Saturday, February 25, 2012

Weight Loss Challenge Tip #1

*Disclaimer: I am not a health professional. Any views I share about weight loss are things I've discovered about myself and relate to me personally. 

I am now into Day 5 of my 3-week weight loss challenge, and it's going pretty good! I've definitely been hungry at times; and after working out yesterday with Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD, I am VERY sore! :-) I hope if you've decided to join me that you're sticking with it and pushing yourself even though it's uncomfortable. Just decide that it's okay to be a little hungry or a little tired or a little sore...that's how we challenge our bodies to change!

Over the next couple weeks, I want to give you small tips here and there that can, I hope, help you on your weight loss journey. This week's tip is a big one! It's time to identify and recognize your obstacles.

Quite a road block!
Tip #1: Recognize your obstacles

I have heard people who have never struggled with weight problems say that those who are overweight are just lazy. Basically, they ask in an exasperated tone, "Come on! What's the big deal? Just eat less and exercise more already!"

Well, may I just say that if I ever come across someone who says that in front of me personally, they will be receiving a punch in the nose! And I'm a very sweet person. :-) It takes a lot to rile me. But this kind of attitude definitely does! Just because YOU don't struggle with weight, doesn't mean that those who do are lazy. In fact, most overweight people are the hardest working people on the planet! They tend to be the ones who are selflessly serving and watching over everyone else, which can result in neglecting themselves.

Everyone struggles with something. For those of us who battle weight, our struggles are a bit more...ummm, obvious. A bit more public. Those who don't struggle with weight are definitely struggling with something else. So, let's not criticize people with weight issues.

Okay. Done with my soap box for now. :-) My tip for this week is for you to do some soul-searching. Really begin to analyze and figure out what has contributed to your weight struggles. What obstacles have you not been able to get past?

I believe that emotional and spiritual issues are at the root of most weight problems. It's not just about the physical. It's about the mental. I have done a lot of soul-searching over the last 6 months, and I've learned a lot about myself and why I allowed myself to gain weight. I've recognized issues, mainly emotional and spiritual (although physical bad habits like eating out/overeating/not getting enough sleep/stress/etc. have definitely contributed) that have affected my THOUGHT patterns which in turn have produced choices and actions leading to weight gain.

Many times, these issues are rooted in FEAR. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of not performing well, fear of pain, fear of unwanted attention, fear of not getting the attention you want, etc.

FEAR is one of the greatest obstacles to success in general. It is a major part of the enemy's plan to deceive and destroy. Thankfully, it is also an obstacle that can be overcome once we expose the lies we've allowed ourselves to believe and replace them with statements/beliefs of truth.

Which is why this week's tip is to be honest with yourself. Really examine your history of weight problems. What negative things have you let slip into your way of thinking? What things in your past or present are keeping you from moving forward with your weight loss goals? Just make a list and write them all down. The following is a list of things that you might identify with...

  • Growing up with bad habits (perhaps you had access to sweet stuff all the time)
  • Stress (this can be a huge factor!)
  • Lack of organization (which could cause poor time management and result in things like eating out fast food all the time)
  • Poor time management or just being very busy
  • Not knowing how to cook healthy foods
  • Emotional, spiritual, or physical trauma of some kind
  • Major lifestyle changes (examples: new college student, newly wed, new parent, new job, new living location, etc.)
  • Loneliness
  • Fear
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • Bad examples 
  • Lack of exercise
  • No funds
  • Perfectionism/legalism
  • Addiction
  • Negative relationships
  • Exhaustion
  • Anger
  • Lack of patience
  • Improper self-worth
The list could go on and on! But what's important is for you to figure out what your list looks like, because only then can you begin to untangle yourself from the things that have kept you in bondage. Try to get as specific as possible. It might take you several days to compile this list, but just keep working on it!

Recognizing these obstacles is the first step to freedom and success! Pray and ask God for help as you begin to do some major soul-searching this week. Find a friend or family member who can support and encourage you with your weight loss goals. That is so important! And don't forget that what you think affects who you are...

"...for as he thinks in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7

"...the truth shall set you free." John 8:32

Love you all!

P.S. Again, I am not a health professional. The list I made above is not comprehensive. Many people struggle with weight due to health concerns not associated with emotional issues. Things they have no control over. My list applies to people like me who struggle with weight due to a variety of factors that, ultimately, we can have control over. So, please realize that these posts will not apply to everyone. I only seek to share some of the important discoveries I have made so far on my weight loss journey in hopes that they might help someone else!


  1. I'm a beginning runner and whenever my legs start hurting and my lungs start burning I remind myself it's just temporary discomfort not true pain. That usually helps me push through the run. (But you do have to know the difference between soreness and pain that could really be an injury so you don't push yourself too far) I also remind myself that I'm physically able to do it but some people aren't so lucky. For me it's all about the mind games! If I don't stick with the mental aspect of exercise/weight loss it all falls apart.

  2. This is great, Audrey!! This is so true, that people with weight issues just have their struggles in plain sight, while some people may deal with a terrible temper at home, or something else that's easier to hide. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. I agree, Shelley! It's all about the mind games! The real battle is in our head. I've done the Couch to 5K running program before. Is that what you're doing? Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us!

    1. I just finished up Couch to 5K and loved it. At first when there were big jumps in the running times I didn't think I could do it. I remember when running 5 minutes straight seemed impossible! Right now I'm just running 2 to 3 miles each time I go out to build up my endurance. The first week of March I'm starting a half marathon training plan. I'm planning to run a 20K in June and then a half marathon later in the year along with some shorter races in between. I need those races to keep me motivated! Plus running is the only "me" time I get and I like having that. :)

    2. That's awesome, Shelley! Wow! I understand what you mean about it being the only "me" time you get. :) I'm so impressed that you're using your "me" time to exercise! Keep it up!

  4. Exactly, Lauren. It's always easy for people to be critical of those with the obvious struggles, while their own struggles remain private. Sometimes, having our problems out there in plain sight can actually be a blessing, because they can get fixed a little faster! :D