Unexpected Work- How to Deal

6 05 2015

When you decided to join the program there was a reason you did, an event, a moment, a series of events, an epiphany… something happened in your life to make you want to change. Whatever that was, affected you enough to commit to a program that consistently holds you accountable for working out 2 times per week and meeting with health professionals periodically. Think back to what your reason was for joining the program. Got it? Now ask yourself what you thought it would take to change the habits holding you back. How much effort did you want to dedicate? What did you think you would need to give up for change? Many times peoples don’t realize how much effort needs to go into making changes in your life. Here are a few different ways you can deal with the unexpected level of work it takes to become healthy in an unhealthy world:

Being honest

Being honest can be difficult. It is easy to get over zealous and create goals or attempt action that are not conducive to your life. It is especially important to be honest with yourself about what goals or behavior changes will be realistically sustainable for your individual lifestyle. Cutting out all snacking might not be a realistic goal for someone who has a large time period between meals due to their work schedule. Additionally, it is very important to be you need to be honest with others, specifically the health care providers that are trying to help you reach your goals in the program. If you are not honest with the people who are here to help you then you’re the level of success you may have will decrease.

Temporary Discomfort

Doing things that make you uncomfortable yields change. Being uncomfortable is hard, but the more you experience that discomfort the more comfortable it will become. Until you try, you will never know what the ‘other side’ feels like. So push yourself harder at the gym, try new foods and eating patterns, learn how to face and manage your emotions in a healthy way, make conscious efforts to break bad habits, or stay right where you are. You have joined this program for a reason, so adjust to being uncomfortable, it will make the journey more comfortable.

Taking responsibility

One major things that get in the way of peoples’ success in this program is not taking responsibility. I couldn’t tell you how many people I talk to each week who blame their un-reached goals on their family, friends, work schedule, children’s soccer schedule, etc. I hate to break it to you but it wasn’t your family members who signed up for the program… it was you; it was not your friends who signed up… it was you; and your employer is not going to adjust your work hours since you have started going to the gym after work and don’t get home till 7 or 8pm. YOU made the decision to change, so YOU need to take responsibility for what actions you take (or don’t take) in order to achieve your desired outcome. Taking responsibility for your actions or lack of- gives you the power to change. When we blame others or things it relinquishes our control over our actions towards being successful, who wants that?? Take charge, own your successes AND failures, so you have the power to change if you need to.

The American lifestyle is not conducive for someone trying to move towards better health, so it is no surprise that it is hard work. It may take effort but if you know how to deal with unexpected work that may come your way, you will have a high chance of succeeding.


Kelly Stubna, MPH

Health Behavior Coach




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