Every person who successfully loses weight has a moment of truth they do not waste. It’s the moment they realize that now is the time to make changes to their diet and their life. For me, it was standing on a scale in my doctor’s office. For you, it may be a picture of yourself, an embarrassing moment, or a stern admonition from your doctor. Whatever the moment is, it is important that you take advantage of the momentum you feel right then and work hard to see your weight loss to its completion.
Identifying Your Moment
If you are in the process of losing weight, there was a moment that made you decide that right then was the time for you to lose weight. Look back and identify what that moment was. Try to recapture the feeling of commitment and desire you felt right then.
If your moment is now, don’t lose the feeling of determination and dedication to making permanent lifestyle changes.
Record the Whys
Part of that moment you commit to weight loss is truly realizing that you must make permanent changes. And part of that commitment is understanding and acknowledging why you need to change.
I want you to write down what things in your life you want to change. Be honest with yourself even if it is hard. Your list may look similar to mine:
- Walk and run without becoming winded
- Feel in control when it came to food choices
- Stop avoiding all physical activity like walking to the mailbox
- Get rid of my size 28 and larger dresses
- Feel more confident in my appearance
- Reverse rising blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Lower my risk of developing diabetes or heart disease
Acknowledge the Hard Days Ahead
When my clients finally have their moment, I encourage them to face the fact that it won’t always be easy to lose weight but it will always be worth it. Going into the weight loss process knowing there will be challenges—instead of being surprised by them—makes it easier for you to deal with those challenges in a constructive way.
Be Satisfied With Slow Progress
The initial enthusiasm after you have your weight loss moment will fade. For many people, the first weeks of weight loss are smooth and rewarding. After a few weeks though, the weight loss progress slows and diet fatigue sets in.
Remind yourself that any progress is good, even if you are only losing a few pounds a month. Remember that 3 to 4 pounds lost each month is 36 to 48 pounds over the course of a year.
Be Prepared for Plateaus
The momentum you feel in the beginning can be quickly snuffed out by weight loss plateaus. Know that plateaus are common but not deadly to weight loss. When your weight stalls for a week or two, analyze your diet, ramp up your exercise, and know that if you are following your plan correctly, the weight loss will begin again.
Never Give Up
The initial moment of commitment to weight loss lasts just a short time, but your weight loss effort itself will likely last a while. For me, it took 14 months to lose 158 pounds, and I’ve known people who took six months to lose 20 pounds.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes—just as long as you are going in the right direction.