Much like the decision to quit smoking, the actual decision to lose weight happens in a moment of commitment. It’s that moment when you’ve just “had enough”. You’re tired of making excuses to yourself. Sometimes it can take months or years to get to that moment of personal choice, but the true decision happens in an instant.
Face Your Reasons Squarely
You’ve had enough of looking down at a protruding belly, enough of hips that splay to the side when you sit, and enough of fat arms that look awful in short sleeves.
You’ve had more than enough of wondering how other people see you, and whether your weight is affecting your opportunity for promotion or other success. You’ve had enough of struggling to bend down to pick up an item or even tie your shoes.
You know your health is at risk, and you want to live long enough to see your loved ones reach milestones in their lives.
In that moment, you just decide to do what’s necessary to move to a slimmer you. You’re willing to make lifestyle changes. You let go of worries about the changes that will happen in your life due to losing weight, and you decide to lose weight for your own reasons, not because anyone else is pushing you.
After your decision to lose weight, you begin with taking stock of where you are. You’ve probably thought about it a lot during the time leading up to your commitment. What does the scale say? What’s your current clothing size? What weight-associated health issues have been coming up in your medical visits, such as blood pressure, high colesteral, diabetes, etc? This is a good time to write down your specific reasons for losing weight so that you can revisit them later.
Create a Weight Loss Strategy
Next is a weight loss strategy. It can involve slow progression or a hard push to see results fast – it really depends on your choices. You’ll plan for how you’ll lose the weight, and how you’ll overcome obstacles along the way. You’ll develop strategies that help you be prepared for implementing weight loss during a busy life. Perhaps that will involve preparing meals or healthy snacks in advance, or avoiding restaurants as much as possible.
You may decide to incorporate mild or major exercise. Although exercise isn’t critical for weight loss, it’s certainly helpful – muscles burn about three times the calories that fat tissues do, so exercise helps with maintaining weight loss later. In general, assume that adding even mild regular exercise to your weight loss decision will increase the speed of weight loss by about 30%.
Engage Your Support System
Now that you’ve decided to lose weight, motivation isn’t as much of a problem, but support is still necessary. Because you want to maximize your chances of success, you get help. You may find a weight loss buddy, a dietician, or a personal trainer. You definitely want your medical doctor to check whether there is anything in your current health profile that would impact your loss of weight. That could include thyroid issues, for example, or issues with side-effects of prescription medicines.
If you’re lucky enough to live here in beautiful Hawaii, I hope you’ll set up a free consultation with me and discuss how medical weight loss can make your journey to a newly slim you easier than you expect. Taking off the excess weight safely and in a way that allows you to maintain the weight loss long-term is very important.
Set Specific Goals That Work For You
Setting goals is part of your strategy for getting the pounds off. They may be weight loss goals, or related to specific foods and habits you want to change. Of course, goals need to be realistic. If they’re not achievable, failure and the loss of self esteem that results can set you further back than when you begun. This is one of the reasons many people procrastinate the decision to lose weight. But the wonderful thing is that achievable goals have the opposite effect – each small step in the right direction builds momentum and self esteem, so set yourself up for success and then celebrate every tiny improvement. Don’t forget to forgive yourself the occasional lapse as well – don’t let a momentary failure derail your weight loss commitment.
See Yourself Slim and Healthy
Remember your goals and take a moment now and then to visualize success. Dig out your list of reasons for losing weight and see yourself achieving them. This helps you both stay motivated, and keep your brain supportive of your weight loss decision. There are lots of anti-bullying campaigns in the news – don’t bully yourself about weight loss. Positive encouragement and attitude work much better.
Here at dietMD Hawaii, we ensure you get the nutritional support you need during weight loss, and provide counselling in lifestyle changes to support long-term weight loss. We know what works, and our clients are happy to testify to that. We help you track your progress and stay on track so that you reach the goals you’ve set.
Ok, where are we at?
- Decision to lose weight
- Take stock
- Realistic, achievable goals
- Positive Support
- Monitor progress
- Visualize success
The one other piece of advice I’d add is to know yourself. If certain events and stressors often take you off-track, avoid them or plan ways to cope. If you’re competitive, find someone to exchange progress reports with. If you’re motivated by rewards, choose something you really want as your reward for reaching your target weight.
Don’t forget to set up lesser rewards or celebrations at milestones along the way. Everyone is different, and knowing your own style and taking it into account will help you reach the best results from your decision to lose weight.