Katieby Katie Barnes

Ten-Pound Heaven or Hell?

Wherever we start on our fitness journey, the last leg toward the destination can feel like treading water- we are exercising hard and eating right, yet the last ten pounds seems the hardest to drop. After many months of consistent workouts and controlling daily caloric intake, staying on track with our food and fitness regimen is made tougher when we believe somehow that the end of our road should be the easy part. What is happening to us here?

Bodies are not machines, so frustration occurs when they do not respond as predictably as we would hope- after all, we can program computers to do our bidding down to the last second. And even then, that technology can exasperate us by stalling, shutting down or producing error messages when we least expect it! So we have to prepare to reboot.

Unlike technology though, humans carry a more magical hard drive controlled instantly from within… this is our mind and spirit… and this is a crucial difference. We can change our perception of obstacles along the way, constantly rebooting ourselves without crashing completely, remembering the high points of our journey as we go, harnessing the feelings of joy, triumph, pride and success to propel us forward.

We can also break our hurdles down into smaller pieces and start appreciating the positive changes that have become our well-earned daily habits. If we challenge our thinking while adjusting our sense of how long certain weight loss “should” take and reframe our goal point as that of marathon’s end rather than a sprinter’s finish, we are more likely to complete the task and finish it well.

Distance runners and endurance athletes experience similar physical and mental challenges known as “hitting the wall” in the last few miles of their race or event. This is where it becomes necessary to shift gears in their mental outlook in order to continue physically when the body seems spent or stuck. Losing the last ten pounds is a matter of re-focusing our minds on what lies ahead instead of worrying how long it will take us and to keep on going, knowing we will always win in the action of crossing the line, rather than watching the clock.

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