidence.

Despite the fact that I have successfully lost 80 pounds, and by any definition would be considered a very fit individual, I still look in the mirror and remain unsatisfied.  I am still uncomfortable to take my shirt off in public.  My focus tend to significantly be on my areas of failure, rather than my extraordinary success.

For me the solution to dealing with this insanity at least somewhat, proved to be clearly defined and measurable goals.  Weight loss is simple to measure.  Just get on a scale.  Once the goal was reached I also had a marker of weight that I could hold to.

A generally accepted measure for fitness is heart rate.  Beats per minute.  I am currently at a waking pulse below 50 beats per minute.  I am fit and I can measure that.

Health.  Probably a little more difficult, but a regular checkup with your doctor should do the trick.  Take advantage of regular blood tests to help you figure out your best life strategy for change or maintenance.

What’s left.  Waistline skin and muffin tops.  I found this a particularly tough one, because it is so hard to measure.  The best you can hope for is to measure progress.  Let that be your goal.  A photo works well for comparison every month or two.

The point is this.

Whatever goal you seek to achieve, make sure that it is clear, and definitively measurable.  Do not get caught in the subjectivity trap that is self image.  Sure, you may find that you are still not satisfied when you have reached your goal.  It is fine to reassess and set a new goal, but make sure that it is measurable and safe. That’s it…

The Most Powerful Weight Loss Tool Ever

In a world where instant gratification is not only a way of life, but expected and often anticipated, it is no surprise that we so easily forget to use one of the most powerful tools ever to exist.  A tool that everyone of us already possess, if we chose.

This is even more true when it comes to our weight loss struggle.  When we start, our expectations are often misguided. We want to believe the advertising and marketing that so dramatically takes advantage of our desperation.  Unrealistic promises and beautiful models sell stupidity, fuelling completely unrealistic expectations.

Sadly all the hype usually just results in nothing.  We fail because we want to believe the nonsense which causes us to ignore the most powerful tool in our personal tool kit.  A tool which when combined with anything else we do, will change the outcome every single time.

That tool is “Patience”.

If you apply patience to anything you endeavour to do, your chances of success grows incrementally.

Do exercise and be patient.  You will get results.

Diet and be patient.  You will get results.

No matter what you do, with patience you can be completely unstoppable.  The results of whatever you do with patience is always there.  You can be certain of that.

That’s really it. Simple, effective and guaranteed to yield results, if you have patience…

Food. Food. Glorious Food.

Fad diets. Special smoothies. Appetite suppressants. Diet supplements.  Instant, do nothing loose weight secrets.  The list is never-ending….

Too bad most of these never really work as advertised, and even if they do work somewhat, any results you get from these are short lived and never lasts.

No matter which one of these you end up on, you can only do them for so long.  They are simply not sustainable.  Any gains that you have made will likely be lost the second you stop.  More often than not, the gains also come at a cost to health and well being, especially if followed for extended periods of time.  Somewhat counter intuitive.

The answer is food. Real food.

True, the results you seek may take a little longer.  True, it may seem a little more complicated than just taking a diet supplement or drinking a smoothie.  It may even require some more planning and care.

It will serve you much better to rely on real food to get you there. Especially if you wish to loose weight sustainably and stay healthy throughout the process.  You will also be able to develop a lifestyle that is conducive to staying where you are once you have reached your goals. What is really the point of putting your body through the discomfort of reaching a weight loss goal, if you are not able to sustain it once reached?

Some of the benefits of eating real food are :

  • It is easy to track.
  • It is easy to adjust as the need arises.  You can create a long term lifestyle around it.
  • It is much healthier (if you don’t eat junk food).
  • It is indefinitely sustainable.
  • It usually tastes a bit better.

I live by this rule.  I eat real food.  I lost 80 pounds.  I have kept it off for years now.

So can you…