This is the continuation in the series looking at the emotional side of the logistics of losing weight.
For some people anticipation is worse than realization. The anticipation of starting a diet might as well be like climbing Mt Everest. And in here lies the problem. First of all, don’t think of it as a diet. The word “diet” implies a beginning and an end. You’re not heading for a destination; you are on a lifelong journey. Secondly, if it feels like you are climbing a mountain, then you need to start back at the mole hills.
Get The Right Focus
Any change starts with a decision. If the change is just for a destination, like looking nice in a bathing suit or for a wedding or for a reunion, then chances are one of two things will happen. You will either not meet your goal or you will be like the 80% who regain their weight. But what if your decision is not to reach a definitive destination but rather to feel better in your clothing, have more energy throughout the day and to take of yourself. Imagine that, doing it just because you are worth it. Shifting the focus from losing weight to eating healthier changes the perspective. Making lifestyle changes to lose weight implies giving up and taking away, while eating healthier implies adding more and taking care.
Start And Stay With The Mole Hills
The second mistake that people make is taking on too much at once. In my training as a health coach the emphasis was always on making changes based on the areas where a client feels most ready and confident to begin, and to start with small, action-oriented changes. These are the mole hills that will take you down the path to taking care of yourself, while incidentally losing weight.
Examples of Mole Hills
What are some mole hills you could easily summit along your journey of taking care of yourself?
- Find a buddy who will support you. Spouse, friend, daughter or son, anyone who will take the journey with you and keep you energized and focused.
- Start grocery shopping with a list and don’t shop when you are hungry.
- Bring color to every plate through fruits and veggies. Try to get at least 3 different colors on your plate.
- Use a smaller plate, even a salad plate if you are not someone who likes fruits and veggies.
- Drink at least 2 liters of non-caloric, non-diet fluids a day.
- Shift to whole grain crackers, pasta, brown rice, and cereals. If that’s too much to do all at once then go half and half.
- Cut back on eating out. This means being aware of how many meals you purchase over the week and reducing that number. Instead, make a date night with a fun menu at home where you can control the salt and fat.
- Wear a pedometer. They do make people move more.
- Keep your treats to the end of the day.
- Watch TV less, read more. Choose your shows and then turn the TV off.
- Reflect back at the end of the day and recall what went well with each day.
- Go to bed at a set time each night and get 7-8 hours of sleep.
Any of these steps will help you to take care of yourself. You will notice a difference in how you feel. You will notice a difference in your energy level. You will gain more confidence as you realize that you are worth it and that it doesn’t have to be this huge production or insurmountable mountain. Even these changes will help boost your immune system with its daily fight against cancer cells, reduce the workload on your heart, and help your mind think more clearly, more positively. Now that’s a mindset that will take you on lifelong journey, not just a destination.