There is ONE question we need to ask ourselves. ONE question that can make a huge difference in our choices, and therefore our results.
This is THE question we really need to ask anytime we want to make a big change or start something new, and I think it’s a question that many of us kind of skip over in the hurry to just do that next big new thing!
I remember about 10 years ago I wanted to change my hair—specifically, I wanted to go red/auburn rather than the blond highlights I’d been sporting for the few years prior. So I did!
With the help of a quality hairdresser, we made me a redhead in the course of a couple of hours.
Awesome, right?!? Hmmmmmm…it was awesome until most of the color had washed out of my hair in the first 10 days and I was scrambling to get the right shampoos and conditioners to make it last longer.
It was great until the third week when all of my gray hairs came sparkling out for all the world to see—and even at 31, I had lots of them.
By the fourth week, I realized there was no way I could reasonably maintain this hair color without a huge amount of energy and expense. So I went back to the more manageable blond (gray hair camouflaging!) highlights.
And then what….
There was the time I threw myself into training for a marathon in 6 months—except I wasn’t in shape AT ALL and ended up with a stress fracture 3 months in.
Seemed like a great idea in the beginning, when I was going to raise money for charity and lose 20 pounds of post-breakup weight gain!
And then what….
Then there was the time right after I’d gotten married, and my husband was stationed in Germany while I was still living in Seattle, finishing up the school year before (hopefully) moving to Germany with him, when I felt the need to ‘get skinny’ by exercising more and taking Hydroxycut. This was back when Hydroxycut was the full-ephedra variety—before people figured out this caused cardiac issues.
I lost some weight/leaned out a little, but not a ton since I wasn’t changing my diet—the pills were going to do the work for me!—but I gained a nasty temper, borderline anxiety attacks, a manic response to everything which added to my insecurities instead of making them go away.
Even so, I kept taking Hydroxycut for a while because it was a great pre-workout stimulant (insert face palm here), I didn’t think I looked good enough, and I was afraid of what would happen if I stopped taking it.
In each of those situations, and so many more, I just acted—took drastic action, in fact—without ever stopping to consider what would happen on the other side of that decision—And Then What??
It’s like when we go on a diet. We are all kinds of charged up to make a big change in our weight, our appearance and we just can’t wait to feel and look better! We throw ourselves in, full steam, and do what it takes until we finish the program or hit the right number on the scale.
What we so many times forget, or just neglect, to ask is: What happens AFTER I finish this diet/challenge/program?
We do the 21-Day Fix, investing the roughly $140 for the kit—because this is going to FIX things!
We lose weight and inches.
We get compliments.
We feel accomplished…And then what?
What happens the next 21 days?
Do you do another 21-day fix, or do you go back to your old habits and regain all you lost—including some confidence?
We decide we’re going to follow one of the Herbalife or Shakeology plans, complete with all the necessary products, for a month.
We lose weight—because we’re definitely taking in fewer calories and maybe getting the ‘help’ of some appetite suppressants.
But the plan isn’t sustainable. It doesn’t account for birthday parties, and social occasions, and it costs a small fortune that really isn’t in your monthly budget.
And then what?
Do we try to find a way to keep up with the cost of these products?
Do we just go back to our old habits? Do we turn to another, less expensive weight loss product to help us ‘keep it off?’
The one question to ask before we throw the baby out with the bathwater, before we spend a bunch of money on a weight loss kit, challenge, plan, pill, potion or program: AND THEN WHAT?
What will we do on the other side of that choice and effort?
What will we do when the challenge is over, or the diet has reached it’s desired effect?
If we take a pill, potion, prescription or supplement system, do we plan to take it FOREVER?
When we stop taking the product, and I seriously doubt any of us plan to take a weight loss supplement all the way into old age, WHAT HAPPENS THEN?
The biggest problem with all these diet and weight-loss programs, products and approaches is that they are simply designed to be temporary.
They were never built, or meant to last. They were created to provide a financially lucrative band-aid.
But what about when we start with small habit changes, like we’ve been talking about lately? When we are able to make roughly 26 of those small habit changes over the course of just one year, we can also ask And Then What?
Then we are on a successful, sustainable path towards maintaining a healthy weight and body composition, not to mention sparing our sanity and our pocketbooks.
We are in the process of finding the true-forever solution—the one that fits us best, adapts to our lifestyle, that we like and have ownership of, that’s what.
We know ourselves, we trust ourselves, we are in charge of ourselves—and it’s freaking awesome.
THAT is something no diet, pill, potion, program or challenge will ever be able to give us.