Win in the middle, to win in the end
The problem with attempting long-term results is everything in-between the before and the after.
The process is too slow and it's easy to get distracted. You compare yourself to others who have already done it. And you are able to read their results in just a few paragraphs of text.
"In the last six months, I've lost 50 pounds! My life has changed forever and I'm finally fitting back into the jeans I wore in high school!"
One sentence sparks a multitude of emotions. It's easy. It's quick. My life could change too. Man, I wish I was in shape like I was in high school.
Here's the in-between that you don't see:
Day 1 - Ugh! I'm so fat. I just wish I could fast-forward my life and be 50 pounds lighter. Gah! Cheryl brought cheesecake to the office today! Doesn't she know I'm on a diet?! Oh, well. I'll start tomorrow. It's the beginning of the month anyways.
Day 4 - Okay, finally started. High school jeans here I come!
Day 8 - I feel good. I've been struggling the last couple of days. Getting that sugar out of my body, I'm sure. I'm going to a happy hour for Cheryl tonight. I'll just have a glass of wine. No sweat.
Day 10 - Still recovering from drinking way too much at Cheryl's happy hour. Gah! Why can't I stick to a plan? I'm never going to lose this weight.
Day 15 - Okay, been back at it for a few days now. Hey, I actually dropped a few pounds! Woohoo.
Day 22 - Diet is going okay. Didn't lose as much as I thought I should have. If I'd just exercise everyday when I get home, I'd be 10 pounds lighter.
Day 25 - WHY ISN'T THIS SCALE MOVING?!? I feel like quitting.
Day 30 - Okay. One month in. I did... pretty good. Could've been better. I lost 8 pounds. That's good, right? On the Biggest Loser they lose 25 pounds in the first week! Oh, well. Don't get discouraged. Month two is mine!
Day 45 - I'm halfway through month 2 and I've lost NO weight this month. Well, it was my brother's birthday and work has been insane. Not a lost cause. I can still lose weight this month.
Day 60 - Four pounds. I only lost FOUR POUNDS. Ugh.
Day 66 - I ate too much last night. Cheryl wanted to celebrate her birthday with her ex co-workers and I didn't want to be THAT person. So, I just did it. Why do I keep doing this to myself?
Day 75 - Down six pounds this month! Woohoo!
Day 90 - This diet thing isn't too bad. I'm doing pretty good. Dropped 10 pounds this month! Maybe I can do it after all.
Day 100 - IT IS SO ANNOYING THAT I'M NOT LOSING WEIGHT AGAIN. WHY?!!?!?!
Day 105 - I noticed my clothes are falling off me and Cheryl even told me I look like I've lost weight! I couldn't believe it. I guess I haven't really noticed. Feels good that others have though.
Day 120 - Just six pounds down this month. I figured it'd be falling off me for now. I feel like all I eat is chicken and vegetables. Oh well. Gotta keep going.
Day 134 - I've spent the last two weeks not giving a sh*t about my diet. Three days on vacation, plus time spent with my parents. Back to it, though. I don't want to gain all my weight back.
Day 150 - Another six pounds down. After falling on and off again, I feel pretty good about it. I'm really going to hit it hard this month though. No vacations, no happy hours, no excuses.
Day 160 - I feel like I'm not losing weight again - but, I've been able to wear my favorite clothes again. Guess that should be enough, right?
Day 169 - I'm only five pounds away from 50 pounds lost! Wow! I didn't even realize it.
Day 171 - Slow and steady - you got this!
Day 178 - Just a few more days until six months and I'm only 1 pound away! I can taste it!
Day 180 - SUCCESS!! 50 pounds in six months. WOW! And, yup, my jeans from HS fit me again. That was pretty easy...
On day one, we have momentum and excitement. We can see ourselves reaching our goal. On day X, when we've achieved our goal, we think back to how it "wasn't so bad."
But, we forget about everything in between. The struggle. The mind games. The quitting and restarting. The life-ventures. The happy hours, birthdays, vacations, and stress.
There has to be a way to help yourself get through the middle. The middle is the problem. But, the middle is also what leads to a success or failure at the end. Most people can start. And, regardless of if you're successful or not, anyone can make it to the end.
But, it's those who conquer the middle, that will always be the winners.