I want to talk to you about the C word: Commitment – and how that relates to weight loss. Whenever you take a step forward or focus on an aspect no matter how big or small, I want you to view yourself as being committed to losing weight. Your small step forward can be as simple as being open about your struggles that day.

Most of the time, real failure is when we stop showing up and the momentum ceases. It’s when we lose focus. The reality is that weight loss can’t always be a priority but sometimes it needs to be. Sometimes you have to put a fair amount of time and energy if you want to get results. There are no exceptions to the rule. That’s just how change works in real life. I’ve seen it countless times in clients who ultimately ended up being successful in reaching their goals.

So an important thing to do is to keep adjusting your effort based on what’s happening in life, on a week-by-week basis, so you can keep moving forward. Because sometimes life gets in the way and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you’ve just got to play it by ear.

A great way to look at it is by using a “system of traffic lights” (red, amber and green) to gain some perspective on the level of stress in your life and how you can adjust to the stress accordingly:

Red: Red essentially stands for stop and thereby a lack of movement in the pursuit of your fitness goals.

It can be best described as the following: “There is something in my life that demands immediate attention over my weight loss goals.” Events in your life, which warrant the red light, can include: deaths, divorce, injuries, new born children or even extreme work deadlines.

During these times, even doing the absolute bare minimum to avoid gaining weight is a huge win. During these times we also need to remember not to punish ourselves because we have other priorities in life and that we are all doing the best we can with the tools available to us.

Amber: Amber essentially stands for foot on the pedal but unable to commit fully to your fitness goals.

It can be best described as the following: “I’m coping, but weight loss is not going to be my top priority and I can’t put all my time and energy into it.” Events in your life, which warrant an amber light can include: relationship trouble or problems with your children.

Most of us are spend our time in the amber light for most of our time and consequently if we stumble into a red light, we can sometimes lose the slow progress we’ve made. Within this section, progress is definitely possible but it’s not going to be as quick as we sometimes would like and that can be frustrating for some people, but it doesn’t mean that you should throw in the towel.

Green: Green essentially stands for being able to put your foot fully down on the pedal and able to apply a high level of commitment without negative consequences.

It can be best described as the following: “I’m good to go and I can make training a high priority for a while.” The people you see who experience great and short term transformations are most likely to be in the green light and consequently can throw everything but the kitchen sink at their weight loss goals.

Green-light situations are rare despite being plastered over social media (but the percentage of people who are fast transformations are still relatively small in comparison to the population). You can ultimately expect the fastest weight loss here though and can sometimes be a useful kick-starting tool for many people.

Understanding which light you fall in can help give you a little bit of perspective and refrain from feeling shameful about your efforts. Act according to which light you fall under and seize opportunities when they present themselves, because everyone can achieve weight loss, sooner or later.

Discussion: Which light are you in? What does that mean for you over the coming weeks?

Why not let me know via jake.gifford@phitlifestyle.com or check out our website to learn more about how we can help you move lights and get your body back?

Personal trainer Jake Gifford