One of the biggest issues many people face in the fat loss process is being too short-sighted. We want results and we want them yesterday OR we want to get in shape for a vacation that’s in 3 months. Most crash diets will give you that quick fix. Even though they suck while you’re doing them and statistics show that most people gain even more weight back after the diet is over, the dang “quick fix” will just not die. This wreaks havoc on your body and mindset which is why I am always pushing to focus on the long game.
However, I’ve realized that I’ve been a bit remiss in only focusing there. There are a number of benefits to being more short-sighted too. In fact, they work even better together! I’ve actually been using both in a number of areas in my life to help me continue to move forward.
Here are two powerful ways to help yourself in whatever area you are struggling by being a little more short-sighted:
Segmenting is mentally breaking down a task into smaller pieces until it feels manageable to you. It’s asking, what CAN I do? This technique is used by the Navy SEALs to get through hell week and by doctors to help people with depression get out of bed and by runners to finish a race.
I often use this for blogging. I’m not a natural writer. I very much love to be up and moving around. So I have many days were writing is the last thing I want to do and I have to segment it. OK, you don’t want to do this, but can you just sit down and write for 20 minutes? Yeah, I can do that. Once I’m in my groove, I love it! The hardest part is just starting.
For fat loss, one of the hardest struggles can actually be stressing out by looking too far down the road! Anyone who’s tried to lose weight knows what I’m talking about. Those days where it feels impossibly hard and you think, I just can’t do it anymore! You get too far ahead of yourself and start freaking out about never eating this or that ever again.
So when you have those moments, stop. No more thinking about a month or a year from now or even tomorrow! Take a few deep breaths (breathing actually helps the mind focus. 😉 ), then ask yourself: What can I do next?
- Can you make it an open-faced sandwich instead of 2 pieces of bread?
- Can you drink one more cup of water?
- Can you get to bed 15 minutes earlier than you normally would?
- Starting to feel hunger… can you go 10 minutes before eating?
- Dinner is over… can you get through tonight without eating anything else?
- Can you workout for 10 minutes?
- Can you do one more…rep, exercise, set?
OK, then that’s your goal. One meal, one day, one habit at a time.
2) Focus on the process
In any sport, the score is important, but if that’s all the players focus on they will most likely let their emotions govern their play and lose. The players must focus on doing the little things well like dribbling, passing, running plays, shooting, and defending. They must focus on the process in order to achieve the outcome.
It’s the same in health. Yes, the scale & tape measure can usually tell you how you’re doing but it’s the actual habit changes that are going to get you there. When you’re unhappy with the results, go back to the process.
- If you’re struggling, have you truly been honest with yourself about how consistent you are?
- Are you really aware of what, how much, and how often you’re eating now? Can you start a food journal?
- If you aren’t losing fat, have you been consistent with the habits you’ve been working on?
- If you have, is it time to add a new habit?
- If you haven’t, how can you segment it to make it more doable for you?
**Being both long and short-sighted are important and beneficial and together they can help you stay sane and enjoying life. When you’re sick of the day in and day out, focus on the long game: how great it will be and how much better you will feel in 6 months if you keep up with this! When you feel overwhelmed and like you’ll never be able to get there, focus on what you can do today.**
The journey to a healthy lifestyle is indeed a marathon. However, in order to reach the finish line, you just gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other.