Hello again! Today we are going to discuss yet another facet of long-term weight loss management- encouraging and discouraging experiences. Last time we talked about the challenges that participants faced in a variety of studies, but after they faced several challenges and succeeded, most participants noted that these challenges were overall an encouraging experience that led to them feeling liberated and motivated!
Encouraging experiences include things like finding a new community that uplifts you on your fitness journey, establishing a new identity, and the reinvention of self. Discouraging experiences, on the other hand, are things such as the fear of regaining weight, which can make weight management feel like a consistent battle for some, or not feeling encouraged by their current peer group. The good news is that discouraging experiences, when overcome, lead to lifelong empowerment and change!
Finding a new community can be difficult, especially because not everyone in your life is willing to acknowledge or support you in your fitness journey. This was one of the more prominent discouraging experiences for participants- when the peer groups they were already a part of did not support their new healthy lifestyles. At FIT, we 100% support you in your fitness journey, no matter what that journey looks like. We have a great community of members and trainers that consistently encourage and uplift each other! Finding a community with the same fitness-based mindset gives you a new sense of purpose- channel your energy by educating yourself and taking cues from your peers! Some participants, before committing and succeeding in their weight management journey, previously felt like fitness-based communities were daunting and felt like they would not fit in. At FIT, everyone fits in, and everyone is welcomed with open arms!
Another experience that was prevalent and can be discouraging is the fear of gaining the weight back that you’ve lost or fearing that you will go back to your old ways. Fear after success is normal, and we all sometimes remember how we felt physically and mentally worse over-all before establishing a fitness-based lifestyle, which leads to fear of failure. Instead of fearing what may happen in the future, continually remind yourself of the challenges you have already overcome! Go back and look through your old journals and compare your goals and achievements from when you started this journey to present day and focus on the people who encourage you instead of those that try to bring you down. Turn your fear into motivation to keep going and to continue to hit new goals!
Through trial and tribulation, and ultimately success, comes a new sense of self, a reinvention of lifestyle and outlook that serves you long-term! This is hands-down the most encouraging thing about establishing a more fitness-based approach to life. Those that are able to achieve long-term weight management consistently spoke of having developed new identities- they had transformed themselves into people that lead healthy lives, took more chances, and pursued opportunities that they would have originally found daunting. This newfound sense of self causes you to feel like you have changed indefinitely, and the confidence gained in your fitness journey bleeds into every aspect of your life!
No matter what stage you are in on your fitness journey, remember that with every step you take you gain motivation and increase your confidence, not only in this aspect of your life, but in all things you do. There is no better feeling than knowing that you succeeded, and ultimately YOU are the reason YOU made positive change in your life!
What steps have you taken this week in your journey to a healthier lifestyle? What has encouraged you to keep going? Any challenge can be overcome, and no matter who you are and how much more progress you want to achieve, hold on to the encouraging experiences you have had and will continue to have, and remember, we are always here to help!