The New Year is upon us.
This is an exciting time of year; your chance to have a clean slate and make the year whatever you want. As you slowly come out of your sugar and alcohol holiday-induced fog, you start to get that little inkling for change. Weight loss is the number one resolution made by Americans every year. This is the year that you’re going to do it. You are going to lose the weight this year for good. These don’t have to be just words or just another resolution to break. You CAN do this. Here’s how you start:
- Do Not Make Your Resolution About Weight – That’s right, I said it. Every year you resolve to lose x amount of pounds, and every year by February you’re pulling up to the drive-thru. This year change your focus! The number on the scale is the one aspect of weight loss that you cannot control, so why focus on that. That is setting yourself up for failure. If you resolve that you will lose 10 pounds by February and you work so hard and deny yourself and at the end of the month you’ve only lost 4 pounds, you’re likely to head straight to the fridge, completely ignoring all the great work you’ve done.
- Make Your Resolution About Specific Behaviors – Your weight is a direct result of your lifestyle. It’s plain and simple: you live a certain way, your body will reflect that (most of the time). Therefore, your resolution should be to change particular behaviors. The behaviors that support a healthy body weight include some type of exercise and movement every day, eating breakfast, cutting out fast food, adding vegetables to every meal, drinking water instead of soda or juice, and not snacking late at night. Change your behavior and your body will follow.
- Make Small Resolutions – Trying to change your life in one day is a recipe for frustration and failure. Instead, take it one week at a time. First week of January, resolve to start walking 3 times per week. Nothing drastic, just walking. The second week, resolve to start eating breakfast every day. The Third week, resolve to cook your dinner at home every night. And the fourth week, resolve to cut out fast food. By the end of the month you will feel better, have made four positive changes to your life, and no doubt have lost some weight. Remember, this is a life change, not a sprint to the end.
- Focus on the Positives – Stay away from the scale, at least for the first couple weeks. Although that may be the goal, it shouldn’t be the focus. Losing weight and seeing that scale go down is fun, but leave it at that. This is about a life change, not about the number on the scale. If you get out and exercise 4 days during the week and have made healthy choices for your meals, no one can take that away from you. You made those positive changes and you succeeded! Celebrate that! If you get on the scale and don’t see the results you want, that can distract you from the great strides you made that week.
- Find Your Real Reasons for Losing Weight – Losing weight represents something to all of us. Whether it is feeling better, looking better, fitting into a particular size, or just feeling “normal”. While you start making positive changes to your behavior, start thinking about what losing weight really means to you. For many of us, the weight is a symptom that we can focus on. However, when we really get down to it we just want to feel better about ourselves. We want to feel comfortable in our own skin. If you can let go of the number on the scale, you will find all those things long before you hit your magic weight number.
- Find Support for Your New Lifestyle – Social support is one of the biggest predictors of success when it comes to health and weight loss. You can find it all over. From friends and family, on this website, at the gym, or in a support group. Wherever you choose to look there are plenty of people out there who are trying to achieve the same things you are. You are definitely not alone in this pursuit! When you feel too tired to go on a walk or are just dying to make an entire pan of brownies, you’ll have that support there to get you through when maybe you couldn’t alone.
This is THE year! You CAN do this! Make your resolutions small and attainable and focus on how good that makes you feel. Your body will fall in line with all the positive changes.
Happy New Year!!!