Read an awesome article about weight loss yesterday. It had to do with the psychology of how people view goals.
Scientists had 3 groups perform tasks with 20 sections and the scientists measured how quickly they finished each section from start to finish.
Group one had a count down, as in they finished, and the 1 of the 20 icons dropped off, finish another task, then another icon drops off until all 20 were gone.
Group two had a count UP. Finish a task, get an icon until they reached 20.
Group three had a combination. 20 icons, but only the one they were working on was lit. The ones that were completed were faded out, the ones still to be completed were faded out.
Productivity between groups one and two were similar with a slight boost to group two. The group that did the worst was group three - ESPECIALLY when that group was in the middle numbers of tasks.
The applicability to weight loss? When losing a lot of weight - like 100 pounds or more - the MIDDLE numbers are actually the hardest mentally to shed. Each end of the journey is too far away at 50 pounds; it's been a long journey, and there is still a loooong journey to go. While physically the last 10 might be harder, mentally, the goal is in sight along with all the excitement, so there is a kind of a 'second wind' that kicks in for the last leg.
Or so the scientists say.
Since starting with my trainer on July 1st, I've lost 59 pounds, I'd say in my case, the first 20 were wicked hard, the next 30 were pretty easy (relatively), and YES I can witness that physically and mentally, the last 10 have been brutally hard. It feels like the goal is sooooo far away and even though I'm over half way through, I keep second guessing everything I've done to get myself here.
What got me here? well with a few variations and tweaks - this...
Cardio in the AM (4x), cardio in the PM (5-6x), along with strength 3x a week, trainer 1x a week
Daily ab work
Yoga 4x a week
1700 - 1900 calories (on good days, on bad days, let's just say the numbers are lower)
100 ounces of water
Sharp limits on anything processed or high in fat or calories
This got me to where I am - but is it what I need for the last 40? Are my doubts just a result of being far away from my goal? Do I need to make changes? If so, what?
Going back to the research, the suggestion is to focus on the building numbers and try to soften the focus on how many there are to go. This made me chuckle, because of course if anyone asks me about how I'm doing, I'll always, without fail, say "X down, X to go." So, maybe that's part of my problem? I dunno....
The other thing I think about is that if I keep doing what I'm doing, I WILL lose weight, even if it is slow, but every pound adds up. Give it 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months.....It will happen.
Thoughts to take with me today: Maybe I just need to dance with the one that brung me....