Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Accountability and Consistency

Accountability and consistency are two things that I feel are essential in achieving weight loss results.  I also feel that they go hand-in-hand. The two concepts influence one another, and influence your results.

Accountability in weight loss is simply being accountable for what you do.  You need to take responsibility for your actions.  In order to lose weight, you need to eat healthy and exercise.  No one else can take responsibility for what you do.  You can check-in with people, they can help you focus on being accountable, but in the end it's up to you.

Tools can help keep you on-track and accountable. You have to be honest though.

You can track what you eat, but you have to track it all. You're accountable for what goes into your mouth. You need to own it, even if it's something unhealthy. It doesn't mean it's bad to indulge in something, just make sure you're accountable for it. Cheating on tracking calories, carbs, fat, and other values will not do any harm to anyone else. However, sneaking those cupcakes and not tracking them is going to hinder your weight loss. It's okay to treat yourself. Just make sure you own up to doing so.  If you don't track these things, over time those items will add up.

Other people can be used like tools in weight loss. They can help motivate and inspire you.  You may join a weight loss challenge.  Your results will be known. Your progress will be shown to others.  For some people knowing that someone else is monitoring their progress helps to keep them accountable. This can be a friend, family member, co-worker, your physician, the leader of a weight loss program...Anyone who you feel comfortable with and who you choose to include in your weight loss. 

You can also make things a little more public if you want to.  Maybe you write a blog, posting your weight, your journey, your measurements, progress pictures, whatever you decide to post about. It's your blog, make it what you want.  Knowing that others are keeping a watchful eye on your progress is another way that might help you to be accountable.

Whatever you do, you need to be honest.  That's the point of accountability.  You're owning what you do, both the good and the not so good.  If you get off-track, it's okay (but don't expect to see progress during that time). You can get back on-track. It's all up to you, and only you can make sure you're doing what you have decided you want and need to do.

Enter consistency.

In order to see results, you need to be consistent. When you're consistent you're repeating the same healthy patterns.  Being healthy three of seven days a week is not going to get you where you want to be. I'm sure making small changes will show small results, maybe even initially. However, to reach a larger goal, you're going to have to do more. You have to stay with it, even through those rough times. You may cry, yell, or want to quit, but in order to be consistent, you'll push through it. In order to get where you want to be, you will find that inner-strength and you won't stop.

Together these can be a large part of your success. Consistency can make it easier for you to be accountable.  It's much easier to own up to doing the things that will help your success than those that will not.  Being accountable may make it easier for you to be consistent. If you know you have to weigh-in on a certain day, you might be more willing to be consistent. For example, if you're blogging about your progress, you need to be consistent with those blogs. If people are reading your blogs, that want to see your progress.  Whether you determine you'll blog weekly, bi-weekly, daily, or whatever works for you, you need to stick with it. You need to be accountable to your readers and if you are inconsistent with your posts, you're not doing so. If you say "I am going to blog about my progress weekly, " then do it!! Blogging inconsistently may have impact on your followers.  If your point of posting is to show progress, then you need to post.  If you don't it may seem like you don't care. People may not want to read if you're not into it. If you want to do it for yourself then consider keeping a journal; either paper or in a  program like Word.  Or something else. I feel that when you take on the role of maintaining a blog, you need to be in it. A blog isn't just for you, it's for others. Whether you want to network, make money, inspire, or you do it for motivation, it's out there for the public to see. I feel that it is important to commit if you're going to be a blogger.

Consistency and accountability are two big factors that have helped me in my weight loss. I know that when I'm inconsistent or I don't hold myself accountable, I'm not going to achieve results. I may even go the opposite direction and gain weight. I'm certain that's what I did for a couple months. I managed to gain ten pounds from my lowest weight. Even if it was a "fluke" weight, it wouldn't have been that much different from my normal weight. It's my responsibility. I wasn't accountable or consistent, therefore I gained. It's simple, easy, and makes sense.

I know that being consistent and holding myself accountable for my actions is something that I NEED to do in order to continue to not only lose weight but to be healthy.


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