Let’s take a quick poll: if you have an ideal weight in mind that you would like to reach (higher or lower), raise your hand.
Okay. If you won’t truly be happy until you reach that ideal weight, keep your hand up.
I’m willing to bet that most people reading this have their hand in the air. If you do, then make sure you read the rest of this post. If you don’t, read it anyway because you could learn something.
Once again, I’ll provide you with some background information. There was a time in my life when I had an ideal weight in my head. I knew that I wanted to reach that weight. The day I finally weighed in at that specific number, I knew I would finally be happy and feel as if I accomplished something. Or so I thought . . .
I kept telling myself that once I hit that number, I would finally be happy with my body. I would be confident and wouldn’t have any more worries about my physical appearance.
Well. I finally hit that number. But . . . I was anything but happy and confident.
Once I hit that number, I was even more miserable. I still didn’t look the way I truly wanted. I wanted more changes in my body to occur. I wanted things to look better. I was so upset because I thought everything would be great after reaching my ideal weight.
Why am I telling you this? Because from that little weight-loss-journey, I learned a lot about myself and body image issues. I soon began to notice these same struggles in others as well.
Every time I acquired a new client, they would always tell me they wanted to weigh X amount. They weighed X in high school or college, and they won’t be happy until they weigh X again. Seriously, I’m sure most of you have said these same things before. Please, take a minute and answer these questions honestly: why do you have to reach that weight? What is so special about that number? Why will that (theoretically) make all of your problems go away?
Here is the main point of all of this: don’t set an ideal weight. I don’t care if you are trying to lose weight and weigh less, or gain muscle and weigh more. Do not have a set number in your head and tell yourself that you have to reach that weight to be happy.
That thinking is negative and self-defeating. Throw those thoughts out the window and take a more positive approach.
Instead of trying to obtain a set weight, have a smart plan of action and focus on improving your performance with your training. Instead of constantly trying to burn calories at the gym to lose weight, focus on improving your performance, eat properly, and it will happen.
If you are trying to gain muscle, stop worrying about getting a pump and focus on improving your performance and eat a lot of healthy food, and it will happen.
From that point on, focus on how you feel and how your clothes fit. Forget the number on the damn scale. I mean, why do you have to weigh a certain number? Why can’t you be 5-10 pounds higher (if you want to lose weight) or lower (if you want to gain weight) and still be happy?
The number on the scale is a terrible way to define your ideal body. It’s the worst possible way to judge your happiness and ultimate physical appearance. I guarantee that if you stop thinking about hitting a certain number and put your focus on a positive goal, you will be much happier with your workouts and your body.
My weight now is higher than my “ideal weight” ever was. But you know what, I am much happier at the weight I am now. It’s easy to maintain, I don’t have to workout more than a few hours per week, and I don’t have to constantly restrict what I eat.
That is your challenge: stop trying to reach an ideal weight. Focus your efforts on training and eating smart. You will be so much happier if you take that positive approach.