This is the year it has to happen. I’m not under any particular deadline, other than the fact that my weight is preventing me from enjoying life to the fullest… and that’s reason enough! I got off the year to a good start – released about 30 lbs. in 6 weeks. And then… old habits, old triggers, same old same old. At least I’ve only put back on about 5 lbs.
It doesn’t matter… you just start over. One day at a time. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve tried and failed, so long as you get back up and do it again. The final time starts with the same first step as all the other times – committing to do it.
I’m more self-observant now than I was even just a few years ago, and am able to reflect and see more readily where and how I get off-track. Here’s what I think I’ve discovered that will help me keep on track this time:
- Remove your triggers. I didn’t think I have them, but I do. Going and picking up food for the whole family is one of mine – donut shop in the morning, Sonic for lunch or dinner, convenience store for a late-night milk run, etc. I just can’t do it any more – at least not ‘til I get this under control.
- Make it easy to make the healthy choice. If I’m determined to eat, I will. I don’t have the willpower to not eat. I do, however, have the willpower to eat something healthy. I love healthy food – that’s not a problem. It just has to be available and convenient – as easy as Oreos and milk or a grilled cheese. The problem is, most healthy food doesn’t keep very well. In addition to fresh fruit & veggies, I need to find some healthy snacks that last a while. Suggestions welcome.
- You can only change so much at once. Getting into the habit of regular exercise and consistently eating healthy is a huge change. If you try to take on too much else at the same time, e.g., becoming a morning person instead of a night owl, or adopting a very regimented schedule or meal plan, when you’re not a creature of habit, you’re setting yourself up for failure. In my case, I have to have a plan that’s flexible. And if I stay up til midnight or 1am, like I do, guess what? That “don’t eat after 9pm” rule isn’t going to work for me.
- Accountability helps. Sure, it’s not going to be the end of the world if I publicly announce my intention to lose weight and then don’t do it, but it’s one little bit of motivation, and every little bit helps. Tell your friends, tell your family. Weigh on a regular basis. Blog. Journal. Whatever you can do to help keep it top of mind and give one more reason to succeed, DO IT!
So here I go again… for the last time!
Image: Alan Cleaver