This question gets asked often, and I SO appreciate all the messages people send me who desperately want to know where to begin on a weight loss program.
MAKE A DECISION
This is step one. Not because your doctor says you need to, or your husband complains about your weight, or you have a trip coming up, it works when the timing is right. The timing is right when you want it more than you want to hold onto unhealthy habits. Losing weight takes an incredible amount of self motivation and dedication to a goal, and that only comes from within. You will be solely responsible for your success, so YOU have to want it.
DESIGN YOUR ROADMAP
If you fail to plan, just plan to fail. I’m dead serious. There are just entirely too many variables involved in managing a healthy lifestyle to wing it. Cravings, skipped workouts, overeating, binge eating, I believe most of these happen due to lack of planning. Sunday is my “plan for life” day. I outline homework assignments for the week, grocery shop, food prep, print workouts, decide which days we are doing what so I know exactly what is ahead of me and how to juggle it. The best way to succeed is to know on Sunday what you’re eating next week, when you’re exercising, and have a backup plan in case life happens, cause it will.
I am pretty anti-enabler. When I was training clients, I always told them up front I was not a long-term trainer. I am results oriented and I don’t think people learn from someone doing all the work for them, so I wanted them to learn what I was teaching so they could sustain it on their own once I kicked them out of the nest. (Yes, I used that analogy often.) I HIGHLY recommend reading and learning, especially about nutrition, because if you rely solely on other people, you will stay confused. Everyone has different ideas of the “right” way and once you get the basic foundation of healthy eating, you gotta figure out what works best for you and your family.
BE PREPARED EVERY DAY
I am up at 6 a.m. most days, to catch up on homework, pick the house up, pack my lunchbag for the day and my workout clothes before I start my actual “day”. I am not a great morning person, but it’s necessary to stick with my plan, and my plan makes me feel so good that it’s entirely worth it to me.
If you already know a gym will not fit into your schedule or budget, don’t go sign the dotted line in a moment of impulse. Think about what realistically works for you. Do you have to work out in the morning? Or can it be at night? Can you go at lunch? Do you need childcare? There are some great programs for at home workouts, it’s definitely not a must to join a gym. I am a gym girl, so it’s something that will always be in my budget, but I know plenty of people who do really well working out at home!
DO SOME SELF EVALUATION
This is a big one that I don’t think is addressed enough concerning weight loss. Figure out how you got here, the ways you sabotage yourself, what has stopped you before, your bad eating habits and come up with a way to combat them. Look, if you put a basket of chips in front of me and I have one, I will eat three baskets. Knowing that about myself, why would I put even one chip in my mouth and try to practice willpower when those chips are an emotional trigger for me? I think it’s easy for people without food issues to say, “just eat them in moderation” but I also think that slippery slope is what keeps many people from reaching their goals. I will blog more about this later in the week because I think it is a very important part of losing and managing your weight.
And last, but not least.
I am going to be a little blunt here. You can read every book, ask every guru for advice, find out how long it took everyone to reach their goal and have someone write a menu and workout plan for you all day long, but it doesn’t matter unless you DO IT. Take baby steps. Set small, achievable goals for yourself that have nothing to do with the scale or pounds. This week, I’m going to walk three times for 20 minutes and I’m not going to drink any soda. Next week, build on that and add more. Whatever you decide to do, act on it and DO IT, stop talking about it, asking about it, do it. Do something.
I really, truly believe that ANYONE can accomplish so much more than they think. But you have to prove it to yourself to believe in yourself. Do it. Today.