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Are You Ready to Make a Lifestyle Change
By Paige Waehner, About.com Guide
Updated March 29, 2010
About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board

When it comes to weight loss, the buzzwords you might here are: lifestyle and change...as in, you need to make one to be successful at losing weight. It may seem like losing weight is a simple goal--do some exercise, go on a diet and voila! But, if it were that simple, I'd be out of a job and you'd be too busy working out to read this.
While magazines and infomercials make it seem effortless, losing weight takes hard work and that often means changing different aspects of your life like, how you spend your time, how you schedule your day, and how/what you eat. If the way you live doesn't allow for these changes, how far will you get?

What's Your Lifestyle Like?
The reason lifestyle is so important is because how you live determines your choices and these choices decide how healthy you are and whether you're on the road to weight loss. So what is a healthy lifestyle? The typical components include not smoking, eating healthy foods, exercising and keeping the body at a healthy weight. Where do you fall on the healthy lifestyle continuum? First, figure out how much time you spend doing the following:
Sitting at a desk
Sitting in a car
Sitting in front of a TV
Sitting in front of a computer
Eating out at restaurants
Drinking alcohol
Eating fast food or junk foods
Staying up late/not getting enough sleep

Now, how much time do you spend:
Being active in general (taking the stairs, walking instead of driving, gardening, cleaning, etc.)
Doing cardio exercise
Strength training for all muscle groups with challenging weights
Preparing your own meals and snacks and eating fruits, veggies and whole grains
Reading food labels
Tracking your calories
Sleeping
Dealing with stress in a healthy way

If you spend more time doing the things in the first list than the second, it's time to reevaluate your priorities and decide what you really want for yourself. Living healthy means spending time and energy on your body--moving it around and paying attention to what you put into it. Staying in an unhealthy lifestyle means you can avoid expending energy, time and effort...but at what cost?

Choosing Health
As humans, we like habits and routines, so much that we often keep doing the same things even when we know they aren't good for us. Changing bad habits takes time and effort and, for a healthy lifestyle, you may be changing a variety of things like:
What time you get up each morning
What time you go to bed each night
How you spend your free time
How you spend your money
How you shop, cook and eat
How much TV you watch
What you do with your family and friends


Show hospitality to strangers for, by doing that, some have entertained angels unawares.
Never stop helping others because others think that they abuse you. That stranger can be Jesus and you lose the opportunity to serve, even in something simple.


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