We’ve all done it – the weight loss challenges. The 30 day *insert rule* challenge. The 21 day who-knows-what. ‘Biggest Loser’ at work every New Years. Challenge at your gym? Sign a girl up – I am winning that Chili’s gift card!
weight loss challenges keep you in the cycle.
That may have been hard to hear. Believe me when I say, I totally get it. I was the QUEEN (insert crown emoji) of those dang things. Whole 30, whole life challenge, 21 keto challenge, free challenges from the skinny instagram model I stalk…. you name it, I’ve done it.
Now, let me paint a pretty picture for you, and tell me if this sounds familiar:
You’re knee deep in a 30 day weight loss challenge. Some days are easy… some days are hard. It’s day 18…and somehow you’ve managed to avoid the bread at the work events, avoided wine at all costs, and have been living off eggs + sweet potato hash since god knows when. You. Are. Proud of yourself. As you should be… that is not easy 18 days in a row.
But wait, you still have 12 days left. Each day that goes by, the bread *looks* a little warmer. You swear your homemade ice cream spot has your name on the billboard. And if you have to order a side salad instead of fries when you’re out to lunch with your girlfriends one more time… someone’s gonna get it. *BUT YOU’RE ALMOST THERE!*
Let’s fast forward to the end of the weight loss challenge:
You did it! You made it a whole 30 days! Oh crap… now what? You now have the freedom to eat *normally* again, and you want to take it slow to keep all of that (mostly water) weight off. So out to dinner with your partner, you can finally indulge in one piece of the bread!
You have the bread and it is just beyonnnnnnnd. So fantastic, and you realize everything you’ve missed the past 30 days. The penne vodka is jumping out on the menu. The delicious carbonara, linguine in clam sauce, any and everything you’ve ever avoided looks too darn good. So you go hard.
But what do you tell yourself?
- I deserve it.
- I just worked so hard… I’ll get back on track tomorrow.
- I just screwed up with one piece of bread… may as well keep going.
- I’ll workout extra hard tomorrow to burn off these carbs.
This type of speak keeps you in that diet cycle. The guilt and shame around food, the exercising to punish yourself, all of it.
And remember, you indulged on Friday. There’s no way you can start on a Saturday, so may as well keep going until Monday!
You should think twice about joining weight loss challenges if:
- You count down until you can have certain foods again.
- Find yourself binge eating as soon as the challenge over.
- Spend no time assessing your thought process around the foods you are allowed (and not allowed)! to eat.
- The first one you tried didn’t ‘work,’ so you are trying another one.
- You’ve done a few, all with different rules, and you learned nothing.
- Once it ends, you celebrate, and vow to continue tomorrow.
When this is your mindset around the challenge, you don’t gain anything – except for all of the weight after it ends. And that is how you find yourself unable to lose weight, and unable to feel normal around food.
Did that sound familiar? That’s completely okay! Now you know how weight loss challenges can hinder your progress.
If you want to learn more, grab my emotional eating checklist to help you with tangible tips to stop eating when you aren’t hungry!