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Thursday
Oct012015

10 Unexpected Truths of a Transformation Journey

Maybe these questions look familiar to you.

  • "What would a Transformation Challenge mean for my life?"
  • "How much change would I see?"
  • "What kind of support would I get?"
  • "What would I achieve that I never thought possible?"
  • "And what would my 'after' photo look like???"

While we all have an interest in getting healthier, sometimes life offers opportunities to dramatically propel us forward in our journeys!

We’re given the chance to experience something greater than we ourselves would necessarily pursue on our own. We’re given a chance to tap into a bigger collective energy and motivational momentum than we could conjure alone. The 90-Day Challenge is one of these opportunities....

For 3 months’ time, a system of unmatched support, continuous momentum and pre-set structure enable tens of thousands of our members to take on a dramatic vision for their lives – a vision that leaves them wholly transformed at the finish.

We see the most dramatic physical results in our past winners and finalists. Yet, for all those who participate, inner and outer changes set them on a new trajectory of confidence, health and vitality.

Parallel to the exciting competition aspect of the 90-Day are the very personal journeys that define each participant’s experience. Within the transformation process, however, some principle truths generally hold.

What can YOU count on between your “before” and “after”? Check out these 10 unexpected truths of a transformation journey, and see what you’ll find on the way to your success!

You will eventually love your “before” photo.

Nobody really enjoys taking their infamous “before” photo. When we don’t feel comfortable in our skin, showing skin in front of the camera sounds like the worst idea ever! Yet, when it comes to progress check-ins, comparing photos is one of the best ways to help assure you that you are changing.

Just remind yourself that you don’t have to share that photo! Rest assured you can keep it safe for your eyes only! Eventually, however, you’ll love looking back at that photo and celebrate it as the day you started your journey.

You will get a lot of questions.

Once people know you’re participating in the Challenge and start noticing your consistent progress, you’ll get questions and reactions from just about everyone. Some of us like this sort of attention and feedback because it provides reassurance, while others may not enjoy being in the limelight.

Be prepared for people at the gym to ask “How are you doing on your plan?” while friends, family and coworkers might start requesting the secrets behind your amazing results!

You should plan for a plateau.

If you emotionally accept ahead of time that a plateau is going to happen, you’ll be much more prepared to weather – and overcome – it when it does. Just know that plateaus are exceedingly common, if not inevitable, although they vary in duration.

It’s most important to remember that a plateau isn’t a time to abandon your plan but to keep maintaining the positive inputs and sending the right healthy signals to your body. Be sure to have your coach or support buddy on standby for the times you need reassurance! (Everyone does!)

You might actually enjoy the exercise.

Many of us don’t like the idea of “having” to go to the gym, or we simply believe that we don’t enjoy physical activity at all. Once you get into a consistent routine and actually reap the benefits of physical activity (e.g. increased energy, improved mood, better sleep, etc.), you might start to realize you could’ve been a gym rat all along!

It’s important to find something that you like and plan workout dates with others to make it more social and more enjoyable. Make a point of trying something you haven’t before – whether it be swimming (a great cardio routine!), lifting weights or even participating in a group fitness class. 

You will get emotional.

It happens to our roughest and toughest male and female success stories! Weight loss is emotional – no matter how you spin it….

If you’ve been living in a body that you’re uncomfortable with for a long period of time, and that body begins to literally shed sizes, you’ll go through all sorts of emotions ranging from pure happiness all the way to being surprisingly distraught.

Know that the emotional fluctuation is normal and that weight loss involves hormonal shifts that can influence this fluctuation. Be prepared to make peace with the ups and downs. 

You might lose (and gain!) some friends.

It’s amazing how much our social environments impact our health and weight. While some people in your life may be great examples or simply great supporters of your transformation goals, others may take a different view of the changes you’re making.

If you have friends who continually contribute negative energy to your journey, you might just have to take a break from them (or break up with them for good). Keep people around you who have a vested interest in seeing you healthy and can positively influence you in a health-oriented lifestyle. You might even make some new (and better!) relationships throughout your journey!

You will need a haircut – and maybe even some new makeup.

This one is my favorite…. The best part of a transformation is a makeover!

When you lose weight in the facial area, you might start to see a new face shape along with cheekbones that have been hiding for years! My best recommendation is to set up a consultation with a good stylist, who can assess your face and determine the best hairstyle (and facial hair look) for you.

For my makeup wearers, I also suggest getting a professional consultation or experimenting with makeup to find out how to accent facial features that are more noticeable now. It’s amazing the changes even your face will go through after a large shift in body composition. 

You’ll come to realize that being healthy is more important than losing the weight.

You’ll also realize the weight gain initially was a symptom of your underlying health! Some of our best transformations came about when the individual stopped trying to lose weight and instead focused on getting healthy. Your new behaviors will become even more important because you’ll practice them to live longer and feel better versus simply trying to avoid regaining weight.

It may take time to know who the “new you” is.

This might be the most unexpected truth in your journey....

Having hit your transformation goal, you may not fully recognize or identify with the person in the mirror. Alternatively, you may still “see” the before image in the reflection. It can take time for your brain to really catch up with what your body looks like after a major change.

You might start wondering if you’ve lost your identity or if this was your hidden identity all along. You might continue to wear clothing that’s too big for you or not believe the positive comments people throw your way.

Be ready for this temporary experience of incongruence, and continue to surround yourself with supportive people who will unconditionally accept you and offer honest feedback.

You’ll start asking, “What’s next?”

Although there are many finish lines throughout a transformation itself, the journey opens up a whole new world of ongoing goals and healthy possibilities. You’ll realize a healthy way of life journey never truly ends, and you’ll appreciate how setting new objectives can deepen your commitment to health and keep you moving forward.

You’ll be ready to “extend” your 90-Day experience by focusing on new goals such as 5/10Ks, no-sugar challenges, active vacations, etc. that have nothing to do with weight loss.

Your Challenge commitment will ultimately change more than your body but can transform your life far beyond the scope of those 90 days!

Are you interested in learning more about what a 90-Day might mean for your journey? Talk with one of our weight loss coaches today. Thanks for reading, everyone, and best wishes to all who are participating in the Fall Challenge! 

In health, Anika Christ, Senior Program Manager of Life Time Weight Loss

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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