I am sure you have all seen the image of the recent que and 8+hour wait on Hilary’s step close to the summit of Mt Everest as there has been an outcry for less tickets to be handed out given the high number of deaths with two Irish men losing their lives there over a week long period this year alone.
I have long used Everest as metaphor in may ways to clients, but one thing I love to use about is that the vast majority of deaths are on the decent. The challenge isn’t summiting it, but returning to base camp or the sea floor of Napal.
While obviously not taking away from the herculean task in getting to the peak of the world, people are determined, focused and driven to get to the top and once that is achieved its only natural for a huge sense of achievement to set up with a sigh of relief and of course immense fatigue. Combine all these factors together and you see more people lose concentration and ultimately their lives as a result.
This is a close comparison to the challenge all my clients and everyone looking to achieve their goals in health and fitness face. Again, not to take away the achievement it is in attaining your goal of losing X amount of weight, running a marathon etc the real challenge comes when you have hit your target and you need to switch focus from attaining your goal to maintaining it.
We all know far too many people who lost an incredible about of weight only to gain it and more back in record time. They like many who tackle Everest had attained their goal and lost concentration. The goal quickly needs to change to making it back safely and attaining the new weight.
Strictly speaking about weight loss for an minute, its relatively straight forward and simple (not easy) to lose weight, but once people hit their goals and the motivation which drove them towards and end goal starts to disappear and they stop doing the things that took them to their goal in the first place. What people need to do is to refocus and keep doing almost everything they where before and focus just as much on maintaining and making that into a new challenge.
For this reason its so vitally important that when people enter into a program to lose weight, it needs to be something they can maintain and must involve changes in their lifestyle they can maintain and enjoy.
Remember, getting to the top of Everest isn’t the goal, its getting to the top and back down alive and when you hit your goal you have only gone half way, the other half is were most people fail, its where you need to maintain and that’s the when the challenge really begins.