With obesity rates in the U.S. approaching 70%, it’s time to declare war. Diabetes, higher risk of stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure are all good reasons to lose weight. Not to mention the added stress on your back, knees and loints. Changing your diet and starting to exercise more are important, but it’s going to take a little more. Here are some tips for getting on the road to a healthier, happier you:
You have to look at yourself the way through the eyes of s person who loves you deeply. There’s nothing wrong with loving yourself enough to take charge of your health. Stop trying to take care of everyone else and take care of yourself for once. Whatever “baggage” you have in your past must be dealt with. Stop running from it, face it, deal with it, resolve it.
Shift Your Mindset.
You have to change the way you think about everything associated with weight loss and diets. If you have a relative in your life that you just really can’t stand, and you can’t get rid of that relationship, then there’s just one thing to do – learn to love that person. It’s the same way with weight loss. It’s going to be the most frustrating and rewarding thing you’ll ever do. There will be times you’ll want to quit and do a swan dive into a tub of double chocolate brownie ice cream to relieve the frustration. Remain focused on your goal. Ask yourself why you started this journey, remind yourself where you want to end up – re-think and re-focus yourself.
Say NO to Drug.
If you’re like most folks, food has become a crutch for healing your hurts, for making you feel better about all the stuff that’s going on around you. Food has indeed become your drug of choice. While many “comfort foods” provide comfort, they are also usually loaded with sugar, fat, salt, and preservatives. Make these a “special occasion food” and only rarely indulge yourself with a small portion. You’ll avoid the guilt that follows and the extra weight.
Make Exercise a Fun Thing.
If you think exercise is a drag, it will be. Pre-frame yourself and combine some enjoyable things with your exercise routine. At Gold’s Gym they have a room called the “Cardio Theater.” A great idea – it’s a large, dark room filled with exercise equipment and a large movie screen at one end where a new movie is showing every day, all day. The only way it could be better is if the exercise machines had to generate the power to make the movie run! Another helpful thing we have done is create a series of favorite workout songs and load those onto an iPod or CD. Make the length of songs to the same length of your workout. Probably the best thing you can do is go with a friend or your family. Our family of 4 go three times a week to Gold’s and we make it a challenge to keep one another excited and focused. It’s hard to make excuses when you’re encouraging others.
Big Goals, Small Steps.
In order to reach a goal of losing a lot of weight, you have to start with a single step, as they say. Many small steps get you to the big goals eventually. Don’t sign up for a marathon tomorrow. Instead, promise to start walking. Start today and go around the block and work up from there. The key here is to start somewhere and start now. Don’t think about running an hour on a treadmill. Think about the first ten minutes. Reach that goal, and then see how you feel and you’ll want to go another ten minutes, and ten more after that – now look, you’re already half way! Make a goal of running 20 minutes then, if you feel OK, keep going and add 10 minutes. You get the idea.
Find out What You’re Really Made of.
And then go further. You may be surprised at what you can actually accomplish. When you feel you’re running out of gas, decide to push just a little bit more. What you’ll learn is that you can really go further. Even if it’s just a few steps further, go for it. Push yourself to do more and you will. Keep any negative thinking and self-talk out of your head. Losing weight is accomplished one step at a time.
* Always consult with your doctor or a qualified medical professional before beginning any exercise routine.