The fitness industry has a dirty little secret. Have you noticed that nearly all books, magazines and fitness infomercials send the message that weight loss is “easy”, achieving super fit status is “simple”, and radically changing your life is “fun”? I am possessed, obsessed and consumed by all popular media in the fitness industry. I get very…..ummm, fussy… when I see another headline that says you can lose 10 lbs in a very short time.

My fellow fitness experts are going to kick me out of the cool kids club for saying this, but I’m going to anyway: Ladies, weight loss is HAAAARRRRDDDDD. Your body is designed to avoid losing weight at all costs – it’s a survival mechanism. Because of homeostasis, the human body works very hard to hold the status quo at all times. Basically, in order to survive, your body wants to keep everything nice and stable. While our lives are modern, our bodies are still very ancient and operate in ways that don’t necessarily make sense. In a larger sense, your body’s top priority is survival and it is a strong mechanism. Any hint of change in your body sparks up this dormant, unconscious and powerful drive to resist the inherent threat. For example, if you consume fewer calories for 5-7 days, your body is going to suspect that it’s safety, and survival, are at risk. In defense, your body summons incredible forces of nature to prevent the weight loss. Because if you don’t eat enough, you’re going to die, right? Of course not! But your body is worried that you will.

In order to cause weight loss you have to be bigger, badder and smarter than your body’s survival mechanism. You have to remain in your brain and remind yourself that your body will provide sneaky ways of sabotaging your weight loss. Please note, I’m using the words “weight loss” very generally. Ideally, your goal is to improve your lean body mass (muscle) and then decrease your body fat. This will create the lean machine that you want to be. “Weight loss” can occur from muscle loss, water loss and general deterioration. We don’t want that – not so much. But for today’s purpose, let’s just think generally.

Here are some useful tips regarding weight loss:

1. Weight loss happens in stages. One week you may drop 2-3 pounds, then the next week you’ll stabilize. I find that weight loss happens in 10 day cycles.

2. It takes about 10 days of consistent calorie deficit (a combination of diet and exercise) to cause a drop in weight. Just before your body gives up and burns off fat, it will offer you some lovely symptoms like hunger, cravings, fatigue and my favorite, grumpiness. Hold on tight for 1-2 days, embrace the discomfort and your body will give up the fat and you’ll see a drop in pounds.

3. You must be consistently consistent on a consistent basis. Catch my drift? A common misstep is to be “good” all week and then lax it up over the weekend. This usually causes the calorie deficit from the week to be negated.

4. Deep, quality sleep might just be the best friend that you’ve been searching for your whole life.

5. If you fall off the wagon. Errrrrr…. WHEN you fall off the wagon, GET, BACK, ON IT! Everyone stumbles, trips and full on face-plants all the time. The key is to get up and keep trying. Weight loss requires massive, discernible, definitive, hard-core, bad-ass effort. And you can do it.

If you are feeling frustrated in your weight loss efforts, I need you to know this: You are not alone. Weight loss for most people is confusing, elusive and exhausting. For years I was about 15 lbs over my ideal body weight. I knew that I needed to lose weight but I could not figure out how! Keep in mind, I have a degree in Exercise Physiology with an emphasis in Nutrition, and I still couldn’t figure out the secret password to get me into the “Weight Loss is Easy” Club. I spent many years feeling like there was something wrong with me, and a bit down on myself. In a quiet way, I felt like a failure. If the magazines and books tell me it should be easy, what’s my problem!? I’m sharing this with you because I know that maybe you can relate.  I’m a sensitive creature and it makes me bonkers to know that you might be feeling down on yourself too for struggling with weight loss. I won’t use all caps here, but I am screaming this at you now: Weight loss is hard! It requires massive action! Your body is going to fight to keep the weight on! If you don’t lose 10 lbs in 10 days it’s not your fault! The truth is, you CAN lose weight. I takes time, happens slower than you think, and requires consistency and determination. Stay positive. And don’t let anyone tell you it’s easy. It’s not. But I know that you are a strong, capable, powerful person. You can do this! Keep knocking at the door and pretty soon you’ll join me in the “Weight Loss is for Winners” Club.

I am desperate to hear your thoughts and to learn from you. What is your experience with weight loss? Are you struggling or succeeding? Share with me by adding your Comment below.

Stay Strong!

Posted by Holly Perkins on January 29, 2014 at 11:13 am | Comments: 8 |

8 Responses to “Weight Loss is for Winners”

  1. […] familiar that there is a through-line about survival and how humans are wired to ensure it. (CLICK HERE to read more)  Quick refresher: You are a survivor and every gorgeous nuance of your being is […]

  2. […] lot about how humans are hard-wired for survival. If you haven’t yet, read my Blog on weight loss here.  I talk about how we are designed to survive, and as part of that instinct, we are also […]

  3. Great post Holly! It’s nice hear someone speaking the truth instead of repeating the same bs we read in fitness magazines everyday! If weight loss was that easy, we’d all look like supermodels :)

    • Holly Perkins says:

      Whitney! SO true! There’s an odd reassurance that I feel once I accept that something is difficult. It’s almost as though we expect things to be easy – and sometimes they just aren’t! So nice to see you and have your comments here on my site. Thanks lady!

  4. Michele says:

    I definitely agree with the hunger pains and the various symptoms we experience before a drop in weight. Unfortunately there’s the fine line between feeding that hunger just the right amount . If you feed it too much than you lose any chance of losing weight . It’s such a struggle. Once again I’m on the quest to find the balance. Thanks for yiur fine words of wisdom .

    • Holly Perkins says:

      Michele: It’s SOOOO true. It really is a delicate balance. I think it’s also important to be sensitive and aware of the concept of intentionally “under feeding” ourselves. It can be such an emotional process. It’s almost an art to find the balance of eating enough for energy and yet just a bit less to encourage fat loss. Thanks so much for your comment and for checking out my Blog!

  5. jodie says:

    I needed this. I have gained 2 pounds, I know it is not alot but my height and build it is. I know I have to be really strict with my food as I may have injured myself so there goes hard workouts. So frustrating/. Any advice or tips?

    • Holly Perkins says:

      Hi Jodie! It’s really important that exercise makes you better and adds value to your life. In general, I’m NOT a fan of hard and intense workouts. From time to time, a tough workout is great, but it’s not the best tool for weight loss. Workouts are to address fitness. Unfortunately diet is a more effective tool for inspiring weight loss. If you stay consistent with both – solid workouts every week and a healthy diet – the pounds will work themselves off. I understand being frustrated by 2 pounds, but the good news is that it’s only 2 pounds and that’s totally achievable! Watch your sugar intake, eat lean and healthy and focus lots of vegetables!

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