I’m a firm believer in natural progression. I believe that there is no single catalyst to force a woman to begin to commit to her health. I believe there is no such thing as waking up and saying, “Yup, today will be the day that I do this thing.” It just doesn’t happen that way. Not resulting in lasting life changes, no. I don’t think so.
Why do I believe that? Because weight loss is complex, overwhelming, and difficult. It’s hard to dive in head first if you don’t necessarily know what’s happening or why it’s happening to you. There’s no shame in that, when there are industries who put forth lots of money to keep you confused. We all know that money outweighs and outdoes everything nowadays. This is no different.
I am an advocate of putting one foot in front of the other… in the direction in which you want to go. As long as you do that, you will always be moving toward your goals.
“Okay, it’s easy to talk the talk, but do you have any suggestions on how to actually do it?”
I hear you thinking it. Of course I do!
First, accept that failure is a part of your growth. Remember that you’re changing a lifetime of bad habits. You’re adding things to your daily routine that will change your life. It doesn’t happen overnight, and you WILL fall down. Even after well over a year at it, I STILL occasionally fall down. I don’t give up, I don’t tell myself that I can’t do it, and I certainly don’t retreat into food – the thing that got me to obesity in the first place – when I feel bad about falling short.
What I do try to do is remind myself of my goals, take a hard look at why I fell short, and try my best to address that “why.” For example. If I promised myself no cakes or candies, and I have a slice of cake at a restaurant, the question becomes, “If I promised that I wouldn’t, why did I do it anyway?” If the answer becomes, “I just couldn’t resist that picture of that cake staring at me throughout dinner!” then I have to rationalize with myself a way to avoid the temptation. For those of you wondering, yes, this was a real issue for me. How did I overcome? I stopped going out to restaurants until I could build up the ability to overlook the pictures, and learn how to say no quickly, and mean it.
Next, accept that you have to make some hard decisions. Not hitting the restaurants? That’s a HARD decision! Please believe I love my On The Border taco salad (1,700 calories, 124g fat, 2,620mg sodium), my Cheesecake Factory Vanilla Bean Cheesecake (870cals, 558cals from fat, 62g fat), and, well… some other stuff we don’t have to talk about here. However, my decision not only saved me money, but saved myself calories, as well. Hard decision accepted, reward gained.
Thirdly, resolve within yourself that the follow-through won’t be easy. If you can’t stop going to McDonalds after work; and you realize that it’s because since you take the shortest route home, you can’t help but stop in to help you suffer through traffic… what options do you have? Better yet, what options do you allow yourself? Sure, you can buy healthy snacks and keep them in the car, but what if that doesn’t work? Are you willing to take the extra 5 minutes in your ride to avoid the McDonalds? Can you do that for yourself, even though it’s hard? It might not be easy to see in the beginning, but you’re teaching yourself a plethora of lessons with that one action:
- It’s ok to make difficult decisions for ME.
- It’s ok to suffer for my own greater good.
- It’s ok to push myself, because I am changing ME for the better.
- It’s ok to take the harder route, because I will be stronger in the end because of it.
- I am able to do this.
Remember that every challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow, no matter how successful the endeavor is or is not. As long as you take something away from the situation, it was not in vain. As long as you take away something from the situation and grow from it, you are putting one foot in front of the other. As long as you’ve learned one more way to get closer to your goal of a healthier lifestyle, you’re well on your way.
Be happy, be healthy!