I know you’ve been there.
You are doing all of the things you think you need to be doing to lose weight. You’re planning your meals, getting lots of rides in.
You are eating only when you are hungry or fueling for your rides!
You feel great, you feel AMAZING. However…the scale.
It just isn’t moving.
Or, maybe you aren’t doing all the things. Maybe you have been sidelined with an injury, or it’s a season of life where you aren’t focusing as much on meal planning and riding.
Maybe you have even lost some weight, and then gained it back.
For whatever reason, if you are currently in a place where you find yourself feeling discouraged, please know you are not alone.
We have all been there. In these moments it’s super important to keep these three things in mind. Next time you find yourself feeling discouraged and are considering giving up on trying to lose weight biking, remember this.
Weight loss NEVER happens in a straight line.
You absolutely CAN feel good in the body you have now.
AND, weight loss can, and SHOULD, take time.
Allow me to explain.
#1: Weight Loss Never Happens in a Straight Line
In a perfect world we set weight loss goals and we achieve them. In a straight line. We would love for our weight loss graph to just be a steady decline to our goal weight.
The reality is that it essentially NEVER happens this way.
We are human, and our bodies reflect this. Even if we did all of the right things all of the time that our body wanted to lose weight (which is essentially impossible), there are going to be fluctuations.
In other words, you may gain a pound this week, lose one next week, and gain two pounds the following week just due to the natural rhythms and fluctuations of YOUR particular body.
And, when you are first starting out, your body is like WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?! This is NOT the activity level I am used to! This is not the amount/type of food I am used to!
It can take some time for all of these things to even out.
When I lost 50 pounds a few years ago (ok 47.5, but I am rounding up…what of it!), my weight loss was ALL OVER THE PLACE. Some weeks I would lose, some weeks I would gain. What you see above is my actual weight loss graph where I lost 43 of those pounds.
Look at all of the ups and downs! All of the fluctuations.
It’s showing that I had some days I ate more, some days I ate less. Some days my body held onto more water, some days it let it go. Some days my body just did whatever the heck it wanted and it made no sense at all.
The important thing is that over time, over more than a year, my body was becoming stronger. I was gaining muscle, and losing fat. My weight was going down.
Ups and downs in weight loss are expected. They are normal. Fixating on a .5 increase, or even a 2 lb increase in a week, is not going to serve you in the long run. I promise.
#2: You Don’t Need to Lose Weight to Feel Good in Your Body NOW
So this is going to sound kind of crazy.
You don’t need ANYTHING about your body to change for you to feel good in it right now.
What needs to change is the way that you think about your body.
I truly do not care what anyone else says to you about your body. All that matters is what YOU think.
When we shift from being focused on what our body looks like to being focused on what it can DO we start to look at our bodies in a whole new way.
For example, I may not always love the way my body looks, but I am thrilled that I have a body. It allows me to do the things that I need and want to do every day. It is the mechanism through which I get to experience the joy of riding my bike!
When you focus on THIS, it helps you to appreciate everything your body is today.
Your legs are what allow you to spin the wheels on your bike.
Even if the way your arms look doesn’t please you, think of all that they DO for you. You use your arms to hug your partner, your friends, your kids, your family.
This small little shift from focusing on what we look like to focusing on what we can do can make ALL of the difference.
When we focus on everything our body is and does for us, we WANT to take better care of it, so we can continue to all of these things as long as humanly possible.
#3: Weight Loss Can (And Should) Take Time
I say this all of the time. In fact you may be sick of hearing it, but weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint.
It’s a century, not a time trial!
Weight loss can, and SHOULD, take time.
This is the only way that it can be sustainable.
I think of all of the times in the past where I joined this diet or that one. Where I counted calories, points, or macros.
I would be “so good” for a week, maybe two, and then I would start to fall off. It would get to be too much.
Too much trying to remember to enter random stuff into an app. Too much time planning. Or, too often, I would run out of calories or points before the day was over and I was FREAKING STARVING.
And, I wasn’t even losing any weight! Or, I had so much to lose, and I had lost so little, that it just didn’t seem worth it.
Inevitably, I would give up on the diet, say “eff it”, and gain back any weight I had lost…and then some. It was AWFUL.
I would do this, only to a few weeks, months, or years down the road try to start it all again.
Please remember that if you lose weight too fast doing things that you hate doing, you will stop doing all of those things and gain the weight back.
Choose small little things to change along the way. They add up to HUGE results over time.
Ask yourself, “What’s one small, little thing, that I can do to make today just a little bit better than yesterday?”
It can be ANYTHING. For example, last night, instead of adding two thin mint girl scout cookies to my sundae I added just one.
I mean, that seems lame and insignificant, but imagine how those kinds of tiny decisions add up over time?
Time is really your best friend with weight loss. It helps you remind yourself that these are small changes that you are making for the rest of your life, that over time lead to huge results.
A Final Note
At the end of the day, the only difference between someone who loses weight and someone who doesn’t is the person who loses weight DOESN’T GIVE UP.
Remember that it takes time. It absolutely SHOULD take time. The slower your weight comes off, the more likely it is that it is coming off because you are making small, manageable changes.
Changes that you actually LIKE and can LIVE with. Not just for now, but forever.
When you find yourself feeling discouraged about trying to lose weight biking remember that it takes time, that you can focus on the awesome things that your body can do for you right now, and that there absolutely will be ups and downs.
This is what weight loss, what life, IS. It’s how it should be. Nothing has gone wrong. I believe in you.
You’ve got this, my friend.