It’s now January 19th. If you are like most people, you set some goals for yourself in 2015. If one of yours was to lose some weight, you probably look to your bathroom scale for feedback. Or perhaps you gauge pounds lost by how your clothes feel. While these visible indicators show you’re releasing weight, they don’t reveal the whole story. As any yo-yo dieter knows, these progress markers can come and go. Some other signs of success, however, aren’t so obvious, but once you achieve them they’re with you forever. A missing element in many weight loss approaches is developing your inner strength. But the Take Shape for Life program, that helps us create Optimal Health, is very different. We help you create a healthy body, healthy mind and if you choose to pay it forward, healthy finances as well. You’ll reach your health goals in all areas when you learn to let go of negativity and fear and improve your thought processes. Here are some indicators that can help you evaluate where you are.
1. Do You Have Patience Sometimes people feel discouraged when working on creating a healthy body the pounds don’t come off fast enough or when they hit a plateau. They then give up too quickly. Permanent weight loss takes time. When you feel defeated re-evaluate with your health coach your nutrition and exercise plan, and have patience. If it takes a little longer to release the weight, the more time you have to stop, challenge and choose toward a new direction. Patience helps you do that. You not only lose weight responsibly, you become a more confident person in the process.
2. Do You Persevere Through Set-backs As you develop new lifestyle habits, you may falter sometimes. We all do. It doesn’t matter that you slip; what matters is what you do about it. Use set-backs as a valuable opportunity to strengthen your strong side. For example, if you missed exercising for several weeks, tell yourself with no judgment, “Tomorrow is a new day to move forward.” Each time you persevere, you develop confidence. You weaken that taunting inner voice that says, “See, you can’t do this.” Perseverance responds, “Yes, I can”!
3. Do You Accept Your Body Accepting your body doesn’t mean you tolerate being overweight. It means you honor your body as it is, while helping it become the best it can be. If it’s a big leap right now to “love” or even “like” your body, that’s OK. What’s important is to respect it. That means speaking to your body with kind words. It means giving it nutritious foods and movement so it thrives. You’ll reach your weight loss goals when you stop rebelling against your body. As you accept your body as the treasured gift it is, taking good care of it becomes your only option.
4. Do You Focus on Your Goal Focus on where you’re headed instead of obsessing about where you are. You can’t move forward if your mind dwells on self-critical thoughts about being overweight. What we focus our attention on grows. Shift negative attention away from your current weight and concentrate on the positive lifestyle changes you’re making. This inspires you to succeed. When your desire to look forward overshadows the tendency to complain about where you are, you’ll reach your goal more easily.
5. Do You Make Yourself a Priority To create a healthy weight, your well-being must be of prime importance. This means setting boundaries. For example, if you plan to exercise after work and your friend asks to go shopping, what do you do? Do you skip exercise or do you skip shopping? If breaking promises to yourself becomes a pattern, you’re either not committed to your goals or you make other people’s needs more important than your own. When you make yourself a priority, however, you’ll not only reach your weight loss goal, your success will be long lasting!
6. Do You Use Your Support System If you are part of the Healthy Games Challenge happening right now, then you are experiencing what a great role support plays towards creating health in your life. And isn’t it fun? Each day you receive great information about things like why it’s so important to get enough rest, getting some quiet time for yourself, drinking enough water, following your eating plan, connecting with your coach and more. We get to read short segments from Dr. A’s books that teach us about skills we can use to create habits of health that will serve us for a life time.
We can track our meals and exercise, Etc. We are in the process of reaching our health goals surrounded by a community of others doing the same thing. And it feels so good!
If you are not yet part of this challenge, don’t despair. You have till Jan 26th to join, but don’t delay either! Contact your health coach now! Everyone can win this challenge, but your chances obviously are better the sooner you jump in!
Dr. A explains, all we have to do is to decide! “Decide that you want to improve your health and your life. In the very second this occurs and you choose optimal health, you change your orientation.”
Another quote I love is from William James. “When you have a choice and you don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.”
So what is your choice? Is it optimal health? If so, we hope you will evaluate where you are in this process. Are you being patient, moving through set-backs, accepting what is right now, maintaining a laser focus on your goal, keeping yourself a priority and taking advantage of the awesome support available to you through your health coach and the Healthy Games challenge?
If you are struggling in any of these areas, please contact your Health Coach. Our goal is to help you reach your goals!
Content from Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen, Jan Paxman, RN and Diane Petrella, MSW