“What happens when I reach my goal weight? What if I’m subconsciously slowing my progress because I don’t know what I’ll do next?”
The feeling when a client comes to a big realization is indescribable. It’s why I love health coaching. The thing is, deep down, you know how to fix your problems. You know what you need to do and only you can know how you ultimately want to feel. As a health coach, I’m there to keep my clients accountable and to help them sift through their thoughts, feelings and struggles. Have you ever noticed that AHA moment when you say something out loud to a friend and it finally clicks in your mind? Sometimes you have to hear yourself say it instead of only thinking it.
We dug deeper into my client’s love for goals, love for staying busy and how her eating habits have changed. She pointed out that she loved having that goal to work toward and the feeling of anticipation, so she was afraid of what would happen when she hit her goal. She spent so much energy and attention on losing weight for so many years that she was accustomed to that feeling.
So I started to think…struggling to lose weight and running into road blocks is the #1 thing health coaches hear from clients. I wanted to share her story because I think it can help many people.
Here are a few fears that may be blocking you:
1. You’re afraid of your new body. Whether it’s the attention you receive, or just looking different, change can be scary! Especially if you’ve wrapped your weight into your identity.
2. Maintaining your goal weight isn’t as exciting as the process of losing weight.
3. You thrive on structure, and so maintaining a weight isn’t as comfortable as losing weight. You find it’s easier to have a few too many treats and lose track.
4. You’re afraid of succeeding. You don’t feel worthy of reaching this goal.
5. You have a diet mentality instead of embracing a lifestyle change.
One thing a lot of clients struggle with is thinking that they’ll “finally be happy” when they reach their goal weight. If you don’t start to accept your body during the process and embrace self-love and acceptance, chances are you will still have low self-esteem and struggle with body image when you do reach your goal.
Things to try if you’re fearing your goal weight:
1. Start a gratitude journal. Each day write down 3 things you’re thankful for.
This will pull you into the present moment and keep you from tying all of your gratitude toward your weight loss goal.
2. Focus on health as a way of life, rather than a goal.
You should always be working toward staying healthy. It’s actually good to enjoy the journey more than the destination, because in this case, there is no destination.
3. Set goals other than just a number on the scale.
If you’re very goal-oriented and need that as motivation, you can find other goals to set. Focus on a fitness goal like bending into that yoga pose you’ve always admired or running a 9 minute mile. Or focus on finding the perfect meals for optimal energy throughout the day.
4. Get curious about your actions.
a. Are you sabotaging yourself?
If you find yourself skipping the gym or having a few too many treats, it’s time to get curious. Self-sabotage is a very real problem that you may not have considered. Dr. Danielle Dowling has a great post on how to stop self-sabotage.
b. Are you chasing the wrong goal?
Another thing to consider is that the number on the scale isn’t really what you want or need. Maybe you’re in the group who think it will mean happiness, but deep down, you know that’s not true. Maybe your energy would be better spent on a fitness goal or even a new creative venture. The goal here is really to find what makes you happy.
Have you ever felt nervous about reaching a goal? What did you do?