Not too long ago, it occurred to me that the only difference between me and someone who doesn’t feel that he/she will ever “master” this wellness thing (a healthy weight, regular fitness, etc.) is that I just keep getting back in the saddle. (Remember, I used to be 50 pounds overweight, so I’ve had lots of practice over the years…and still do!)
Think about it: How did you ever succeed at your first job, or the next job, or the one you’re in now? What about being a good parent or spouse? So-called failures are inherent in life; in fact, they are so necessary for us to grow that I don’t believe in failures, only lessons. For some reason, though, patients look at weight loss as not only a task to complete, but one that must be done “right.” When that’s the viewpoint, as soon as you lose your footing, you’re likely to think it’s time to hang up the reins.
What if you started looking at your weight and life as a journey? Not just a “to-do” to check off. (After all, your weight is never “done” because there’s this “next-level” game called “maintenance” – for which you’re immediately qualified!) And, not something that has to look a certain way. But rather another wonderful path by which you get to prove your perseverance and refine your character.
For example, there’s never any going “off” your plan if you see healthy eating as a long-term lifestyle. This would mean that you realize that it’s vital to treat yourself regularly, rather than a short-term diet that causes deprivation. It’s still important to have structure, but it needs to be a flexible, freeing, innately natural structure. Not regimented or forced structure that has you going from an “all” to “nothing” mentality in .5 seconds.
No matter what happened yesterday–whether I overdid the Extreme Cookies ‘n Cream and ended up feeling sluggish OR I had 7 servings of veggies and a kickin’ run–either way, I know I’m gonna be back on the trail today. That’s how I think now that I know health is a lifestyle.
To help you think about your weight and wellness as a lifestyle, it’s important to examine your beliefs and patterns, and customize a plan of action. The following coaching questions will help:
- What’s your biggest challenge? (i.e. Mindless snacking, not planning or preparing meals, feeling overwhelmed at work, unmotivated to exercise)
- Why is it a challenge? (What mindset or life circumstances make it difficult for you?)
- What’s one thing you will do today and this week to shift your perspective and practice something new? (i.e. Pausing to rate your hunger on a hunger scale and eliminating distractions in order to combat mindless snacking, or expanding your definition of exercise to include your past love of dance and researching some DVD or class options)