Is Pressure Getting In Your Way To Lose Weight?
Some people thrive under pressure, and some people crumble. Myself, I tend to crumble! I always thought pressure could be a good thing, it could give me the added push to get things done and quickly, but in fact I repeatedly find myself feeling paralyzed and anxious when under pressure, and sometimes I feel defeated by the very things I set out to do.
As a health coach, I also see this with some of the clients I work with. When it comes down to diet changes and weight loss goals, some excel when they have goals and deadlines, and the pressure invigorates them. But for others, the moment pressure sets in, they find themselves procrastinating and even sabotaging every effort they make.
If you have health and diet goals you’re working towards, it’s important to know how you respond to your goals. Does a goal start off as an exciting goal, and then turns into pressure, and is that pressure constructive? Does having specific goals and deadlines propel you forward, or does it overwhelm you? Does pressure turn into motivation and creative energy for you, or does it create anxiety and stress?
Knowing how you respond to pressure can help you establish an effective strategy to actually achieve your goals. Too many times I see this one important step overlooked, and people try to go about achieving their goals all the wrong way, over and over again.
My story: I lost 30 pounds by going on a “pressure-less” diet!
A few years ago I lost 30 pounds (see my blog post/video on how I lost 30 pounds here). I had been struggling for years to lose weight, and the more I tried to lose weight, the more I gained! The pressure I was putting on myself to lose weight was worse than the weight itself, and it was only until I surrendered to the weight loss, did I start losing weight.
When I say surrender, this doesn’t mean giving-up. It means letting go of pushing myself too hard, letting go of the pressure, letting go of high expectations and trying to control everything.
For years I went about trying to lose weight by setting out diet goals, rules of what I could eat, how much, and I had weekly weight loss targets. Sometimes these goals were so high and difficult, I wonder if anyone could reach them. I certainly didn’t! In fact, having such goals just made me more anxious, more stressed, and more unhappy – all of which made me want to eat even more.
I realized that my problem wasn’t the food, it was the pressure I was putting on myself that would make me want to sabotage all my efforts. I had to work on the pressure, not my diet. And that’s what I did. I re-worked my weight loss strategy to make it the most “pressure-less” weight loss plan. Instead of putting myself on a super restrictive diet, I made one goal, to lose 0-1 pounds a month. My only guideline was even if I didn’t lose that one pound that month, I had to make sure I didn’t gain any more weight. Easy!
From that “pressure-less” diet plan of losing 0-1 pound a month, I lost 30 pounds in about a year and a half. And, I’ve kept it off for about 4 years now. It was easy weight loss as well because I eliminated the very things that was causing me anxiety and stress, and in turn, the root cause for me to overeat. There were even many months where I lost even more weight than planned, and I met my weight loss goal much faster than I expected.
Is pressure standing in your way?
- Have you been working on goals and getting no where?
- Do you find the harder you try, the further you get from achieving your goals?
- Do you have all the best intentions, but find yourself procrastinating or sabotaging yourself?
- Do you keep putting off your goals, making excuses?
- Have you been working on the same goal for over 6-12 months and haven’t gotten any where?
If you answered “yes” to any or all these questions, perhaps pressure is standing your way. I have to say, I always thought I did well under pressure, but I’ve come to realize that most of the time I don’t. By knowing this, I’m now able to achieve many of my goals more efficiently, not only my health and diet goals, but also goals having to do with my career, work, family, relationships, finances, etc. This doesn’t mean I go about getting things done passively, it means that I organize my approach to get things done with less perceived pressure, and I make an effort to keep stress to a minimum.
How to decrease the pressure to achieve your goals
If you know that pressure just turns into overwhelm, and it’s the last thing that will help you achieve your goals, then the next step is to re-work your strategy to make it as pressure-less as possible, but still effective enough to reach your goals.
Here’s a few things I recommend:
- Making doable and easily-to-accomplish goals. Small steps yield big results. When you can accomplish one task, it’s much easier to accomplish the next. Not only will you get things done, but simultaneously it will build your excitement and confidence as you set things in motion.
- Get organized. Un-needed stress comes from being disorganized and not knowing what you are doing, or having a plan. If you have been working on a goal for a while, and not getting anywhere, ask yourself if there are certain details you’ve over looked, or wasn’t organized with? If so, get organized!
- Give yourself time. Nowadays everyone wants a quick fix, and this is the problem. In the long-run, slow deliberate action will get you where you want to go quicker and with less mistakes and accidents than rushing around, trying to accomplish things too fast. If you don’t do well under-pressure, you probably don’t do well doing things under high speed either. If you are well organized, there’s no need to rush, rest assured, you’ll get to where you want to go.
- Stay focused on what you’re accomplishing now. Stay focused on the task at hand, don’t get ahead of yourself. No need to remind yourself how much more needs to get done. If it’s not constructive, why go there?
- Acknowledge what you are doing right. With every step you take in the direction towards your goal, acknowledge it, celebrate every victory. This will only empower you more!
Watch today’s video below for more on alleviating the pressure to reach your goals.