During my twenty five years in working with weight loss clients, I took note a few common practices among the success stories – that is, those who were able to reach their ideal weight and remain there for years. What I see, time and time again, are five common success indicators.
Bottom line – inspiration is pointless without direction. Channel your inspiration into accomplishing these five tasks.
Be willing to ‘let go’ and learn ‘just the facts.’ Most of us have a tainted education and need some de-programming after years of media hype and distortion of the truth. Dumping all of this bad information is vital to your success. You have to be willing to replace old myths with new facts. If you can do this, and ignore 99% of what you see and hear, your odds of success go way up.
Be willing to purge your environment. Plain and simple – those who succeed are willing to trash most of the junk food in their home. Some do it regardless of the cooperation of family members, but they follow through with a list of items to replace and change their food shopping patterns to reflect the change. Bottom line – dragging your feet on this process indicates either a perception problem or your intent to fail before you even begin.
Be willing to ‘go it alone.’ Many counselors and diet gurus recommend ‘gaining support,’ but this message is far from reality. The truth is – you are a social animal with a desire to ‘fit in.’ The problem is – 70 percent of all the people in your life are overweight. There will never be wholesale support for your effort. Accept support when it comes along, but never expect everyone to be on your side.
Be willing to put in the practice. In truth, the development of daily coping skills, relative to food choices, is just that – a skill. You have to pass on the supersize and dessert menu hundreds of times before your destructive inner voice begins to lose its volume. In essence, developing a resistance to temptation is a skill that improves over time. All of the great success stories share a willingness to do the time and develop these skills, whether it’s intentional or by accident.
Be willing to take a ‘baby step’ approach. Most of us have an initial impulse to ‘cold-turkey’ our way to success in the shortest time possible, but this process spells disaster. If you want to survive the two-year mark, small changes, like a decrease of 250 calories per day and 1-2 hours of exercise each week, are enough to transform your life and establish new habits. Give yourself an opportunity to indulge on occasion, too, so cravings and social events won’t cramp your new style.
Author Jim Cabeceiras, is a diet and fitness expert, published author, contributing writer to Metro Fitness Magazine, a member of AAU and NPC Bodybuilding (1980-1986), and the CEO of Wave Cycle Systems, LLC.
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