Aug 31, 2020
Generally in the initial few months after WLS you’ll be seeing rapid changes in your health and weight and you’ll be in what’s called ‘momentum’. You’re seeing results, you’re feeling motivated to make changes and you’re enjoying creating your new healthy lifestyle, all of which feel great!
What can you do though when the changes start to slow down and when the inevitable plateaus come? How can you get out of that stuck state and back into momentum? Here are some simple mindset tips that really work to send you back in the right direction:
Get really clear about the health goals or ‘vision’ that you’re working towards i.e. who you want to become and how you want to feel, instead of just what you want to lose. Imagine an empowered future, and picture how you’ll feel and look, and what you’ll be capable of. How will your confidence be? What can you do physically? How will your mood be? What will your energy be like? The clearer you can create this vision, the clearer the positive target that you have to aim for. This is so much more compelling and motivating than simply saying “I want to lose x kgs”.
A positive health vision is one that’s focused on health and feeling good, and that pulls you towards it, rather than simply a possibly uninspiring number that you have to lose on the scales.
One of the most powerful ways to get back into momentum is to focus on the positives of taking the right actions. Often when people are making lifestyle changes, they’re focused on restriction and deprivation - on what they can’t have, or aren’t ‘allowed’. Instead it’s better to focus on the positives of becoming healthier, so that your mind wants to achieve it and doesn’t associate anything negative to your goal. Simply writing a list of all the ways that becoming healthier will help you in all the areas of your life will massively boost your motivation and get you back into momentum. How will it impact your family when you create your health vision? How will it help your career? How will it help your key relationships? How will it impact your quality of life and confidence?
The more reasons you have for making lifestyle changes and creating your health vision, the more drive you’ll have to take the right actions.
Sometimes we all need to face the consequences and pain of staying the same or getting worse. Get real with yourself about what it’s costing you. Write down all the ways that not taking action will stop you from living your full potential for happiness and fulfilment. What are the likely consequences of not taking action now? How will it cost you in the areas of your life that are important to you? What will the cost be to your family, relationships, career and confidence?
Getting clear on the costs of not taking action can really boost your motivation and momentum.
So many people think that ‘winning’ is about getting to their end result, however this needs to be redefined. Although we need to have a vision to work towards, we also need to make winning easy. You define when you win and when you don’t, so define it in terms that are achievable for you. Make winning simply about taking the next small step towards that vision. If you feel that you’re not winning, then you’ve probably taken your eye off the small next step. Simply pick one small habit that you can work on this week that will take you towards your vision. Perhaps it's adding in a bit of extra walking, sitting down and planning healthy meals for the week, getting to bed at a decent hour so that you feel in a better state to make the right food choices, having an extra drink of water during the day, or simply scheduling in 1 hour of downtime or enjoyment for yourself.
It’s so important to set yourself up for success and to make it easy to ‘win’.
When there’s a big gap between where you are and where you want to be, that gap can seem very far and be very intimidating. So, rather than constantly looking at the gap, look instead at where you’ve come from. It’s so easy to focus on all the things you haven’t done and all there is to do, but this simply puts you in a disempowered, stuck state, and jolts you out of momentum. Instead focus on the steps and actions that you’ve already taken, no matter how small they are, and appreciate how far you’ve already come. This will put you in a more empowered state where you’ll feel more confident and in flow and ready to take that next step.
You don’t need to be perfect, you just need to be taking small steps and making progress.
Remember, creating a healthy lifestyle is a journey and, like all journeys, you’re going to have triumphs and you're going to have setbacks. The important point is to keep focusing on where you want to go, why you want to get there and then just keep on taking small steps whilst remembering to appreciate the progress you’ve already made. If you see the setbacks as simply ‘lessons’ to teach you something (rather than ‘failure’), you can learn and adjust from these lessons, and then keep taking small steps with the adjustments you’ve made. This means you’ll be continuing to move towards the destination you want, with momentum all the way.