The thought of a weight loss journey can seem overwhelming at first. New eating plan. Adding an exercise routine. Getting support through the good times and bad.
That’s why a vision of what success looks like can make all the difference in whether or not you make changes that last a lifetime.
“Changing your life is an internal decision,” says Kathy Meier, NP, Bariatrics Program Coordinator at Goshen Physicians Center for Weight Reduction. “It’s all about what’s important to you and what you want to do.”
A plan to win starts with setting goals that are right for you. You may be motivated to feel better and have a sense of wellness. Or you want fewer physical limitations. Maybe it’s a drop in medication levels.
“Planning for success is a powerful tool,” says Kathy.
Focus on choice and change
A wellness plan means knowing ahead of time what you’re going to do to change habits or manage choices. Then you don’t have to think about it when stress is high.
“Write down your plan,” says Kathy. “Then simply follow it.”
For example, think about your love for potato chips. If the bag is sitting in your pantry, no matter how many times you tell yourself you won’t eat them, you will. Plan ahead – don’t keep chips in the house.
That doesn’t mean you will never eat another chip. It does mean you will have to make an effort to get them.
The same is true for ice cream. Or chocolate. Or any other temptation. Decide how to make it a special occasion when you choose to eat it.
“This isn’t about deprivation,” explains Kathy. “We’re looking for balance.”
Choices for long-term success
“Most of us know what we need to do for weight loss,” says Kathy. “The problem is we believe we must do it all versus focus on choice and change.”
Three key elements need to fit into any weight loss plan.
Eat well – Focus on healthy food choices. That means fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. Plan your options to replace those cravings for sweets or high-calorie snacks.
Move more – Find an exercise routine that fits your life, then make it fun. The point is to move your body. That could mean 10-minute bursts of activity three times a day. Or a 30-minute walk. If group exercise motivates you, find a friend to take a class with you.
“Decide what you’re willing to do, whether it’s walking, going to the gym, tracking steps,” says Kathy. “Find what’s right for you – that’s the only way it will work.”
Seek support – Build a weight loss support team. Friends, family or organized groups can make a big difference in a weight loss journey. Not only can they help keep you motivated, they can offer an emotional boost when you feel discouraged or overwhelmed.
“Ask for feedback and be open to suggestions,” Kathy suggests. And remember, you may have to go a little bit outside of your comfort zone to make a life change.
Another key to success – give yourself credit for what you do every day.
Send the right message
One day does not ruin a wellness program. This is about changing habits for a lifetime. If you slip up, dust yourself off, remind yourself you are human and refocus.
“Give yourself the message ‘I can’ instead of ‘I can’t’,” says Kathy.
Ready to change your life?
No matter where you are on your life-changing journey, you can get the support and resources you need to succeed at Goshen Physicians Center for Weight Reduction. We have dedicated professionals, including a dietitian, fitness trainers and counselors who are ready to encourage you to reach your goals.