Healthy, effective weight loss plans, such as Weight Watchers, emphasize the importance of “changing the way you do things” “making lifestyle changes” and “transforming negative, self-defeating behaviors into positive and healthy ones.” Hearing this can be more than a little frightening at first. It does sound like an incredible amount of work and really life-altering. After all, we do the things we do and behave the way we do, because we find value and some level of satisfaction in it.
As you set-out to improve your health and how you feel about yourself, it’s key to acknowledge that although you’ll need to make adjustments, you are by no means creating a completely new “you” that has no resemblance to whatever the “old” you might have been. You’re just creating a healthier you…a you at a healthier weight, a you with more self-esteem and confidence, a you feeling better from the inside out, a you with more energy, a you empowered to be the best you can be. Certainly, there are habits to be changed or improved upon and knowledge to be gained—that’s why you decided to take this step after all. But let’s keep things in perspective and fear at-bay as you recognize you’re already way ahead of the game by just recognizing what you already have to work with:
- You know that you should limit your fats and oils; you hear it everyday from a variety of sources and most likely are very aware of what foods are high-fat without even looking at the nutrition label
- You probably already eat from a variety of food groups. Sure you might favor one or two more than the others, but all-in-all you do try to hit a balance or at least realize that its to your best interest to include foods from all the major groups.
- The positive effects associated with drinking enough water haven’t passed you by. You know that you have to remain hydrated or you feel absolutely awful.
- You understand that exercise is a component if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Even if “exercise” is a four-letter word in your vocabulary, the truth is you already get some in…whether it consists of walking around the mall as you shop for bargains, dancing at a club or playing with the kids.
- You believe that their is a mind-body connection and change has to start internally (in your mind) and the body follows its lead. This reminds me of this joke:
A Zen master visiting New York City goes up to a hot dog vendor and says, “Make me one with everything.”
The hot dog vendor fixes a hot dog and hands it to the Zen master, who pays with a $20 bill.
The vendor puts the bill in the cash box and closes it. “Excuse me, but where’s my change?” asks the Zen master.
The vendor responds, “Change must come from within.”
- Even the biggest skeptic can’t dispute the power behind a support network. Social support helps people feel like they are part of a community devoted to a common goal. The camaraderie and exchange of ideas helps them to succeed.
See, you already know so many things about what you need to do to live a healthier life and –maybe, no, let’s make that probably–you’re already practicing some of these, at least to some extent. Good start, wouldn’t you say? The next step is to take each little behavior and make it a little better. “Change” won’t seem quite so dramatic or personality-altering when you put it into perspective.
So… just exercise more, eat a greater variety of food in the right portions, keep a positive mindset and connect with others who have similar goal. Little by little you’ll get the job done and feel terrific about it as all these things become second-nature.
If you go into any endeavor thinking you’re utterly unequipped, it’s not only destructive, it’s simply not true. Approach weight loss and the lifestyle changes associated with it as refreshingly familiar, ramp it up and keep the fizz going as you go through the process.
So think about it: What skills and knowledge do you already possess that will help you along with your weight loss program? I assure you, you’ll have yourself quite a list that will serve as a launching pad in getting you to your goal.