Rick and I often wonder if we would have maintained our healthy lifestyles if we hadn’t decided to start Be Strong. Whilst we both love our new healthy lifestyles and what our bodies are physically capable of doing, we also still love food and drink! We also acknowledge that with the myriad of temptations in the world around us, such as cake, sweets, chocolate, cheese, alcohol, delicious hot drinks with cream and marshmallows, if we didn’t have a clear purpose in leading others towards a healthier lifestyle, it would be a lot harder to stick to. If we didn’t absolutely 100% know that we never want to go back to the way we were, and actually now we can’t ever go back to the way we were because we are leading others by example, it would probably be a lot harder to maintain.
However, the fact of the matter is, we stick to our healthy lifestyles, and we want to keep control of our weight (as well as inspiring you guys). We keep control of our weight by holding ourselves accountable. We hold ourselves accountable because we stand on the weighing scales at least once a week. If we see that weight increasing, we know that it is time to take action, reign it in, and cut back for a while.
We have conversations with so many people who find the scales really stressful, and we get it. When it doesn’t show you what you want to see, it is so upsetting.
I dodged the scales for years, because I simply didn’t want to know how much I weighed. I knew it would be bad, and I didn’t want to upset myself. I didn’t even have them in the house. I was a weights and measures inspector, inspecting big manufacturing plants with their big industrial capacity scales and testing weighbridges, yet I wouldn’t even walk across a weighbridge when I was out on inspection, because I didn’t want to see and I didn’t want anyone else to see the number on the display. Because ultimately I didn’t want to face up to the predicament that I was in.
But in all honesty, it’s not the scales fault, the scales are just giving us a number. The scales show us the result of our lifestyle. If that number isn’t going down, or in my case back then, is most certainly going up, it is because we have eaten too much, and the reason we don’t want to see it, is because we don’t want to face reality.
Losing weight, changing our lifestyles, or getting fitter is brutal. It means acknowledging where we are, which can be a harsh reality in some cases, taking a deep breath, pulling up our big girl or boy pants and being accountable for the current situation. It means being brave. Being brave, by accepting and acknowledging that the way we are living our lives is not good for us and something is going to have to change. We know this because our clothes are too tight. We know this because we get out of breath easily. We know this because it’s becoming a struggle to cut our toenails. We know this because the GP is telling us our cholesterol is increasing, and we are pre-diabetes. Undoubtedly our lifestyle will have an effect on our future health, it will more than likely mean that we develop some chronic disease or other in the future. All the scales do is put a number on it and make you face it.
Acceptance and Accountability
Once we start on this journey, we must continuously hold ourselves accountable to our choices. The way we do this is by stepping on the scales and accepting what it says, every single week. If we know that we are doing things right, the scales will, 99 times out of 100, tell us what we want to see.
Once we have made the decision to change, the scales can be a positive thing. Once we start eating the right sorts of foods in the right sort of portions, and moving a bit more, the scales reflect our hard work, our determination, our commitment and reward us with that all important smaller number. We have already seen the worst number that we ever could see when we first got weighed, so anything less than that now is surely a bonus.
The temptation comes when we know that we are doing things wrong. Our inclination is to swerve the scales, to not hold ourselves accountable, because we don’t want to see that number go up.
Swerving the scales after a ‘not so good’ week just gives us permission to have another ‘not so good’ week and another and another. Saying we will only weigh once a month probably just means we have three ‘not so good’ weeks and one really good week, the week we are going to get weighed. Put simply, it is likely that we aren’t putting 100% effort into this – which is OK if we aren’t 100% bothered about improving our lifestyle. But if deep down you really are bothered, you are just going to have to ‘Suck it up buttercup’ and face the scales!
We wholeheartedly encourage every single one of you to be accountable to yourselves and to your choices, because it really is the only way we win at this game, and it is most certainly the only way to keep winning.
There will be weeks when you know you have over indulged, had a wedding to go to or a birthday, and you will have maintained or maybe even gained a little – but so what? This is life. We don’t have to lose every single week, because sometimes life just gets in the way. But what we must do, is hold ourselves accountable, assess the damage and come up with a plan to repair that damage. That’s what being a grown up is all about!
There may well be occasions where the weight may not come off straight away and we know that this is really disappointing. We know that whilst it is a science, it isn’t an exact science, and everybody is different and everybody loses weight at different rates. We have members who stick to their calories like glue and lose a quarter or a half a pound each week for three weeks, then just as they are losing the will to live and about to throw in the towel, on the fourth week they lose 8lbs. The science says that over a period of time, if you regularly consume less calories than your body uses you are guaranteed to see a significant loss, so keep being brave, stop swerving the scales, stop giving yourself permission to not bother and not be the best that you can be. Stay accountable, stay strong!
If you haven’t weighed for a while, get weighed. You can do it at any group, or you can enter a weight yourself here. Be brave and be accountable!