As we approach the end of the first month of the new decade, I wonder how many resolutions have survived. Many started the year hyped up about one particularly popular resolution, weight loss. Possibly the most popular New Year’s resolution, it may also be the quickest one broken.
I have my suspicions as to why such an important resolution gets kicked to the curb before we can even smell the Valentine’s chocolates waiting around the corner. Too many resolutions, lack of resolve, and inappropriate weight loss methods are a few correctable problems that could be blocking you from that svelte, toned body you so desire. The good news: it’s not too late to get back on track or even start your weight loss plan with some simple yet strategic moves.
Over-zealousness has led to the early demise of countless heartfelt resolutions. The excitement of a new year and a new decade can leave one feeling as though they can conquer the world, when the reality is many can’t even conquer the smell of In-N-Out Burger. Attempting to focus on losing weight, improving finances, smoking cessation, and making a career change all in the month of January does not yield a recipe for success in 2010. A more realistic plan is to choose one resolution (weight loss) and focus on mastering it. Regardless of the time it takes, stay focused until that one resolution becomes your new habit, or new way of life. Develop your plan for weight loss, achieve that goal, and move on to the next one. The idea is to be realistic and stick with what you can reasonably handle before overwhelming yourself by committing to an additional major life change. In other words, baby steps.
When people make weight loss resolutions, it becomes quickly evident how serious they are. Choosing to indulge in the first temptation that comes along reveals a lack of resolve. Did you give in to the temptation to skip a workout simply because it was raining? Did you join the crew for a bite to eat knowing that the Cheesecake Factory was your downfall? Such choices would explain why the resolution to lose weight is already a thing of the past at only the 3rd week of the new year.
At least you’re serious enough to be reading this, and that’s a good sign. As I said before, it’s not too late. Next you’ll need to start behaving as though you are serious in other ways. People who have successfully lost weight are those who are not trying to but have decided to make lasting lifestyle changes. They resist temptation to things that take them away from their plan because they are serious about their goals. Here’s an unconventional yet effective way to remind yourself to resist temptation: the next time you’re out to dinner or visiting the employee cafeteria, look around stealthily and check out what others are choosing to eat. My guess is the food choices will match the outcome. Most, if not all, of the people choosing the high fat or high carb options will tend to have a larger than recommended girth, and those choosing the healthier options will either be svelte, or on the way there if they keep it up. In other words, your choices will either get you where you want to go, or where you don’t want to go. Choosing to be serious about your resolution is vital to your weight loss success.
Finally, what is your weight loss method? We are inundated with weight loss plans these days, any one of which could work for you if you just do it. Eliminating white sugar from your diet will lead to weight loss, as will counting calories, purchasing prepared calorie restricted meals, following a low fat diet, etc. The question is how long can one reasonably expect to commit to any of these methods? The weight loss method you choose must last you as long as you plan to keep the weight off. I really hate to see someone spend hundreds of dollars on a weight loss program, lose 30 or more pounds, then regain the weight when they tire of shelling out the dollars. And what about plans that forbid certain foods? If this seems realistic for you, then by all means go for it. More than 20 years ago I gave up red meat. Apparently that was not a problem for me, as I’ve never struggled with my decision. I can’t, however, imagine never eating birthday cake again. So the sugar free diet is not for me. I can imagine limiting my carb intake by choosing foods with a low glycemic index most of the time. This will yield weight loss and make for a method that I can reasonably expect to live with.
Take a sincere look at your chosen weight loss method. If you’ve given up on it already, or find yourself struggling with it, rethink your plan. Take the time to research a few of the countless methods available. You can even take ideas from multiple methods to create your own. With a little effort you’ll come up with a plan that makes since and seems realistic for you.
I’m pulling for your success in your weight loss efforts, as well as your other resolutions. I recommend taking a look back at my previous posts for more helpful tips to get your resolution back on track or started. If you start now, hopefully by Valentine’s Day you’ll have the strength to make it through that chocolate laden day without falling off the wagon again. Here’s to a Happy New Year and a happy new you!