I realize that I speak more about staying positive and less about weight loss. I guess it’s because I strongly believe in staying positive and finding balance in every part of your life is necessary in staying healthy. We can become easily distracted and discouraged when life throws a monkey wrench in our plans (my dad’s favorite saying), but now, I just want to talk about setting realistic goals.
When you’re starting out on your weight loss/healthy journey, it may be tempting to jump into things quickly because you want fast results, but sometimes that may come back to bite you on the bootay! You didn’t gain weight overnight, and guess what? You’re not going to lose it overnight, however, focus on enjoying the process. Celebrate the small changes that you will make and big pay offs are sure to come. Stay focused and DO NOT GIVE UP. So what can you do?
First, realize that what works for someone else may not work for you.
In fact, your lifestyle is not the same as Ms. Jones up the street. When I first started my journey years ago, I made modifications instead of completely changing everything in my life. I knew that I was a snacker and used that to my advantage. I split my main meals up into two and would disperse my calories throughout the day. I was eating more often, consuming a reasonable amount of calories, and didn’t feel like I was missing anything.
Second, set small, realistic and measurable goals.
For example, “I’m going to walk for 15 minutes, 3 days a week.” “I’m going to eat 1400-1600 calories daily of wholesome food.”
You want to set a goal that you can achieve and will serve as a foundation. You can always increase your walking time and the number of days you want to work out, but if you have a history of yo-yo dieting and not sticking to programs because you are easily overwhelmed, then try this out. Start small!
Third, become a journalist.
Getting a food/activity journal may seem a bit much for some people, but it holds you accountable for every morsel of food you consume and activity you do. I use to scribble down a few things in my life that were giving me trouble. Even if it was just a word or phrase. The fact that I could put words to my emotions and confusion really help me understand why I was craving a box of Girl Scout cookies or if in fact I was really hungry. You don’t have to become obsessed with journaling, but try it out for a few weeks and see if you notice a difference. Some of my journals are more than eight years old and sometimes I read through them. I can’t believe how far I’ve come.
Fourth, find the right support or go solo if you need to.
I’ve noticed that some people are very dependent on other people’s support, but I warn you! You can not predict how long someone else will be around to support you, which brings us back to the first step I mentioned. You have to go at this for your own reasons and at your own pace. Find someone who is dependable, just as motivated as you are, and will be a positive force in your life. However, you are your biggest supporter so going solo may not be such a bad idea. I was solo for years and even now, but I stayed focused and stayed away from as many negative distractions and people as possible. It’s your health and your life that counts.
Fifth, set other goals that have nothing to do with weight loss. Happy distractions!
I strongly encourage this because it can take a week or more to lose just one pound. That’s 3,500 calories to burn. If you are a very
impatient person, you need a happy distraction like training for a local 5K, planning a short road trip, trying out a new, healthy recipe that always wanted to make, or pushing yourself to finally doing those things that you’ve been longing to do. I created a bucket list (post: “I Think I’m Going to Need a Larger Bucket), which gives me a lot to look forward to. It feels good to cross things off my list and know that I’m finally moving forward.
Sixth, have a vision!
Not everyone is built to be a size 2. That’s just life, but envision a healthy weight and lifestyle that is suitable for you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t have that dream. Your vision may change from time to time as you get deeper into your journey, but that’s cool. You will change as a person regardless and sometimes change can be good. Life would be rather boring if we didn’t challenge ourselves, but you have it in you to make things happen. Lose weight, get healthy for the right reasons and not because you want to do it for someone else. Don’t just envision a beautiful body and face, but envision a new lifestyle as well.
My vision? Well, I like the idea of strutting through the Farmers Markets on the weekend in sunny California with glowing skin, a smile on my face, bags full of fresh produce, shiny hair, awesome tattoos on my back and legs, and feeling like a million bucks. I’m toned, curvy, and worry free. I think a positive attitude is the sexiest thing on this earth, but that girl’s booty in the pic is awesome motivation as well. I’m finding peace with myself these days!
People, stay focused, stay positive, and be always YOURSELF!