Why we should cut the deadlines (caution swearing)
Why deadlines are bad for our waistlines
Setting goals is excellent. I'm a big dreamer, goal setting all the time. However, what is often recommended for motivation - fun runs, marathons, tough mudder etc, has the potential to be detrimental long term. Women especially tend to set deadlines. "By this date I'll have lost 10kgs", "gotten rid of my tummy", "put on this amount of muscle".
Dates we often choose are weddings, parties, reunions, birthdays, holidays and the annual summer beach body rush. Whilst great for a surge of motivation, what happens once the event is over? You've relaxed your diet, you skip the gym, you have 'just one more piece', more than one more time.
What if we don't quite get there? If we lost 5kg instead of 10? If we had to stop cause work got busy, life got hectic, or we were just so damn hungry that we couldn't last?
Deadlines make us feel good knowing there is an end to the "torture" in sight, but they can also whip us hard with a big batch of "I suck", "I failed", "I'm a loser", "there's no point, pass me the family bucket of popcorn chicken".
Women are MEAN! We could be the loveliest, most caring person in the world, but the meanest b*tch to ourselves when we don't quite achieve what we want. Especially when it comes to our appearance and stepping out of our comfort zones.
Why do we do this? Would you ever look at your best friend who just told you she's upset she "fell off the diet wagon", or didn't get the body she wanted in time for (insert event) and tell her....."omg, you're such a fucking failure! Why did you even bother?"?! Some of us might, but if your friend does say things like that to you - you should probably invest in some new friends.
We need to be way kinder to ourselves! We also need to realise that there is no deadline for being healthy. This is a tough pill to swallow. There's no diet fix, no quick way out, no magic tonic. You simply have to make the effort, consistently, for life. This is really hard for some people. But once you come to this realisation that its not going to be "over" in 7 days, 3 weeks, 12 weeks, and focus on incorporating long term solutions and changes that suit your lifestyle and schedules - you're much more inclined to stick with it, and maintain the desired effects. If you don't, then you'll always be back and forth on the yo-yo diets and never fully satisfied with the outcomes.
Positive thoughts = positive results
A study of 126 overweight women found focusing on the behavioural changes (eating healthy, exercising, nutrition, health benefits etc) had a higher success rate for women reaching their goals and daily success with their diet.
What would happen if you decided to just believe in yourself? Whilst you probably won't turn into a supermodel, you'll likely become a more positive, powerful and productive version of you. Believing in yourself, pushing yourself, and continuing to be the best version of yourself should never have a deadline. Make a healthy lifestyle work - long term.