FIND YOUR WEIGHT LOSS FOCUS
FINE TUNE YOUR ATTITUDE FOR SUCCESSFUL WEIGHT LOSS
The first step towards the achievement of any goal is to “put on your game face” or put yourself in the proper mind set. Everyone from a professional athlete to a toddler just learning to walk must prepare themselves mentally for the challenge that is to follow. Weight loss is no different. Just as you set goals as a 10K runner, you must also set goals for weight loss.
WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT
The ideal image in our society has become that of the super thin super model. Striving to force our bodies into this sometimes-unhealthy thinness can cause many health problems including osteoporosis, anemia, muscle loss, hair loss and eating disorders.
Instead of striving for extreme thinness, we should be trying to achieve a healthy body weight and composition. This is different for everyone.
Some individuals are genetically given a heavier, thick boned body type. Some are born with a thin, long boned body type and some and combination of the two. Thank goodness this is so. It would be spooky indeed, if we all looked exactly alike.
Do not try to force your body into a shape that it cannot reach or maintain. Your body has a healthy weight that you should strive to reach and maintain. At your healthy weight, you will look and feel your best.
IGNORE THE HYPE
You have seen all of the advertisements pushing easy and fool proof weight loss plans. Some are pills that you swallow, strange food combinations, high protein, high carbohydrate, low protein, low carbohydrate, high fat, low fat, starvation, body wraps, mud baths and on and on and on. Everyone seems to have their own “can’t lose” diet plan. Well, they are right. You can’t lose weight permanently and they can’t lose because they make millions of dollars from people buying their product.
These trendy and gimmicky plans and products simply do not work in the long run. There is no effort free way to regain or maintain your healthy weight. Do not get sucked into the web that the weight loss industry is weaving.
Weight loss is easy but it does require effort. It is easy because anyone can reach and maintain their healthy weight. The formula is simple. You must expend more calories than you take in. It requires effort because you must implement healthy and sensible lifestyle changes that includes a consistent and lifelong exercise program.
THE TYPICAL STAGES OF CHANGE
Studies have shown that there are several stages that are reached when attempting to make lifestyle changes. Depending on the particular study there may be as few as three or as many as seven stages.
For our purposes here we will concentrate on four main stages. These stages are pre-contemplation, contemplation, action and maintenance.
Pre-contemplation is the stage where the change first enters your mind. At this stage you begin to think that you should make a lifestyle change, but have no immediate plans to do so. This stage can be short or it can last for years. Some never make it past this stage.
In the contemplation stage, you begin to set goals and devise strategies to reach your goals. This stage can again be short or can drag on for years. Many people move back and forth between this stage and the pre-contemplation stage or between this stage and the next stage – action. This stage is a critical stage because the choices made here will have a direct influence on the success or failure of the program. If you choose to take the “easy way” of starvation diets, diet drugs or weird food combinations, in over 90% of the cases you are dooming yourself to failure.
The action stage is where the lifestyle change begins. This is where you put the choices made in the contemplation stage, to work. If you made the proper choices, you will begin to eat a healthy and varied diet, and you will begin a sensible exercise program.
In the maintenance stage, your lifestyle change is no longer a change. It is now your new lifestyle. You are feeling better and looking better. You no longer look at your diet as a diet. It is simply the way you eat and fuel your body. Exercise has become a part of your everyday life.
CUT THE FAT
As you can see, the four steps outlined above could take years to complete. We all lack patience and want immediate results. That is why so much money is wasted on the get thin quick scams. But hey, this does not have to take years. All you need is an attitude change. Get tough.
You can easily eliminate the pre-contemplation stage. Don’t think about thinking about it. (Isn’t that what the pre-contemplation stage really is.) Just make your plans and implement them NOW! This is not difficult. Psychologists and researchers like to write about, define, dissect and study all of these different stages and tell us that this is what we do. But guess what? We don’t have do go through these stages or any other stages. Get tough. Take control of your life. Take control of your body. Learn what you have to do make the changes you want to make. Define your goals. Create a gameplan and implement your plan NOW. It is really that easy.
Okay, now that I told you that it is easy you are probably wondering why everyone isn’t doing it. We are becoming a society of “couch potatoes”. Each generation is learning to exercise less, eat more of the wrong foods and take less responsibility for themselves. We must “unlearn” these bad habits.
The first step to reverse this disturbing trend is to take responsibility for our bodies. We must realize that we and only we can control our body and our health. We are the only ones that can make the proper food choice to fuel our bodies. We are the only ones that can strengthen our muscles and heart through proper exercise. If we are overweight or out of shape, there is no one to blame but ourselves. Once responsibility is accepted, the remaining steps become much easier.
Next, you must take action now, not tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes when you procrastinate. Even if you take just a small step. Take a step today and everyday that follows. These small steps will add up to big gains in the long run.