Monday, June 03, 2013
I was recently asked for some advice as to how to stick to a weight-loss/health-improvement program. I'm no expert, and there are lots of people on Sparkpeople with more weight loss and years of success maintaining. But at the time, I was on the spot and here's the first part of what I said (I'll save part two for another blog entry):
You want to know how to stick to your weight-loss program? The same way a house sticks to the ground. The house needs a solid foundation, or it will fall down. Likewise, you need a foundation to anchor you in your program. Find your foundational habit.
For me, that habit is exercise. When I'm exercising 5 or 6 days a week, all my other commitments are there. I plan my meals. I take my lunch. I skip the junk food. I resist temptations, regardless of special occasions. My weekends are no trouble. When I'm not exercising, my head quickly is somewhere else (somewhere bad), and I'm not taking care of myself the same way.
For you, exercise might not be the foundation. Maybe your foundation is meal-planning, and your whole program flows from planning what you'll eat a week ahead. Or maybe it's something else.
Figure out what it takes to set your foundation, and then build on it. Make that foundation a rock-solid commitment to yourself. Cling to it. Make it non-negotiable for you or your family, so that well-meaning folks or outside influences cannot undermine it. Make it matter that much to you.
When you've done this, if you're like me, you'll find that the rest is so much less effort-ful that you'll feel positive every day.