Often it's very obvious when we need to start a weight loss goal but when to finish a weight loss goal is a little more grey as when we start we often don’t really know what our end product will be and the trap I see a lot of people fall into is always wanting to be leaner and never transitioning away from that weight loss goal.
Having a weight loss goal isn’t an issue until we're no longer willing and able to make the sacrifices required to achieve that goal. For example, when you first start out on a weight loss journey chances are you're highly motivated from the pain you are in as a result of not being happy with your current weight every step towards weight loss becomes a step away from pain. Now as you progress to a point you are happy with your weight and now in far less pain because of it, the goal becomes less important as you are in less pain day to day as a result of your weight. You may believe the goal is still just as important but the fact that it has less real-life impact on you everyday changes your motivation regardless of how you may feel. This may show in your actions through things like not tracking your food on the weekends anymore, not attending your normal group training sessions, guessing instead of weighing your food. It shows in cutting corners on the 1% ers that you wouldn’t of at the beginning and finally your weight loss stalling and maybe even putting it back on.
This is when I’m suggesting you move away from weight loss being your main reason for training as your actions no longer match your words.
So by keeping your goal as weight loss your lying to yourself and have to face the scales being up one week and down the next which starts to foster a bad relationship between you and the process eventually you end up resenting it. Instead you could be progressing towards another goal which in tern will also help you keep your weight in check whilst feeling good about it progressing in an area you might not of even thought of before. The weight loss goal can always be revisited later when circumstances are different but as long as you find your actions not matching your words, you're forcing a goal you don’t really want. It's important to be real with yourself understanding what you can and cant commit to and making sure you feel good doing not just forcing it because you should.
Because at the end of the day if your actions aren’t matching your words when it comes to a weight loss goal that is something you need to reflect on I would recommend having a coach or trainer for this process as it can often be difficult to truly gain perspective by yourself as we are emotionally tied to the goal and we very rarely have our views challenged in a constructive way on our own.
As a final note on this topic if you currently have a weight loss goal and haven’t seen any progress in the last 4 weeks. I.e. you are the same weight now as you were 4 weeks ago, I would highly suggest reflecting on if weight loss is still truly your goal or if you are just calling it weight loss and actually happy maintaining your current weight?
If you’ve still decided the goal is still weight loss do a decision audit of yourself, think of the last 10 decisions you made in regards to food and exercise and only giving a yes or no answer for each decide if your actions match the strong stance of weight loss being your goal?
This thought experiment requires a lot of vulnerability with yourself so if you feel yourself getting defensive or frustrated through out the process keep in mind it may be a deeper reason behind your actions.