Seven Things to Do When You Feel Discouraged About Weight Loss

weightSelf-Care Sundays

For the next eight months, I’ll continue the MAPS theme from my Write 31 Days Challenge. I strongly feel that in our self-indulgent culture, we often lose sight of the difference between nurturing ourselves and indulging ourselves. Occasional indulgence won’t hurt anyone, but a steady diet of indulgence that overlooks actual self-care can leave us feeling empty and confused.

The acronym MAPS stands for Mental, Academic/Artistic, Physical and Spiritual-the four areas of our lives that we need to nurture in order to feel whole.

We lose sight of the difference between nurturing ourselves and indulging ourselves. #selfcare #IMM #wholeness Click To Tweet

This Sunday’s theme? Physical Wholeness.

Seven Things to Do When You Feel Discouraged About Weight Loss

A friend recently posted on Instagram her despair over the fact that no matter what she does, she doesn’t lose weight. She started her health journey the last week of December, and the scales haven’t moved a bit. After nine weeks of vigorous workouts, she feels disheartened.

We’ve probably all felt the same at one point or another. I know I have. In fact, when I gained fifty pounds in five months during my husband’s illness, I despaired of ever losing the extra weight.

I discovered some valuable lessons during the 18 months it took to lose the weight.

1. Remember your WHY.

Why do you want to lose weight? Hopefully, your reasons involve more than ‘looking like a model.’ That’s probably not going to happen, especially if you’ve got a few decades under your belt. ‘Keeping up with your kids/grandkids,’ ‘Feeling more self-confident,’ or the ability to achieve a physical goal (a hike or run) make better markers than numbers on a scale.

2. Remember that muscle really does weigh more than fat.

Your get-healthier plan should include strength training (push-ups, squats, planks, and crunches). You don’t have to use weights or go to the gym to build muscle. But you DO need to build muscle in order to help your body burn calories faster.

3. Change it up!

Your beautifully designed body learns quickly. It knows that if you get up each morning and run for three miles, that it will have to allocate energy for that task. Your body will actually slow down in anticipation of the routine. As you gain cardiovascular fitness, you will need to work harder in order to increase your heart rate.

You can change things up in several ways. Try exercising at a different time of the day. Sprint (I don’t enjoy this one, but it sure pays off!). Try a variety of exercises. I signed up for Beach Body on Demand, and like choosing different programs (most of them 8-10 weeks). I can try anything from yoga to Pilates, to weight training.

4. Redirect.

Sometimes, our ingrained poor habits prevent us from achieving our health goals. Analyze your day. When do you feel most tempted to eat mindlessly? Choose a new indulgence instead. Try taking a five-minute walk at that time of the day. Go pull weeds in the garden. Fold laundry. Practice the piano. Jump on your kids’ trampoline. Bounce on a yoga ball. Phone a friend.

5. Drink herbal tea or lemon water.

We actually need to drink half our body numbers (in ounces, not pounds) each day. If you weigh 150 lbs., you should drink 75 ounces of liquid a day. Just make sure that those liquids don’t add unnecessary calories or excess caffeine. And sip slowly. I tend to guzzle water but sipping regularly throughout the day is a healthier choice.

6. Check your stress levels.

Stress produces cortisol in our bodies. Cortisol makes it difficult for our bodies to lose weight.  If you suffer from any of these other signs of stress, you might want to evaluate your schedule and start letting things go.
Other signs of stress include:weight

  • memory loss
  • low energy
  • headaches
  • upset stomach (diarrhea, constipation, and nausea)
  • susceptibility to colds
  • acne
  • insomnia
  • dry mouth, teeth grinding, clenched jaw
  • loss of sexual desire
  • poor judgement
  • forgetfulness
  • inability to focus

7. Give yourself grace.

Weight loss, after all, has more to do with forming new habits that will last a lifetime than a number on the scales. In order to sustain the weight loss, it needs to happen at a steady rate over time. Give yourself plenty of grace and positive self-talk. You CAN make changes. Each healthy choice you make helps you achieve your goals of wholeness.

Join me on Pinterest! I pin regularly on all the topics having to do with self-care and nurturing yourself.

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  1. Anita,
    I SO needed this. I have always struggled with my weight and I know lack of rest, stress, and needing better self care are heavily (excuse the pun) involved in me holding onto this weight. Thus my post today that I’m linking up. I really do need to change some habits and change things up. Thanks for a gentle nudge this am.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx
    Bev @ Walking Well With God recently posted…The Non-Expert’s Advice on Self-Care and RestMy Profile

    • I HATE to exercise after a day of work! But I know it’s a good idea. I can force myself to do it once a week–but it isn’t easy. Walking with my hubby doesn’t feel like exercise (even though it’s a fast pace), so I enjoy doing that in the evenings. I also bounce on my yoga ball while I watch TV–that helps a lot, too (it keeps my heart rate up in the 100s, which I consider ‘exercise’ since my resting heart rate is 52).
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Book Talk Tuesdays: The Edwardian Era and Across the BlueMy Profile

  2. Anita, I so appreciate you guiding us all to maintain healthy habits. You made me stop to think about the difference between indulging and nurturing ourselves. Important to think on and be aware so we do not deceive ourselves.
    Joanne Viola recently posted…Find a ReasonMy Profile

  3. Pingback: When I Don’t Get What I Need | Stray Thoughts

  4. Something that helps me is coming across articles like “Eat this instead of that” or “What does 200 calories look like?” Counting calories is tedious, but occasionally looking at labels or seeing articles like that are really eye-opening for me and helps me see that “special treat” is my enemy rather than my friend, plus gives me better ideas to choose from.
    Barbara H. recently posted…When I Don’t Get What I NeedMy Profile

  5. Dear Anita, these are such good strategies/reminders! And for so many situations, not just weight loss. I had to chuckle remembering the summer I was learning how to drive and sew. My mom shared many of the same ideas. Thanks for promoting our well-being!

  6. “Give yourself grace.” That’s definitely a tip I could use for many things. 🙂 I’ve always watched what I eat, but only in the past year has a little more weight crept in without me changing anything. Not happy about it. But I don’t want to be too hard on myself either. Grace!
    Lisa notes recently posted…Give This Kind of Grace GenerouslyMy Profile

  7. I read this post the other day. It seems that working on healthy habits is lifelong journey for me. Which, if I’m honest, is a good thing. I learned years ago that a number on a scale does not define me. With that said, I need to refer to No. 1- remember your why. God calls us all to be healthy and whole. In order for me to make a difference in my habits I need to look to him first.
    Mary Geisen recently posted…A Daily RefiningMy Profile

  8. Great tips. Grace and more grace needed sometimes. After a certain age or babies, our bodies will never return to before. And sometimes that means having some extra weight. And sometimes we need to just accept this. The new us. Imperfections and all. I remember my sister saying, “In my teens I was so self conscious about my body. Little did I appreciate it and understand that it would never look so good again. In my twenties, I was pulling my body apart. My thighs were to fat, my bust to small. And now I am in my thirties, and I would give lots to have my old body back. So I need to appreciate my body as it is today. Because this is probably as good as it gets. And when I am 40 I will be wondering why I complained so much about my body because I will be wanting that body I had in my 30’s back.”
    Theresa Boedeker recently posted…Will the Real You Please Stand?My Profile

  9. Everyone’s process to wholeness is different because each of us is as different our experiences. However, there are some ways each of us can approach wholeness and intentionally bring others onboard.