ABOUT ME: It took me roughly eight months to lose 100 pounds. The most significant changes I made were overhauling my diet and “eating clean” about 80% of the time. Once I started to lose weight, then I incorporated exercise. I was around 300 pounds when I started my weight loss journey and exercise for me in the beginning stage was merely 20-30 minute walks. As I lost weight, I increased the duration and intensity of my workouts. At my peak, I would exercise at least 1-2 hours a day, six days a week and my diet was primarily a lot of leafy greens and lean protein. I monitored my weight and tracked all of my food. I am not so strict now with my diet, I have been able to find a balance that works for me maintenance wise.
ABOUT YOU: You’ve taken the first huge step in setting a weight loss goal for yourself!
Here is my suggestion on breaking that goal down:
First, I would identify why you want to lose 40 pounds, why is this a goal that you have for yourself. Do you want to look better? Fit certain size clothes? Be more active with your children? Knowing your “why” is so huge when it comes to staying on track with a large goal. Write your reasons down. Now, make them visible – write it on your mirror, create a vision board, or tell a friend. Find a way to claim the results and look for external ways that will also assist you in staying accountable. Remember that you have everything that you need to reach your goal within you, but it is wise to also use external supports to help you maximize your efforts and achieve your goals quicker.
Next, I would work on breaking that large goal down into smaller SMART goals. Smart goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. We know that your global goal is to lose 40 pounds. A realistic SMART goal would be ” I WILL lose 6 pounds by October 30th by briskly walking an hour on the track 5 days a week and eating no more than 1200 calories a day. I will know I have reached this goal when the scale says (current weight minus 6)”.
Next, plan for the way you will reward yourself when you reach your first milestone. A realistic and non-counterproductive way to reward yourself would be “I will reward myself for losing my first 6 pounds by (i.e. getting a massage, buying a gym membership, etc.)”. Just make sure your rewards aren’t things like eating junk food or not exercising because they are counterproductive to the mindset you have to be in – that mindset being that this is a lifestyle change and not a fad diet.
After this keep repeating the cycle above with new weight loss numbers until you reach your larger goal. Find a way to track your weight such as MyFitnessPal or Monitor Your Weight so you can keep a clear picture of how your SMALL WINS are stacking up to your LARGE VICTORY!