Why are the numbers on your scale climbing?
That is a valid and often frustrating question. And the answer isn’t always sweet and simple.
“Any change in your life circumstances can produce changes in eating and exercise, which leads to weight gain,” stated Edward Abramson, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology at California State University, author of Emotional Eating.
So why has your weight increased? And, more importantly, what can you do about it?
1. Life’s Fat Traps
A little addressed fact about weight gain is that everyone gains weight for different reasons. So often we hear about one-size-fits-all weight loss solutions that take little or no consideration of how the extra weight piled up in the first place.
Take me for example. Strong ever since I could remember. Had weights in my hands since I was about 12 years old. In all my years, I’ve seen some really lean times and some very not so lean times.
I can tell you one thing though: All those good and bad times had a lot of things in common, but I’ll get to that in a second.
Recently, I took a step back and realized that I needed to give time back to me to focus on my fitness. Like many people, I have a problem finding balance in my life and while I love devoting my time to help others achieve their fitness dreams, I have to make sure that I’m living optimally as well.
To start my journey it was important to understand why I started gaining weight in the first place.
I had to think back to the time in my life when my weight, strength and overall fitness was just right.
What about YOU?
Were you in your teens?
Or maybe your thirties?
Then, I pictured myself at ideal spot. Imagine yours too.
Now when did things change? Was it a gradual addition of pounds that accumulated over a span of multiple years? Or did you gain it all at once?
Check out the following weight gain triggers and determine if one is responsible for YOUR plight.
- College: The college years are some of the easiest for gaining weight. In fact, a recent study by Cornell University found that on average, college freshman gain about 0.5 pounds a week – almost 11 times more than the average weight gain among 17-and 18-year olds and almost 20 times more than the average weight gain among American adults.
- Marriage: There’s nothing like holy matrimony to encourage a barrage of calories to overtake your diet. Late night comfort snacks are always more enjoyable when you have someone to share them with—and who better than the person who pledged to stick by your side through sickness or health?
- Pregnancy: Talk about a great time to gain weight! And we’re not just talking about women here—most men admit that they gained ‘sympathy’ pounds right along with their wife. Hormonal changes along with strong encouragement from everyone you know to indulge in anything their heart desires leave most pregnant women with a feeling of entitlement when it comes to food.
- Career: Though you may not realize it, your career choice plays a major hand in your weight. Those who go from an active lifestyle to spending 8 hours a day behind a desk and another 2 hours commuting almost universally gain weight. Conversely, people who spend their 8 hours in constant motion find weight loss a natural byproduct of the job. (This one had A LOT to do with mine. Sounds crazy that it could happen to a fitness professional, right? But, the truth of the matter is that it’s happening a lot more than you would think these days.)
2. New Habits
Close your eyes and go back to the fat trap that triggered your weight gain. What changed in your lifestyle? To help sort things out, I’ve broken things down into two specific behavioral categories.
- Eating Habits: Did your eating pattern change at this time in your life? If your weight gain occurred in college then maybe you went from eating 3 square meals to an all-you-can-eat buffet style cafeteria. Or if marriage was your weight gain trigger, then maybe you went from eating small meals to fattening comfort food at night- think Taco Bell and Wendys. Pregnancy brings on the perfect environment for a change in eating habits. You go from eating normally, to eating ‘for two’, to munching on your baby’s snacks right along with him! Your job can also dictate your eating schedule. Long hours and early meetings may cause you to grab a donut or chips from the vending machine.
- Activity Level: The second category that leads to weight gain is your activity level. Simply put, what kind of exercise were you doing before your life changing event and how does it compare to your current exercise regime? Chances are good that you were doing more exercise before your weight gain began—which means that you are doing less exercise today! Go ahead, think back to the exercises or physical activities that you used to do and compare them to your schedule today.
3. Your Transformation
You’ve figured out which fat trap in your life led to weight gain, and then narrowed down the exact behaviors that changed as a result, so this naturally leads us to a solution.
It’s time to make a change.
Let me make it easy for you. I reached out to a friend and asked for a referral to a coach to start getting my ass in gear and you should to! Remember, even coaches need coaches! If we need guidance from others than YOU DO TO!
DO doctors operate on themselves? Come on, you know the answer is no.
I’ll let you know more about my progress in coming posts but until then do the right thing: Call or email us today to get started on a fitness program that will make you immune to all of life’s fat traps. Ask for help like I did and you’ll find (like our clients have) that everything is easier when you have a friend to guide you.
Once you start working with us, those numbers on your scale will quickly change direction. I PROMISE.