embracing the process of life long change
At any given moment, scores of people are embarking on their personal weight loss journey. Some succeed and some do not. What is the difference in success and failure? One phrase-goal setting. If you take the time to set the goal and make preparations to achieve it, before you actually embark on the journey, you’ve made it through two-thirds of the process already. When it comes down to it, it isn’t achieving the goal that’s the issue; it’s setting the goal and doing the prep work beforehand. Don’t be one of those people who misses the mark, read on to unveil the essential steps you must take to set and achieve your weight loss goal.
Realize Your Goal is for You
First, you have to decide exactly what the goal is and why you want to achieve it. This simple idea is so important, yet often overlooked.
Your weight loss goal must be for you and you only. No book, magazine or expert can tell you exactly what you should weigh; it’s about how you feel at a certain weight. The charts and stats that medical experts use are based on ideals which may or may not fit you personally. What if you are taller, smaller, wider, less or more active than the accepted model? For instance, African-American and Hispanic women tend to be curvier in the hip and buttocks area than Caucasian and Asian women. You can’t discount your heritage or your ethnicity, you must embrace it and decide on the perfect weight for you and your body type.
Take a Look in the Mirror
Stand in front of the mirror, nude, and really, honestly look at your body. Take in the image and examine what you want to change. You may be thinking that you are heavier than you really are or you might not realize how heavy you actually are. Be honest, it’s your body and now you have the chance to mold it and shape it into what you want it to be.
Think back to how you felt and looked when you were at your best weight. What was it? How did it make you feel to be at that weight? An honest assessment of where you are now will help you get where you need to be.
Do the Math
Part of setting a weight loss goal is to be realistic about how much weight you need to lose and how long it will take to lose it.
A healthy rate of weight loss breaks down to ½ to 2 pounds per week. Anything more than that and you’re asking for trouble. If you have 25 pounds to lose, it will take you at least 12 weeks to achieve and that is at the maximum amount of weight loss per week. You will also need to prepare for setbacks, slow weeks and maybe a plateau. All these things can hamper your weight loss, but not stop it. Your body is going to do what it needs to do to survive, your job is to keep it healthy.
Look Into the Future
You can’t get where you’re going until you know where you’re at. You’ve set the goal, assessed your body image and started making plans. Don’t leave out this important step-you must visualize yourself at this new weight.
Take the time each day to review your goal and to shut your eyes and imagine yourself at your goal weight. Doing this tells your subconscious that this is more than just a wish or a dream, it’s reality. Before you know it, it will be your reality.
Ask Yourself 3 Questions: How, When and Why
Now that you have the goal in place, you have to ask yourself how you will accomplish it, when will you do it and why does it matter.
These three questions are essential in not only achieving your weight loss goal, but in maintaining it. Make a plan. The plan includes when you will eat, what you’ll eat and when you will shop for food. You also have to decide how you will carry out the details. Are family members involved, do you need a gym membership or to hire a personal trainer?
And finally, why is achieving this goal so important to you? Will it make you feel better? Help you get rid of some old, unflattering clothes or is it for health reasons? The “Why” is crucial because this is what keeps you going and pushing forward through the setbacks, plateaus and slow weeks.
I am confident that by following these essential steps I have outlined, you will not only meet your goal but maintain it long after the euphoria subsides.