How do our expectations sabotage our weight-loss or weight-gain goals?
We all know someone or have been that someone who lost 20 lbs. in 30 days. The web is filled with tag lines like "how to drop 10 lbs. in 10 days" or "the 30 day body cleanse" ..and all of our expectations of dramatic weight-loss in a short time get attached to these marketing gimmicks. Let's face it, we've all been programmed on every level of our lives to want and expect maximum return with the smallest investment. In many cases this is just plain smart, like purchasing things that are on sale, being organized so you can get a lot done in a short amount of time, carpooling to save gas, etc. These are all exercises in short-term thinking. You're maximizing your "gain" in this moment with a decision based on what's happening now. This is cool and necessary.
Where this type of thinking can derail your success is when it comes to "investments". Investments require long-term thinking. And when you decide you want to lose weight (or gain weight) , you are deciding to invest in your health and quality of life. This requires long-term thinking. But you've been programmed to think in the moment and "hack" your health with gimmicks and shortcuts. So our EXPECTATIONS have been programmed to the short-term paradigm. Do you see the problem with this? I experienced it first-hand while doing my macro program.
I hit a plateau with my weight-loss about 5 weeks in. I got sick and had some bad eating days and missed a bunch of workouts for about 2 weeks. I gained a little weight and was kind of bummed. So my nutrition coach began cutting my macros down after I got better to get me losing again. First week of my decreased macros sucked. My body rebelled and I was "hangry" and felt tired and weak. Got on the scale at the end of this painful week and hadn't lost anything. Coach cut more macros. I stuck to it and at weigh-in the next week still hadn't lost any weight. This continued for 6 weeks. I was so angry, bummed, discouraged, and started to doubt my nutrition coach. But my coach was confident and told me to stick with it (like he'd seen this a million times before). Finally on week 7 I lost 1 lb.....yup ONE pound. My coach was excited but I was underwhelmed to say the least. But the next week my weight-loss continued ....1 lb. at a time. Fast forward about 6 weeks and I was down about 9 lbs. from that plateau. But if I hadn't had a nutrition coach I might very well have given up because my unrealistic expectations about how I thought my weight-loss journey should go almost got me so discouraged that I gave up.
So the moral of this story is just because it seems like it's not working, it just seems that way. Our bodies are complicated and don't respond in the way our short-term thinking expects. Your weight-loss is a lifetime journey and if you're reading and tracking your macros because of this Nutrition blog, then your past decisions haven't lead you to success. Your short-term expectations are going to tempt you to make some bad decisions and judgements about your investment in your health. Giving in to these is probably what has prevented you from being successful in the past. Don't give in to them this time! I'm here to tell you to trust the process. Don't give up and don't forget that this macro tracking is educating you on how to eat for the rest of your life and it works!