Sound familiar? So many of us have fallen into this yo-yo diet and exercise trap over the years. You decide you want to lose weight, start a program, and even start to see some results and then…life gets in the way. Before you know it, you're off your healthy living plan again. While SparkPeople has the tools and resources that make weight loss fun and uplifting—a true lifestyle change—you still need to commit to using them. You have to commit now and, well, forever. You have to choose to change your life, both when life is breezy and when things aren't going your way. Whether you have 5 pounds or 150 pounds to lose, you have to get serious if you're ever going to reach your goals.
So how do you know if it's time to get real? How do you know if you're committed to your weight-loss efforts this time around? If any of the five signs below sound like you, then you aren't 100 percent committed to getting healthy. Don't worry; we'll help you get there!
5 Signs It's Time to Get Real about Weight Loss
Sign #1: You keep waiting to start.
If you really want or need to lose weight but keep putting it off until tomorrow, next week, or even later in the future, you're not serious about weight loss. There is no perfect time to lose weight; you'll always have to deal with stress and work and LIFE, and there's no better way to get started than to jump right in today. Don't put off getting healthy for another day. Get healthy now. Why waste another day? Right this second you can start improving your health by doing something as simple as going for a short walk, choosing the stairs over the elevator or even looking up the online menu of the restaurant you're going to tonight and ordering a healthy dish. There's no time like the present. Your life starts now!
Stop putting it off: Tell a loved one that you're committed to changing your life and losing weight the right way. Then write down three simple things that you can do TODAY to be healthier, such as drinking a glass of water, walking around the block once or eating two fewer bites than you normally would. By sharing your goals, you'll stay accountable and by starting small, you'll build momentum to make more changes.
Sign #2: You can't do the things you want to do.
Did you once love to travel, but now have problems fitting in the airplane seat? Can you no longer play tag or run around with your kids? Does dancing with your friends or walking up a flight of stairs leave you winded? If you can no longer do what you need to do (walk without discomfort, take the stairs) or want to do (visit an amusement park, buy new clothes off the rack), it's time to get serious. With regular exercise and some simple food swaps, you can be back to your usual self and live your dreams.
Focus on functionality: For motivation, make a list of the things you want to do but can't do comfortably (or at all) right now. Weight loss isn't just about wearing smaller pants size; it will help you live the life you want. Your motivation can come from the list you made—all of your goals and dreams, both big and small. Then, with your doctor's blessing, begin a functional fitness program today. Go for regular walks to improve your cardiovascular fitness, and try these exercises to help make your everyday activities easier to do. Before you know it, the pounds will drop, but more importantly, you'll be able to do all the things you love to do.
Sign #3: You're facing chronic health issues.
Being overweight or obese puts a huge strain on your body and increases your risk for many chronic health problems, including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, metabolic syndrome, certain types of cancers, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease, fatty liver disease, pregnancy complications and premature death. Many of these conditions don't exhibit any symptoms, but that doesn't mean you haven't started developing them just because a doctor hasn't made a diagnosis yet. If any of these conditions run in your family or you know that you're at risk due to your weight or lifestyle, see a doctor right away. You can no longer treat weight-loss as an option. It's a necessity for you to save your own life.
Live longer and healthier: If you haven't had a physical in the last year, schedule one with your doctor today. If you do have any health issues, seek treatment and ask the doctor what types of physical activity you can do and if there are any dietary restrictions. Once your doctor has given the OK, get started with SparkPeople's beginner's exercise safety tips and start making healthier food choices to get on the road to a healthier you.
Sign #4: You give up easily.
Do you throw in the weight-loss towel after you eat a cookie or miss a single workout? Then you need to get real and learn to forgive yourself. Health and weight issues don't result from one small mistake during a 24-hour period; it's what you do day after day, time after time that really counts. You don't have to be perfect, but you do have to be consistent. So stop beating yourself up for every mistake. We all make them! It's what you do next that matters. Commit to making healthy choices most of the time, and you will reach your goals!
Get back on track: Promise that you'll be kind to yourself when you do slip up, and create a get-back-on-track plan. If you're not sure where to start, try one of these tips!
Sign #5: You're envious of others who have lost weight.
If you feel self-conscious about your body and size around others or feel extremely jealous of other people who have lost weight, then it's time for you to focus your energies on your own self-improvement. These feelings may signal something deeper that needs your attention. As you might guess, weight-loss isn't just about choosing to eat right and exercise. Many times, it's also about having the self-worth to make a change and believing that you deserve to do something positive for yourself!
Make yourself a priority: Stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone's journey and circumstances are different. So instead of wondering why you weren't blessed with a faster metabolism like your co-worker was, focus on what you love about yourself. The next time you become envious or self-conscious, remind yourself that you deserve good things in life, too, so commit to make healthy choices. Weight loss isn't a weakness, a desire to conform, or a sign that you're not awesome just the way you are. Every person is worthy of love, respect and self-care—and maintaining a healthy weight is part of that.
Losing weight is hard work, but the change begins with you and it starts right now. If any of these signs describe you, it's time to stop talking about weight loss and commit to it. A great way to begin is by signing up for a free account at SparkPeople.com and following the SparkDiet, a four-stage journey that teaches you how to make healthy lifestyle changes, one simple step at a time.
And if you're in need of a laugh after you get serious, check out these 10 humorous signs that you need to lose weight!
5 Signs It's Time to Get Serious about Weight Loss
The Time to Commit to Losing Weight is Now
You will earn 5 SparkPoints
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