It’s so easy to let life get in the way when it comes to losing weight and taking care of yourself. This happens even if intellectually you know the awesome benefits that await you. Don’t let stress, fear or being overwhelmed hold you back. It’s a fact that if you were at a healthy weight and took better care of yourself you would feel better, have more energy, be more productive and maximize your enjoyment of life and activities with those you love. So what do you do??
You are the only one who can set yourself up for success and make the necessary changes. I don’t say this to stress you out, I share this as a hard core reality so you can get past the anxiety of change and get on to less weight and more life! It’s up to you and we are here to help you get past your barriers – you bring the motivation and determination and we can teach you the rest!
Here are some tips to get you started in the right direction:
Know Your Limits – What I mean is that I am giving you a prescription (permission) to NOT over-schedule yourself so you can get some “me” time in. This means getting comfortable saying “No” to things that stress you out and prevent you from accomplishing your goals. This can be done in a nice way so that guilt doesn’t take over. Be sympathetic, but firm. For example “I’m sorry, I cannot do this right now”. Answer the “why” question if it comes up with honesty “It doesn’t fit with my schedule” or “I can’t do this but I can (fill in with something more reasonable)”. Honesty is always best so you don’t lead people on and then disappoint them later. It’s ok! There are only 24 hours in a day. If you don’t fill your schedule with the things that mean the most to you, others will fill it in for you. You will be serving them much better in the future if you are happy and healthy.
Get enough sleep and feel renewed for a change (not to mention the fact that your body will be storing less fat).
Learn to eat for energy and health not live to eat whatever is convenient and available (Weight Management University™ and My Weight Loss Academy teach you how to do this in your particular situation incorporating your favorite foods as well).
De-stress with creative and enjoyable (yes – I said enjoyable) fitness activities. You may not believe me but I have seen so many people who “hate” fitness work it into their life and now they don’t let anything get in the way.
Day to day stress will always be a part of life but if you are healthier and happier, you will be able to handle what life sends your way. Always remember, you are not alone. We are here to help!
I was talking with a client the other day and I asked how many times they had attempted to lose weight and they replied “Every Monday”. Perhaps this resonates with you. You know how it goes. Over the weekend you over-indulge and then feel bad on Sunday and sort of beat yourself up until you are “over yourself” and vow that Monday you will change and get back on track or get a fresh start. That works great until around Wednesday (or hopefully even longer) and then you get stressed, someone/something upsets you, a saboteur in your life influences you and your efforts are all but over and you are back to your old ways of coping which often involves food.
So what do you do? What will make that initial desire and zest to accomplish your goal become a reality and enjoyable way of life? What will make the dynamic duo of desire and motivation sustainable? Here are some steps that will help you keep your motivation going.
Start with setting a realistic goal. What is it you want to accomplish? Don’t make it too complicated but if it is a long-term goal (i.e. lose 20 pounds by January 1, 2013), you are going to need to set short term goals for each week so that you are not overwhelmed and set up for failure from the start. If you don’t know where you are going, it’s hard to be very motivated.
Only you can determine what your motivation is – it is different for everyone. It needs to be strong enough to sustain you. Understand that your motivation can/will change as you progress towards your goal. For example, you might have started out wanting to lose 20 pounds for a reunion but find that you feel so great and you have positively influenced the habits of your family that you want to incorporate additional fitness and increase your lean body mass by a few percentage points and then run that 5K you have always wanted to do.
Envision yourself at your goal and focus on that during challenging times. Surround yourself with like-minded people who positively influence you rather than sabotage your efforts.
Focus on the here and now and talk to yourself (you have to read Penny’s article). Focus on the positive – the more you stay committed to each minute/hour/day…the closer you are to lifelong healthy habits and meeting/exceeding your goal.
Keep yourself in check with daily weights and a full body composition at CFWLS once a week.
Get help if you need it! You don’t have to go it alone. Weight loss shouldn’t be about deprivation. It is about being satisfied, learning how what you eat affects you and your metabolism and having fun – really! Life is too short otherwise. If you are stuck, we are here to help!
Reward yourself along the way with a new class, fitness center membership, personal training, pedicure, new outfit – your choice. You deserve to be happy!
While it is true that a lot of people want to lose weight for health reasons, it is also true that people want to lose weight to look good. How we look on the outside greatly affects how we feel about ourselves inside. People who are at a healthy weight receive compliments from family and friends, and this improves their self-esteem in one way or another.
In contrast, overweight people are often criticized for being heavy or excluded from activities and this usually has a negative impact on their self esteem. It may also lead to depression. Hearing hurtful words like, “you are ugly”, or “we don’t have your size”, could pull your self-esteem to the ground. Experts point out that people with low self-esteem tend to eat more. Using this as a defense mechanism and they may not have the will power needed to exercise to help lose the extra weight. This means, if you are serious about shedding the excess weight, you should start conditioning your mind first. Here are 6 positive actions you can start right now:
- Convert negative thoughts to positive ones. Negativity prevents you from achieving your goals. A good dose of positive thought will increase your drive to lose weight and be physically fit. Instead of saying, “I can’t do it”, say, “I can do it”. Instead of saying “I do not have time for workouts”, say “I WILL find time to workout”.
- Forgive yourself. Focus on progress instead of perfection. Losing weight and maintaining it is a gradual process.
- Don’t blame your genes. Though your genetic makeup may play a part in your body shape and tendencies to gain weight, it is still YOU who makes the decisions on what to eat and how much you workout.
- Keep track of your progress to help get you motivated. Keep a journal or a scrapbook where you post your weight losses and your feelings on your progress. It will act as an additional motivator in your weight loss journey.
- Seek out positive people who have the type of lifestyle habits you are looking for. They provide inspiration and will have a great influence on your behavior. Receiving compliments from them can greatly boost your self-image. We all love recognition for our efforts and this adds to our motivation.
- Be Happy. Your choice to be happy, healthy & positive is reflection of your love of yourself!
“I can’t exercise, I’m too _____________________”. You fill in the blank. Trust me, I’ve heard every excuse there is. Yes, there are a few reasons that may get you an exercise pass but even then, there are usually a few things that you can do to get in some type of workout.
The most common excuse I hear is, ”I don’t have enough time”. Oddly enough, the busiest people I know make it a priority and put it on their schedule. Successful people will find the time. Take a 10 minute walk during your lunch break or set your alarm 30 minutes earlier a few days a week.
“I’m too tired”. What time of day do you feel your best? It’s easier to get moving if you plan your workouts for the time of day that suits your energy levels. Many find that a morning routine gives them the momentum to get through the day while others use their workout to unwind and distress after a long day on the job. Do what works best for you but you may have to try several timeslots before you find the right fit.
“I don’t know where to start”. How about a group fitness class? Our instructors guide you through exercises that will work all of your major muscle groups and there is no reading required! If group settings aren’t for you, a personal training session may be a good investment.
“I’ve tried this before”. Yes, maybe you have. Start again by setting small realistic goals and remember the reason that you are working out. Acknowledge your goals and find little ways to reward yourself for accomplishing them.
Stick to a routine and you will start to notice a difference in the way you feel and maybe even in the way you look. Do you find that each activity is getting easier? Maybe you are just getting stronger!
Want to try something fun? Check out a selection of quick and easy exercises that we have available for you on Doc Weight Loss through YouTube. Our instructors and trainers have put together some exercises that require little or no equipment and can be done in the time that it takes you to read this article! Also take a look at the board ‘Weight Loss Fitness’ on our Pinterest page!
Focus on what you CAN do—not on what you CAN’’T!
Now that vacations are over and school is back in session, are you getting back on track with your weight loss efforts? You can overhaul your diet by taking small steps over time and still reach your goals. Let’s start with these simple tips:
#1 Don’t rush, go slow… Take slow small steps to reach your goals. For example, designate a day as fish day, or add a piece of produce to your daily brown bag lunch.
#2 Drink your water… Water is cheap and carb free. Find it difficult to drink 8 cups of water each day? Think small. Drink 1 glass first thing in the morning. Resolve to drink one more cup of water today than you think you did yesterday!
#3 Go for color… Colorful produce is packed with vitamins and minerals, along with disease fighting qualities. Always reach for the rainbow.
#4 Take control of mindless munching… Pop a piece of gum or a sugar-free mint in your mouth. Pay attention and look at each piece of food you plan to eat, busy your hands with a glass of water or a cup of tea. Conversation is also a great alternative.
#5 Set yourself up for success… Leave temptations—ice cream, chips, soda—at the grocery store. Socialize with non-food events for example, get together with friends in the park for a hike or head to the movies.
Bonus: Keep your body thriving. Move your body for 30 minutes every day by going for a walk, washing the car, taking a hike or just playing with the kids. Get your blood pumping! Sleep helps to recharge and cope with stress, so be sure to get the rest you need.
By taking small steps, you can reach any goal you strive to succeed!
Admit it. You were singing along. It’s okay – I do it too! And we talk to ourselves too – some do it quietly with no one knowing. Others are a little more obvious. Their lips may move or they may even be outright loud. But we all do it. Some of it may be good, but some of it might not.
The way in which we talk to ourselves can be quite telling. It can be motivating or self -destructive. That internal voice can be your angel or your devil. Take some time and really listen to your self-talk. Is it encouraging or discouraging?
If you’er not your own best friend by lifting yourself up with positive, reassuring, cheery thoughts you may be a negative thinker that sets yourself up for defeat before you even start your day.
Your first step is to listen to your head talk. If you are hearing things like, “ I hate my body”, “I will never be able to lose weight”, ”why bother to try and lose weight, I always fail”, you have already set yourself up for failure.
Every time you hear yourself talk in these negative statements say “NO”. You may even want to give yourself a negative reinforcement like the snap of a rubber band on your wrist.
Your next step is to change that negative thought to a positive one. An example may be when you say, “I can’t”, instead say “NO…why can’t I?”
Finally, fill your thoughts with positive statements through out your day before those negative thoughts can even enter your mind. These short statements called affirmations are designed to replace those negative sabotaging thoughts. Repeating them over and over can reinforce a more positive attitude.
Let’s take the above examples of those negative statements:
“ I hate my body”, change to “I love the way my body can heal itself”.
“ I will never be able to lose weight”, change to” I can lose this weight”.
“ Why bother to lose weight, I always fail”, change to ”This is my time to succeed”.
Make your own list of positive affirmations. Choose one and repeat it for a few days or a week and see how you can change the way you talk to yourself. It’s time to be your own best friend!
Most people consider overeating as a single event such as a meal or a party but there are numerous ways to overeat. Not really listening to your hunger level is of course one method of overeating. Others may be related more to mindless eating:
You eat too fast not allowing your body to signal the “I’m full” message.
- Waiting about 5 minutes before you start eating (look and smell).
- Put your utensils down between each bite.
- Chew your food slowly, noting the texture and taste.
- If you are eating multiple courses take a five to ten minute break between each course.
- Use smaller utensils so you pick up smaller amounts.
- Set a clock at your place setting and stretch your meal out to 30 minutes.
You have portion control problems.
- Use a smaller a plate, such as bread or salad plate.
- Measure and weigh your food.
- Have your spouse or friend serve your plate.
- Avoid family style table serving.
- Get up from the table as soon as you finish eating.
You sample your food while cooking.
- Chew gum while cooking.
- Place the sample on your plate as part of your meal.
- Ask a family member to taste it for you.
- Allow other family members to prepare the meal.
You eat or snack while watching television.
- Eating only at the kitchen/dining room table.
- Avoid eating while standing up.
- Turn off all distractions and concentrate on the meal itself.
- Avoid eating out of the package (plate your portion).
These are only a few possible overeating scenarios. Others may include late night snacking, eating leftovers while cleaning up, the drive thru pull, skipping meals and than overindulging. What ever your overeating issues may be your weight management counselor at CFWLS can help you explore solutions.