Missed television shows, hours in the gym instead of sitting at home, giving up foods you love, and eating differently from your friends and family are just a few of the sacrifices you might make when dieting. Sure, losing weight is a lot of work and requires many sacrifices on your part, but are those sacrifices worth losing weight for?
Let’s face it. The word sacrifice isn’t one with a lot of positive connotations. One dictionary defines sacrifice as the “Forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim.”
In some ways, it doesn’t even seem fair that you’d have to sacrifice anything to lose weight. Just clean up your diet and boom—you’ve fixed the problem.
The issue is that cleaning up your diet does require sacrifices. The longer you’ve been overweight the more sacrificial those changes feel.
You have to make sacrifices to lose weight because the habits you’ve developed that caused you to become overweight in the first place are the ones contributing to your weight problem today.
And in most cases, those are the habits you’ve got to give up.
Common Sacrifices When Losing Weight
I think you might find it helpful to make a list of some of the changes or sacrifices you need to make when losing weight. So in addition to the few sacrifices I mentioned in the introductory paragraph, I’ve put together a list of four more. I am a list maker; when I lost my weight, knowing what I was giving up and what I was gaining helped me stay focused and committed to the long-term prospect of losing weight.
1. Sleep – You might have to get up a little earlier or go to bed a little later to get your exercise time in.
2. Relaxation Time – Instead of sitting around visiting with friends, watching movies, or surfing the internet, you might have to give up some of that time to plan meals, exercise, or prepare food for the next day.
3. Comfortable Relationships – For some people, myself included, one of the hardest sacrifices to make is losing relationships that were built around food. When I changed my diet, some of my friends weren’t happy and stopped including me when they went out to dinner or had a food-centered party. They didn’t want my new diet to ruin their fun.
4. Junk Food – You don’t have to give up every single junk food item you enjoy when losing weight, but you will need to cut back drastically and cut some of them out entirely.
Looking at Sacrifices in a Positive Light
You might be thinking that the sacrifices you make or the foods you give up aren’t worth it. But I promise you they are.
It’s all in your perspective.
If you go into your diet bemoaning the fact that you can no longer eat M&M’s for lunch or have an appetizer and a dessert at your favorite restaurant, you will be miserable.
Instead of thinking about sacrifices as only a loss, consider instead what you gain.
For example, if you get up 30 minutes earlier to take a brisk walk, you’ve burned some calories, ramped up your metabolism for a few hours, and started your day on a healthy note. That’s all positive.
When you turn down the offer of dessert or junk food, you’ve given yourself more room in your diet for healthy, filling foods. That’s a positive.
And when you can finally get back into a smaller sized pair of pants, fulfill a long-desired fitness goal, or feel comfortable in your own skin, all the sacrifices you made to get there are 100 percent worth it.