Starting off successfully: the right attitude and realistic expectations

7 12 2010

Sam Zizzi

Sam Zizzi

Be realistic. Start with small changes, and build momentum and confidence. Make plans that will fit you and your family’s lifestyle. “Some is better than none” is a useful approach to adopt while you are reaching for your goals and getting into a habit with your food and exercise behaviors.

Be flexible. You will need a “Plan A” for a typical week that represents your goals for how, what, where, and when to eat and exercise. The fitness and nutrition professionals at your site can help you develop these plans. Then, formulate some “Plan B” options for the barriers specific in your schedule. Every week won’t go perfectly – when does a week ever go perfectly anyway?

Be patient. Physical changes take time. You may struggle at times, and think about quitting. You will hit plateaus and tough stretches. Some weeks you might not meet your goals. “Lifestyle change” is not a short-term process, so stick with it during tough times and seek additional help when needed.

Tune in . . . to the multiple benefits of a healthy lifestyle besides weight loss. Many participants experience better energy and mood levels, improved sleep patterns, better mobility, or less need for medications. Almost every week, you will experience some of these important and meaningful benefits, so even if you didn’t lose any weight, why would you stop now?

Be determined. We all have barriers – in fact, some of the most successful participants overcame substantial work, family, and health barriers to achieve their goals. It will be difficult at times, and you will encounter roadblocks. So, will you let your barriers stop you or not?

So what approach will you choose? There a many things in life we can’t control –the economy, our body type and genetics (thanks mom and dad!), how fast other people lose weight – however, we can control our attitude and expectations. So take charge and go full speed ahead!

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