When starting your journey towards a healthy lifestyle change for weight loss be sure to pack your optimism, determination and self-awareness. According to the transtheoretical model of change initiating the journey places you in the preparation stage. Within the past year you may have tested the waters in terms of reading self- help material online, spoke with your healthcare provider regarding weight loss or perhaps joined your local fitness center.
Now that you are prepared you have to believe you can do this. Right? Yes! You CAN do this! It is not uncommon after your research, go ahead from your healthcare provider and encouragement from your personal support group to find yourself identifying multiple obstacles to thwart your success. In these moments you must remind yourself of the many benefits weight loss rewards. The reduction in weight will subsequently reduce your risk of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hyperlipidemia. Weight reduction also reduces the strain on weight bearing joints such as your hips, knees, and ankles.
Now that you have reminded yourself of these benefits you must remind yourself of your personal successes. By doing so you build confidence, no success is too small. Surely you have accomplished something in life more challenging than remaining within a specified caloric limit for one meal while attaining a certain goal for grams of protein for the same meal. It is just one meal. Sure you have to repeat it, but seek small attainable goals one meal, one exercise, one water bottle at a time. This will help you to stay positive.
While you are preparing your meals Saturday afternoon for the week your child walks in with leftover holiday servings of most of the simple starches, gravies, and cheeses you have been attempting to avoid. No worries, you simply need to focus you energies elsewhere. Great time to go for a walk wouldn’t you say? Don’t forget your water! The temptation will pass if you are able to remove yourself or provide yourself with a distraction. Remember, for every temptation there is a way of escape. Exercise not only your body but your determination as well, push past moments like this one. Envision the healthier you. Look at your current body as a temporary housing of the you without hypertension, diabetes, painful joints or obesity. As you continue to work and stay focused you supply that inner you with the necessary strength and power to continue to chisel himself or herself from the inside out.
Healthy sustained weight loss is a marathon not a sprint. It takes commitment and work. It is not as simple as a surgery or taking a medication, although there are certainly situations when these modalities are appropriate and quite successful. Even with these modalities however, one must remain diligent to the total lifestyle change. You must have the self-awareness to know your limits and when you can surpass those limits. Know when you are simply making excuses to avoid exercise. In the case of being tempted by unhealthy food choices, are you the type that will consider finding al healthier alternative to that food choice? Become aware enough to know if you are truly hungry or simply thirsty. Try drinking water first. This may be all you need.
This journey may be long with hills and valleys but is certainly one worth traveling to the very end. Just be prepared and pack appropriately.
Agwanda M Hickman MSN, APN-BC