Well done for another great week of games, gents! If we keep going at the rate we’re going, we’ll be halfway towards our league weight loss goal of 100kg next week.
Obstacles and setbacks… Many of you were able to keep the progress rolling this week. To those who notched up their first hat-trick, well done! Once you’ve worked out what the small and sustainable changes you need to make to your eating and physical activity regime are, weight loss can be a relatively painless process.
However, getting into that groove is a challenge, as many of you may be experiencing right now, and that’s okay. While half of you managed to lose weight this week, about a third went the other direction. That’s in no small part because even though we can set goals and even put a plan in mind, obstacles and setbacks are bound to occur, but how we cope with them makes all the difference.
Between game nights, we know that we’re trying to shift the balance from seven ‘bad’ days of eating fast food, snacking throughout the day, drinking soft drinks, staying for a third, fourth, fifth pint after work, eating chocolate and midnight snacks, whatever your guilty pleasure may be, towards six or seven ‘good’ days.
Relapse… Let’s say it’s Friday night. Or you’re on a business trip. Or you’re at a wedding reception. Or it’s someone’s birthday at work, and there’s cake, muffins, pizza – you name it. You give into temptation. One thing leads to another, and you come to, realizing today was another ‘bad’ day. ‘Quiet drinks’ after work turns into a night out, and you cap the night off with a kebab – that’s a blow-out, and it’s not going to do you any favours on the scales come Tuesday, but neither is beating yourself up over it.
Bear with me here… I regularly practice mindfulness meditation. In this practice, the objective is to be present and aware of your breath – enveloping the entire breath with awareness, acutely feeling the point at which the breath begins, where the breath is felt most. For some, that’s deep in the diaphragm, for me it’s just inside my nose. Whenever you notice your mind wandering, lost in thoughts – and it will, more often than you’d like – you recognize that you are lost in thought, and return to the breath. If feel frustrated, irritated, even disappointed with yourself, you recognize those thoughts and feelings, and return to the breath. That’s just grist for the mill, that’s thought. Every time you turn to the breath, you return to the practice of meditation as if for the first time.
That’s the same with any goal. The season is fourteen weeks long. That’s 98 days. Whatever your guilty pleasures are – and you hopefully are beginning to become aware of them by now – then a realistic and useful goal by the end of the program isn’t to cut them out entirely. Just as you can’t stop thinking, it’s unrealistic and unproductive to think you can cut things you enjoy out of your life entirely. Instead, you should aim to reduce the number of days a week you do ‘give in’. When you experience a set-back, the big picture is this: that’s only one less good day over the course of the season. Tomorrow is a new day.
One player this week mentioned that he’d had a big weekend – two days of drinking and heavy eating. He was certain that he’d put weight on by Tuesday, but decided that there was no point making the two days before weigh-in bad days as well. Instead, he started fresh. Those two days shifted the balance, and the scales were even. No weight loss, but no own goal.
The next time you catch yourself “lost in thought” – worrying about whether you’ll ever be able to lose weight, disappointed about allowing yourself to lapse, start fresh. Recognize that changing behaviour is difficult, it’s only human to make mistakes, and you’re better off working with yourself. A one or two day blow-out doesn’t need to turn into a week, and two good days can salvage a bad weekend, if you set your mind to it.
See you all on Tuesday!