Test your commitment to tackling weight loss

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Test your commitment to tackling weight loss

Losing weight is a lot like building a strong marriage – both require a serious commitment.  There will be hurdles to jump but also successes to savor.  It’s best to remember that committing to achieving a healthier body weight is a long-term if not life-long endeavor.  As long as you know you are dedicated and prepared to deal with the challenges you face, you are probably in a good frame of mind to make it happen.

But, there are many things to consider when attempting to losing pounds.  You need to address certain factors you will invariably face on this journey and to ask yourself honestly, do I have more “yes” answers compared to “no” and if so, perfect.  You will be far better equipped to win the battle of the bulge.  But, if your “no” answers outnumber the “yes’s,” you may need to reassess if this is the best time to tackle weight loss.

Test your commitment to tackling weight loss by considering these 8 factors:

1.  Do you have support offering guidance helping you stay motivated to lose weight?

An important first step to take before venturing a weight loss program is do I have support?  Research has shown that people who have a good source of support do better with both long-term and short-term weight loss programs.  Whoever you live with and those who are closest to you, need to be onboard cheering you on to be successful.

2.  Do you have time for scheduled physical activity?

Have you thought about the practical considerations involved in weight loss, such as when you will fit in exercise?  If you do not consider physical activity an important component of losing weight, then you do not recognize the critical role it plays in long-term weight management.  Those who are serious and devoted to achieving a healthy body weight will find time for exercise since they make it a priority.

3.  Have you thought about a realistic weight loss goal?

Maybe you weighed 130 pounds at age 20.  But now at age 50, you have weighed 200 pounds for the past 25 years.  Idealizing reaching 130 pounds once again may not be the most realistic goal to set.  It is not unusual for many people attempting weight loss to set unrealistic goals that only end up in disappointment and feelings of failure.  This time, set more realistic goals that are achievable and sustainable.

4.  Do you believe that losing weight will improve all other areas of your life?

Losing weight can result in many improvements in your life – improved health, self-image, and better love relationships.  However, to believe that once you reach a certain weight, all your problems will be solved, is not reasonable.  There is no guarantee that losing weight will drastically improve your life overall.  Weight loss can improve your life in many positive ways but it will not fix everything.

5. Do you think you will have failed if you go off your weight management program from time to time?

Managing a healthy body weight is a lifelong process and must be viewed as such.  Never try to be perfect all the time – you will be setting yourself up for failure.  A better approach is to set realistic goals each day and accept that there will be days when you will not always meet them.

6.  Are you prepared to do some self-exploration?

You may believe weight loss will all be positive, however, there can be unexpected consequences.  Relationships with people may change – your spouse or friends may become jealous of you or maybe once the weight is shed, the feeling of protection it provided you will be gone and that may seem very strange.  Being prepared to address these issues if they come up is important so they don’t interrupt your progress.

7. Have you thought about how your life will be different when reaching your goal?

To maintain a lower body weight requires some changes.  You’ll continue to need to prioritize exercise most days of the week and to make daily decisions on your food choices.  For example, instead of going through the drive-through window picking up a large sugary beverage each night after work, you will bypass this activity and opt instead for a noncaloric beverage. 

8.  Do you accept the fact managing weight is a lifelong behavior?

People who the most successful at both losing and then maintaining the weight loss long-term, recognize that it is a lifelong process.  The dietary choices necessary to lose weight are the same choices required to maintain that loss. Although the process does get easier, it does not end.  But think of it like this – once you are on the path of wellness, you really won’t want to step off of it going back to old, unhealthy habits.  You’ll have more energy, more stamina, better self-esteem, and a better outlook on life.  Better yet, you’ll spend less time and money on doctor visits, procedures, and medications, and have more time and money to spend on what you want to do and accomplish in this one life we all have.