Monday Lifestyle Discussion:
“Creating a Wellness Vision”
Setting goals—you’ve been doing it all wrong
At some point in the weight loss journey, everyone gets discouraged and wants to give up. In fact, many people do give up. Some research states that up to 95% of individuals who lose weight will regain that weight within 5 years. Weight loss is hard. Losing weight for life would seem almost impossible, but it’s not. It’s important to know that. Losing weight and keeping it off just might be the hardest journey you’ve ever navigated. Why do so many individuals fail to keep the weight off? I believe it has to do with goals, reward and motivation. Notice I didn’t say lack of willpower.
Losing weight is not complicated. It involves completely rearranging your life (think social and environmental changes in addition to the diet and exercise), but it’s not rocket science. It’s about developing the discipline muscle and putting off instant gratification/pleasure for the longer-term reward of great health and vibrancy. Awareness of the need to lose weight does not naturally translate to changing behaviors. You really have to DIG DEEP to understand WHY you want to change. Essentially, the reward of weight loss has to be greater than the reward of your current lifestyle, and until you have revelation of that, you will continue old habits. There’s definitely a certain amount of gratification that comes from eating, drinking and living like most Americans do. Only 6% of Americans engage in the 5 key health behaviors that prevent chronic diseases. Those behaviors: not smoking, regular exercise, avoiding excessive alcohol, maintaining a healthy body weight and sufficient sleep. Again, this is not new information, but no doubt it’s hard work.
Short-term and long-term goals are good. Specific and measurable goals are even better, but what may work better for you is to create a wellness vision of yourself in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years and so on. Think of it as a beacon in the ocean. You may have to navigate rough waters, re-calibrate your direction, but you will get there because you can always see the vision. Although storms and setbacks, nothing will stop you from the ultimate goal. By the way, did I mention that there is no finish line? When you reach your personal weight loss goal, that really is just the starting line. This is the difference between people losing weight, and people who make the lifestyle changes necessary to sustain the weight loss. When someone speaks of weight loss, always ask the question, “Does this plan include sustainability over the long-term?” In our programs, we always emphasize the long-term engagement because we know how challenging the weight loss journey is and we stand by our commitment to support you through the storms and rough waters.
So, dig deep. Find your intrinsic motivation and enlist the support of others. Let go of the ones who hold you back. They’ll catch up when they’re ready.
Shout out to the ladies of the 10am class for the very thoughtful discussion. Pat, Marye, Fred N Berenice McWhorter who have been coming for years. You all are inspirational to me.
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” –Martin Luther King