I've never like the word obesity - it has a terrible connotation and frankly labels make me uncomfortable. So let's agree that now that I am back on board writing for this site, that we'll assume that most people who come to read the information and to blogs here - want to lose weight. With that in mind, let's look at why you want to lose weight. First let's see how much weight you want to lose. Is this a case of suddenly finding that you've outgrown some clothes and you realize that insidiously you are gaining weight? Is this a case of years and years of weight gain and weight loss with no end in sight? Or are you seriously overweight and out-of-control, even though you know that you are developing serious health risks or you already have frank disease?
That is what makes weight loss so daunting. It really is a personal battle and the stakes can be as little as five pounds or it can be serious diabetes and heart disease coupled with an enormous load of excess weight. That's why goals are so important. If you set the bar too high, meaning that you radically decide to change your habits, overnight, you will most likely fail. And typically what makes you set those really lofty goals is - a weight loss target that is simply not maintainable. That's not to say that a few people can't achieve amazing weight loss goals and sustain them. It just means that most cannot, and you need to know that upfront in order to make intelligent changes in your life that you can keep, long term.
That's a pretty hard challenge in these times of quick fix mentality. You just have to watch one of the most popular shows on TV to know that gargantuan amounts of weight can be lost if you choose to devote hours a day to exercise and if you choose to eat an extremely low calorie diet. Or maybe it's another trendy book that has you convinced that you can lose upwards of ten pounds a week and actually keep it off....NOT!! Most experts will tell you that weight loss of a pound or two a week that is accomplished by reducing calories and increasing physical activity is the proper way to achieve sustainable weight loss. But I will tell you that knowing some things about yourself can go a long way to make that diet and exercise program stick this time.
Are you someone who goes all day not eating for fear that when you come home you won't be able to stop eating? Maybe the reason why you eat endlessly at night is partially because you are starving and partially because you do have some control issues. Do you have certain foods that seem to cause you to binge uncontrollably, especially when you introduce them after avoidance for several days? You may indeed have an issue with certain trigger foods and you may have to identify them clearly and avoid them, or at minimum only have them under certain controlled situations. Some people simply can't handle chocolate and they will often allow themselves small tastes or a treat at a restaurant but never keep that particular temptation at home. Do you find that you are eating a lot of fast food and highly processed foods because you really never learned to cook and it's just easier? You may need some nutrition classes and some formal cooking classes - which can even be accomplished these days online!! Finally do you dread exercise choosing to hide behind your weight as an excuse - it hurts too much - I get too out of breath - I don't want people to see me struggling.....there is no easy way to get started, but all it takes is a simple walk outside to get the process moving along. You simply have to want it badly, and you have to recognize that it's in your best health interest to lose the extra weight.
So choose a goal or two that can be accomplished without too much suffering and keep them in place for 21 days. Three weeks is typically how long it takes to establish a behavior so that it sticks. Maybe you give up soda, maybe you replace a processed mid-morning snack with a piece of fruit, or maybe you decide to begin a walking program. The important thing is....you decide.
Published On: October 11, 2009