Take Action: Setting Your Own Positive Path

28 02 2017

Negativity could be called ”the white elephant in the room,”  but do we really have to  notice that white elephant, or can we create our own safe haven of positivity in which we place a shield of armor, around ourselves so that any negative feedback simply bounces off of us and has no effect? In actuality, most information is neutral, and we make this information either positive or negative based on our experiences. If you have been dealing with weight loss issues throughout your lifetime, you have more than likely tried numerous diets and or nutritional programs without success. The positive news is that you are now in the PEIA weight management program, which is not a diet but a lifestyle change. In other words, through proper diet and exercise you can attain your goal without feeling as if you have to deprive yourself of the things you love. The key is moderation rather than deprivation, being healthy rather than being the skinniest person in the room, and l knowing what works for you in order to attain these goals. Now let us focus on your own positive journey to the best you.

First, you must make realistic goals over the short-term that evoke small changes without feeling overwhelming. How many of us have entered a weight loss program and have been really excited and motivated when first starting to implement the program? We make huge goals set over the long-term but have no concrete way to attain those goals over the short term and therefore, set ourselves up for failure rather than success. For example, you may want to lose 50 pounds and set that goal, but if you do not really understand how you are going to get there or how long it is going to take, you may not be successful because you do not have a plan.

Planning is crucial to any successful change. Change takes effort and effort takes planning. Not only should you have a Plan to A, but you should also have a Plan B in case Plan A is unsuccessful. For example, you decide to go to the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. However, your cat gets sick on Tuesday night, and you end up having to take her to the vet Wednesday after work. Well, you think to yourself, “there  goes one of my gym days.” This is not necessarily the case if you have a Plan B (a day when you can go to the gym if plan A is unsuccessful). If you have a Plan B, you can still attain your goal.

Secondly, you must stay accountable to yourself. Research shows that people who are most successful in managing their weight keep some type of log in reference to diet and exercise. We recommend My Fitness Pal, but this does not work for everyone- you need a method that works for you. Also, remember that small change is most successful. Instead of saying to yourself,” I don’t want to keep a log of my diet and exercise because it’s too time consuming to do every day,” why not strategize to log diet and exercise for two days over the next six weeks.  This gives you a chance to get your feet wet without drenching them. Also, making a habit of logging only certain days helps to keep you honest. Maybe, if you were logging your diet and exercise every day, at times you might be more likely to forget about that extra piece of pizza and not log it. If you only log two days a week, you might be paying more attention to accountability on your “logging days” and less likely to forget to enter foods.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, do not beat yourself up for mistakes made or slip-ups in your journey. Making mistakes means that you are trying and practice makes perfect. Perhaps, it is those mistakes, which cause us to learn the most about what not to do, and what works for us.  Best of luck everyone and remember- you can do this!  This is your journey, and only you can make it a success


Jessica Woodfork MA, NCC, LPC

Health Behavioral Specialist




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