Before you act rashly - late-night binge coming on? - stop and literally stand still in your tracks. Then take five big, deep breaths. Now carefully contemplate the results of your decisions and actions before you make them. If you eat that second slice of chocolate cake, are you really going to feel happier? Or will you end up feeling worse because you gulped down all that sugar and fat? Pressing the PAUSE button will enable you to move from a 'go' state, in which you are impulsive and reactionary, to a 'know' state, in which you can take a long-term view and get yourself under control.
Avoid making the same diet mistakes twice by seeking feedback from a professional. If your budget allows, enlist an R.D. for a onetime assessment of your food log. Same with fitness: Hire a personal trainer for a session or two and adopt some new exercises while perfecting your form. A qualified mentor can determine where you are falling short and suggest exactly how to improve. Sure, it can be a blow to the ego-and maybe the wallet-to discover the error of your ways, but it will accelerate your growth tremendously.
“To be challenged is good. The challenged life may be the best therapist.”
—GAIL SHEEHY, American writer
Anxiety is a useless emotion. Its only function is to derail your focus and rob you of valuable energy that you could channel into creating your new life. To knock it out, root yourself in the present moment by asking yourself how things are right now. Are you taking measures to achieve your goals? Good! Dealing with the tasks at hand helps pave the way to a better future.
This may seem unrelated to weight loss, but it's not: Getting organized frees up the mental energy and precious time that disorganization robs you of. Devote 15 minutes daily to going through your mail and straightening up-you'll notice a difference in your state of mind right away.
Pick someone in your life you admire-not necessarily someone who runs marathons or eats ultra-healthfully. Your grandfather, a college professor, a friend-it doesn't matter as long as it's someone you look up to and have respect for. Whenever you're doing something outside your comfort zone or feel yourself losing steam, visualize this person at your side, telling you how much he or she believes in you.
What’s a common ailment among elderly kangaroos?