THE FITNESS COLUMN: Drawing a line in the sand

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I got an email from a reader the other day and she shared the difficulties of maintaining her weight loss through the menopausal period.

She said that she was drawing a line in the sand with the few pounds she had gained and was motivated to get back down to her goal weight.

I loved the concept of drawing a line in the sand because it is a really important part of the fat loss and the weight maintenance process. Drawing a line in the sand is a symbolic way of saying that you are not going to pass a certain point.

So many of us have unsuccessfully drawn lines in the sand many times during weight loss efforts. One of my more recent clients told himself that he wasn’t going to go over 18 stone, but he did.

He shared with me how he would say to himself that he would lose two stone by a certain date, but he didn’t. He told himself that he wouldn’t eat brownies for breakfast, but he scoffed them down.

It’s one thing to draw the line in the sand and it is an entirely different thing to not stick your big toe over that line.

What makes the difference between making that line and staying behind the line?

I had to stop and think about this one because all of us have drawn a line in the sand for ourselves at one point or another. We may not have drawn it in terms of fat loss, but we have in terms of other parts of our lives.

How do you draw a line in the sand with regards to your weight management efforts and make it stick? I believe there are several important things to take into consideration when drawing a line in the sand.

1. Your line must be based in reality

It’s easy to say: “I’m going to lose 10 pounds this weekend.” Drawing a line in the sand that it will happen.

However, you know that it is almost impossible to lose that much weight in a single weekend and do it in a healthy manner.

Your line has to be based in reality just like goals you set for yourself need to be realistic and attainable.

2. You have to have the right tools

If you don’t know how to eat right, don’t understand the impact of food on your body, or don’t know what kind of nutritional plan you want to follow, you are going to have a hard time sticking to your commitment.

3. You’re not ready

When my new client tried to make his line 18 stone, he said so with all the good intentions in the world, but he wasn’t really emotionally ready to lose weight.

And so he kept erasing and moving the line until it was so mixed up that he lost sight of it.

Make sure you are ready to commit to your plan or you will probably have trouble staying on track.

4. The line moves

The line keeps moving and so does your weight. This often happens when you are trying to maintain your weight.

If your line moves, you may find yourself gaining weight because you’re not staying true to your goals.

I don’t want to discourage you from drawing a line in the sand because having goals, objectives, and absolutes are useful when it comes to fat loss.

Just be prepared to reassess your goals and make sure that the line in the sand is one that is attainable and good for you.

Have you figuratively drawn a line in the sand when it comes to your weight?

Do you ever find it hard to stick to it?

If you do please do let me know on