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Friday, September 30, 2011

Who is this lifestyle change for anyway?

For any lifestyle change to be effective it must be something you want to do for yourself.  It doesn't really matter what your friends or your spouse wants if your heart is not in it.  Any prodding by friends or relatives isn't going to make a difference.  Think about the smoker who doesn't want to quit smoking but is nagged by family members and friends. Likewise when you are not satisified with a certain aspect of your life but people try to convince you everything is fine.  You will not escape the nagging feeling that something needs to change.

I remember how I felt after my first child was born.  I had lost weight but was having difficulty reaching my pre-pregnancy weight.  Many of my friends and family told me I looked fine, but I just was not happy with myself.  My weight had settled at about 10 pounds higher than what I wanted it to be.  One big change I have made since then is I do not incorporate sugary or salty snacks in my diet.  As I have gotten older it is much more challenging for me to remain at a healthy weight than it was when I was younger.  Honestly, I find it much easier to control compulsive snacking when I don't eat junky foods because I no longer crave them.  There has been a lot in the news lately about the addictiveness of junk foods and I believe there is a lot of truth to this.  I try to eat things like fruit, cereal, yogurt or boiled eggs for snacks and this helps to keep my hunger under control.

I think the most important thing is to keep your progress in perspective.  This is why it is important to set goals for yourself and measure your progress as you go.  Recognizing the need to make a change is the very first step.   Following through with lifestyle changes is a very difficult process and requires committment, dedication, and patience.  Reward yourself for the small victories.  Remember that you are making these changes for yourself and not to focus too much on the judgement or criticism of others.

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