So you want to lose weight? Then what’s stopping you?

So you’ve identified the problem. You have decided you want to lose weight. Despite knowing where you are and where you want to be, you fail to take action. Why? And how do you get yourself to flip the switch?

There are many reasons people don’t take action on problems they’ve identified in their life. I think a common reason in weight loss is the feeling of being overwhelmed. Another reason may be because they don’t believe they will succeed. Their goal is just a distant idea, an ideal, a dream they haven’t embraced as a possibility.

One of the reasons I was able to lose the weight was because I fully embraced my goal as something that would happen. I knew that my goals would be achieved. I never doubted that.

If you feel overwhelmed about making healthy changes, start small. Make a contract with yourself for daily, weekly, monthly and big picture goals. Rather than focusing on the results, focus on the process. The basic principle is to make slow and gradual changes. Rather than saying you need to eat healthy and exercise a lot, look for smaller specific changes you can make.

You are going to have a hard time sticking to a diet if you don’t enjoy the food you eat. Find out which healthy foods you like. Chances are you will become more open to healthy foods as it becomes normal and comfortable. Start with healthy foods you like. First make sure you eat fruit and vegetables everyday. Then every meal. Then broaden your dietary horizons and try new types of fruits and vegetables. Then make sure you’re getting a full spectrum of nutrients. A good indication on the nutrients is by the color, so taste the rainbow. You can apply the same strategy to grains. If you eat white bread, try to gradually eat more whole grain. First have whole grain, then when you are ready, have 100% whole grain. Switch from white to brown rice or even try whole grain couscous or quinoa.

When it comes to exercise, start with activities that you actually enjoy. This can be a sport, dancing, running, hiking, swimming, biking, yoga, anything that involves movement. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Try to walk rather than drive. Find fitness classes and commit to that class for a certain amount of time. Go when it works for you. You will gradually make more time for exercise, but you will be most likely to go when it is convenient; when you have less excuses. Start by working out once a week. After a month, move up to twice. The next month, three times. Eventually you may find yourself having a hard time taking a rest day.

Always remember why you are doing this. Remind yourself of who you want to be. Why you don’t want to be where you are now. Remember that ultimately you are doing this for yourself and to improve your health and wellbeing.

You can do this.

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