1. “Things do not happen, they are made to happen.” JFK
Losing weight or getting healthy does not just happen. You can sit around and wait all you want, but until they invent a magic pill to lose weight, it’s not going to do anything. You have to make the changes and stick with them. Being healthy is about perseverance and determination.
2. Losing weight hurts
Your body doesn’t necessarily want to lose weight. You can’t lose weight without either feeling hungry or burning enough calories to make up for what you eat. You will be sore. But eventually, it becomes empowering. Walking through the cookie aisle at the grocery store without getting anything is satisfying. And it gets easier. Once you’re at the weight you want, maintaining it and living healthy is just a matter of making the changes in your lifestyle a part of your routine.
3. Stuff happens, get back to it
Sometimes, things get in the way. Maybe it’s been a busy work week and you just don’t have energy for the gym. Or an injure stops you from working out. We can’t control most things and it is too easy to get knocked out of a routine. It’s important to be able to roll with the punches and not let problems build up. More importantly, though, is to get back to business after things are cleared up. A healthy lifestyle can be a slippery slope for a lot of people. When something knocks you off the path for a healthy lifestyle, you need to climb back up that slope instead of getting stuck in a rut.
4. Set small goals, but think long-term
There is plenty of evidence to show that setting small, reasonable goals for the short-term is effective. This is a very useful tool, if not necessity. But there always needs to be a big picture too. Most diets work for awhile and then fail. Losing weight or being healthy can’t just be a short term goal. Being healthy needs to be a long-term thing. It’s not just a diet, it’s changing the way you eat or live. Small goals help to keep people focused and from feeling like they aren’t making progress. Keeping the long-term in sight helps changes stick and can help you be more resilient when stuff happens (#4).
5. Just because it’s organic, doesn’t mean its healthy!
Yes, organic is better for you. But my organic cinnamon toast crunch does not count as a healthy food, unfortunately. Neither do organic two-bite brownies or organic chocolate bars. (I know, I was devastated too.) Switching to organic or natural food can help with many potential health problems, but losing weight and being healthy still requires eating well. This means less sweets, cheap carbs, and more veggies (sadly).
6. Everyone is different
Just because something works for one person, doesn’t mean it works for you. Find what works best for you. If you aren’t hungry in the morning and feel fine until lunch, you don’t have to eat breakfast to be healthy. If you hate running (I hear ya), find a different workout that you enjoy (rock climbing?). It is a lot easier to stick to changes if you find something you like doing or eating.