Monday, December 31, 2012
If you are reading this, I bet chances are very good that you have set a New Year's Resolution to lose weight. If so, congratulations on taking that first step! I am proud of you, even though I don't know you. I know that if I am doing it, you can do it, too.
But saying your goal isn't enough; you have to do it, commit to it, work at it, and see it through. Did you know that only 8% of people will actually see their New Year's Resolutions happen? Which means many of you reading this will quit in a few weeks unless you decide you will NOT be a statistic.
I am proud of you for getting on SparkPeople. Some of you have been here for a long time, some left and came back and recommitted to your goals, and some of you are brand new. If you haven't been here before, I challenge you to log in every single day--there are so many fabulous resources on here!
I am no different from you. I have lost weight and gained it all back for over 10 years now. But I am down 14 pounds so far, and am feeling good for it. You will have to change your lifestyle for your goal to happen. I would like to share my tips for success that I hope will help you, too.
1)This is a LIFESTYLE CHANGE, not a diet. Diets always fail. Fad diets don't work. Diet pills don't work. There are no shortcuts. Losing weight is, and should be, a slow process. You didn't gain weight overnight, so you won't lose it in a week. First, change your MINDSET. You are committing to making a life-long lifestyle change.
2)Find exercise you truly, genuinely enjoy, or you won't stick with it. Be honest with yourself; if you are an outdoors person all the way, would you stick with going to the gym? Probably not. If you love the outdoors, you can walk, run, bike, rollerblade, play with your kids, hike, swim (when it is warm enough of course), play a sport, etc. If the gym interests you, you could try the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, stair climber, or whatever looks like you would enjoy it. Rather work out at home? Play dance games on the Wii or Xbox, get exercise videos, or look up workout videos here on SP or on Youtube. Commit to exercise you actually see yourself enjoying!
3)Make a life-long change in what you eat. You can't "diet" now and go back to what you were eating after the weight is off, or you will gain it all back. You need to fit in whole grains (whole grain bread, brown rice, etc); fruits and veggies; lean protein; lean dairy; healthy fat (canola oil, olive oil, nuts, fish, etc); and lots of water. And MAKE SURE you still eat your favorite foods! I make a point about once a week for me and my husband to eat a meal that contains one of our favorites. He loves pizza, so I will buy a frozen pizza and eat ONE SLICE, with some steamed veggies on the side and feek totally satisfied. I adore cheese and crackers, so I buy Triscuits and eat one serving with one ounce of low-fat cheese. You will absolutely fail if you cut out the foods you love. Find a way to fit them in and then eating healthy isn't a chore!
4)Let everyone know your goals. You are more likely to stick with if if others are rooting for you. If you don't have anyone, then I will help!
5)Plan for setbacks. You will have them. You will have a day where you gorge yourself and feel awful for it; learn from it and move on. You will hurt yourself and have to lay off of exercise for a week or two; just commit to getting right back to it when it is safe to. You will hit a plateau; remind yourself that it won't last forever. Setbacks will happen. Expect them, and have a plan of action for how to handle them.
6)Visualize ONE WEEK FROM NOW, stepping on the scale, seeing the number down. Imagine ONE OR TWO MONTHS FROM NOW, your pants being baggy and going down a size. IMAGINE YOURSELF 6 MONTHS FROM NOW, what you will look like and feel like. Now, imagine all these mile markers and imagine how you will feel if you gave up in a week; won't you be disappointed? A year from now, you'll wish you started today. So start today!
7)If you choose to stay overweight, you must understand that you will end up with at least one of these diseases: heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, hernias, joint problems, cancer. Will you be okay telling your significant other, child, family, or friend that you have a disease and won't be around for them because eating foods you love was more important than being there for them? I want you really think about that. You are valuable to yourself and to all those who surround you, and you owe it to you and to the ones you love to be around!
I sincerely pray that something in this post has been useful to you. Please comment if this entry has helped you in any way. I plan to make an entry once a week with tips that help me and so I invite you to check back in with me. Bless you all...and enjoy a HEALTHY New Year!