There are two misconceptions about losing weight and eating healthy in the long term that can be mentally challenging to overcome:
1. It is only hard at the beginning
2. Progress is a straight line
We usually focus on the start of the healthy eating process. You start with action steps, slowly learn how to eat the right balance of foods, and adopt healthy habits that help you reach your goals. Those first few months feel like they are the hardest.
However, there can be just as many challenges 1, 5 or 10 years in, and it is important to recognize that in order to be successful in the long term.
For example, one summer, you may have a string of weddings. The following winter, you may have several work and family trips. These interruptions to your routine, even if you have been doing it for two years, can feel like setbacks.
During these times, it is important to take a step back, remember that it is only a small chunk of time in your long-term progress, and make new steps for yourself that help you during this time. Just because you have been doing it for 5 years doesn’t mean that new action steps are not needed.
Here is where number 2, progress is not a straight line, comes into play. You build these healthy habits, but sometimes you fall off. Maybe that month, your body fat went up a little bit.
That is ok!
It is important to move on and not focus on the setback. Focusing on it will cause more stress to your body. Instead, find your accountability buddy, talk to your nutrition coach, and ask for help. If you are 2 or 5 years in, you may need new goals and steps to keep you motivated.
Eating healthy and building those habits is a life-long process. Don’t let a speed bump in your line of progress make you forget about how far you have come.