Losing Weight Takes Mental and Physical Preparation

by : Marcia Anderson

You've made the commitment to lose weight. The thought to lose weight wasn't something that just "popped" into your head, it took some time to come to the surface after being repressed for months or even years. It finally reared its ugly head and you became painfully aware. This thought to lose weight may have surfaced after you put on your "holiday outfit" from last year and it didn't fit any longer. Or, when the office building elevator was out of service and you had to take the stairs and discovered you were out of breath after only a few steps. Or, that you are finding it harder and harder to muster up the energy to do simple chores.

Sometimes, it takes a physically painful situation like those mentioned to bring a problem to the forefront of your mind and say, "the time is now." You can no longer brush aside or avoid the fact that the pounds that have crept on and are beginning to impact your overall health. Now, it's time to take action.

The mental commitment to change is the first step towards weight loss success. You need to be mentally ready, and have a private conversation with yourself to own up to what got you to being overweight and make a pack with yourself to make some changes. This is not a time to beat your self up with negative words or thoughts. This is a time to focus on the positives of losing weight. Think in terms of, "begin with the end in mind." This comes from a famously celebrated book that spoke of positive habits. You need to focus on the end result and think backwards on how to make it happen with small, achievable goals. You will be able to achieve the goal and give your self a mental boost to continue towards the main goal.

Now, you've made the mental commitment, it's time to make the physical commitment to your weight loss goal. It will require you to move your body. You can move body at the gym, in the privacy of your own home, or by opening up the door and heading outside for a walk. Previously, you may have wanted to resist the physical commitment and used one of these common excuses;

1) no time

2) too tired

3) too expensive

4) don't know how to get started

These excuses can easily derail people who thought they were committed to weight loss, but somehow have allowed the excuse to become "real." It's called an "excuse" for a reason. If you look up the word "excuse' you will find that is can be replaced by the words "justification" and "apology." Whether someone is trying to justify why they cannot physically commit to exercise or make apologies for why they cannot, it has to be called out for what it is, an "excuse." This situation needs to be confronted immediately and the only person that can do that is you. Let's think about how you can go about erasing these excuses from your vocabulary.

Excuse 1) No time? This is an easy one. Think about it, we all have or find the time to things we want to do. We shop, we text message as if our lives depended on it, we pick up our morning coffee, we watch TV, we play video games, we......find the time. Now, it's time for you to carve out 20 to 30 minutes a day and move your body.

Excuse 2) Too tired. Yes, you are tired and here's why, you're carrying around extra pounds that are literally weighing you down. Plus, you're probably not sleeping well which is affecting your energy level. Now, if you begin to move your body, even though you feel tired, you will begin to feel energized. Your body is an amazing machine that is built to move. Your body will recover as you sleep and you will sleep a deeper, less interrupted sleep. You may even find that you require less sleep and wake up more refreshed and energized.

Excuse 3) Too expensive. Yes, exercise can be expensive if you choose expensive options. There is no need to join an expensive health club or buy big pieces of exercise equipment for your basement. What you will need to do is invest in a pair of quality sneakers and have comfortable clothes that you can move around easily. Think of this as a reality check. What's more expensive? A pair of sneakers or pharmacy medications that you may need to treat a weight related illness. There is nothing more important than preventive care to avoid the possibility of expensive, health related medications and bills. Preventive care avoids expensive aftercare.

Excuse 4) Don't know how to get started. Often, our mental commitment is there, we're ready to get moving, and then fall back on the couch and think, "I don't know what to do?" It's perfectly o.k. There are thousands of people who didn't play high school sports and their last recollection of running was on the playground. Thankfully, we all can do one movement that doesn't require any skill or complicated equipment pieces, it simply requires one foot in front of the other, our fitness friend, walking.

Everyone can walk and it's one of the best forms of exercise that people often shoo off because they don't get results overnight. Well, this is true, but you didn't wake up one day 20lbs heavier; it took time and it will take time to lose these extra pounds. Walking is a great exercise resource. It's uncomplicated and doesn't require a membership. It's the best form of FREE that can be found.

When you commit to losing weight, just remember one thought, the number of calories digested vs. the number of calories expended. What does this mean? Simply, eat what you enjoy but in moderation and move your body. You do not have to eat "rabbit food" to lose weight, you need to eat well balanced, well proportioned meals and move your body to expend the calories you ate. Over a week's time, your goal should be to expend more calories than what you've digested. The calorie negative will result in a positive, you are burning more calories than what you ate which equals weight loss.

A big gripe amongst people trying to lose weight is the lack of energy. However, it can be easily addressed through diet. Many times, people trying to lose weight make severe changes to what they are eating and cut back too much on their calorie intake leaving them feeling, "wiped out." As with any diet or physical fitness program, consult with your doctor to become informed about how many calories you need to sustain for your basic daily activities. In addition, avoid skipping meals. Eating three meals along with two nutritious snacks helps to stimulate the metabolism which in turn helps your body to burn calories. By not eating, your body will preserve itself by expending fewer calories. And remember, water is your friend to fight fatigue sometimes associated with losing weight. Water helps to satisfy hunger and boost metabolism which burns calories and helps to boost energy. Drink up.

Lastly, be realistic. Some psychologists have stated it takes 14 to 21 days to change a habit and about 6 months to fully adopt a new "habit" into your life. You need to realize that it took some time to put on the pounds and it will take time to lose weight and improve your overall lifestyle for the better. Each day is step towards the new, healthier, you. Enjoy the process and relish in the fact you made a commitment that will benefit you and your family now, tomorrow, and in years to come.