We have such good weight loss intentions. We emotionally beat ourselves up for lack of self-discipline, weakness, cheating. We swear to change, to put looks and health ahead of comfort and self-indulgence. We promise to change. We want, more than almost anything else, to be svelte, attractive individual we see in our own minds.
Before you run off, filled with enthusiasm for your latest, greatest, and final (you swear) weight control plans, slow down and take time to operationalize your goals and likelihood of your success will increase exponentially.
Here is one method:
"I'm going to lose 25 pounds before summer so I can feel comfortable in a bathing suit."
Take that dream and break it down into specific, limited steps:
1. Take at least a week to carefully select diet, eating plan, or exercise routine you intend to follow. 2. Aim to adhere to your plan for at least 5 days per week for loss of one pound. 3. If weight loss is less than a pound, determine to follow your plan for 7 days per week until you reach that one pound per week goal. 4. If you lose more than a pound, smile and enjoy. 5. Limit new or additional exercise routines to 10 minutes at a time, once per day, 3 days per week. You may easily want to do more but try to limit yourself. That will keep your desires strong and have you eagerly looking forward to second month when you can expand your routines substantially.
"I'm going to let everyone know that this time is it - I am truly determined to reach my goal."
Before you share your intentions with everyone, pause and consider:
1. There are some advantages to having family and friends know about your plans. Not wanting to disappoint them or appear as a failure in their eyes may motivate you to bypass inevitable temptations that frequently arise. However, you do expose yourself to disapproval if your goals are not met or if you encounter dreaded plateau which others often do not understand. 2. Determine who should know. If you have a history of failed weight control attempts, response to your newest plan may be only a cynical shrug or, worse, negative response of "Why is this time any different? You've never stuck to it before." If you suspect that you might hear something like that, don't say anything about your plans until you are well on your way. 3. Do family members or friends have a vested interest in seeing you remain overweight? Do your fat friends fear that your success will make them feel bad about themselves? When you diet, do you become cranky and difficult for your family to live with? Does your spouse or parent equate food with love and can't handle your rejection of their treats? 4. Don't be a diet bore. No one else (unless you belong to a weight control support group) is half as interested as you are (right now) in number of calories, grams of fat and carbohydrates in everything on table, nor why what they are eating is bad for them. 5. Consider not telling anyone about your plans and make a game of it. Rather than saying "That looks good but I can't have any," fool everyone by stating "Sorry, but I just feel like having a salad . . . I just want a hamburger without that soggy bun . . . I have this recent craving for fish/vegetables." No one will second guess your decisions on what to eat when you make it clear that it is your choice, not an unpleasant necessity. When they notice that you have lost weight, pretend to be surprised and watch them roll their eyes in envy.