Weight Loss Setbacks and the All or Nothing Attitude

I want to talk about the "all or nothing" outlook that is death to any attempt to lose fat and get in shape.

You're probably familiar with this concept... you might be rolling along making progress at losing fat for a few weeks when a holiday rolls around (typically Thanksgiving) or during the summer you have some company that comes to visit for a week. Suddenly the rules you've been following go out the window: There are goodies all around, and with all the friends and family there's no time (or thought) given to working out.

Next thing you know, you look at the scale and you've put on two, three or four pounds over the course of a week or two. Weight that you worked so hard to lose, and took you probably twice that long to take off.

Your first reaction is probably to say "The hell with it, what's the point?" and go back to your old ways, and for good measure you probably end up even more overweight than where you started.

Believe me, that's completely understandable. The problem is that although the human body is a miraculous thing, it can also be brutally unforgiving when it comes to staying in shape. You can lose months of hard won fitness in a couple of weeks.

I've always been big on analogies, and here's a simple one that I personally use when I "fall off the wagon" as far as diet and working out:

Instead of looking at a setback as a total car wreck, look at it as just a minor fender-bender.

You see, although the body can be unforgiving, it also has memory, and if you get back to your regime you'll find that you will bounce back and reach your prior level of fitness/weight much faster than it took to get there the first time.

So the next time you backtrack and put on a couple of pounds, don't throw your hands up in dismay. Instead, do an "Indiana Jones": Put that hat back on, pull down that brim, get that determined look back in your eye and get back on track!

Victor Holtreman is the author of Lose the Last 10 Pounds, an eBook which chronicles his 2 month journey from 13% to 9% body fat using kettlebells. He is also the author of the Kettlebell-Training.com site and a number of other fitness related sites.

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