My sister-in-law, at age 62, has lost 35 pounds in the last year. She says, “If I can do it anyone can do it!”. What is the secret to her success? Nothing new and nothing drastic. “I finally listened to the common sense in my head.”
After talking with her about what she had accomplished this year, the statement “listening to the common sense in my head”, is profound, and I believe, the key to her success.
There were two health events that had impacted her the previous year and a half. And then, there was the doctor visit last June. She was told her BMI of 33 put her into the obese range, her cholesterol was out of sight requiring medication to control it, her scoliosis was getting worse, and she also needed medication for thinning bones. These external conditions did play a role in moving her toward her lifestyle change. However, these circumstances were not the only motivators propelling her forward to the success she is now having.
It was the vision she had of herself to be the best she could be. This vision became clearer with time. It started with baby steps. She got in the pool and swam 20 laps twice a day.
She was ready to regain her energy and vitality. Looking around, she saw many women in her age group, and younger, who were overweight and inactive. She realized she no longer wanted to be there.
She worked from her strengths. Having smarts, intelligence, knowing where to go to get good information, and being grateful for all the good already in her life, added to her ability to make the necessary changes. One of her biggest strengths has always been her sense of humor.
She started from a mindset that her health was in her control. She was not a victim, there was no denial and no deprivation. Small wins on the scale, how her clothes felt, and how she was regaining her energy, fueled her motivation to continue. One small success begets another small success. There were plateaus. Past successes kept her motivation and now her confidence going. “I believe in myself. “Nobody can do it but me.”
Keys to Faith’s success; be ready to change. Even a little bit can go a long way. Rediscover your strengths. Have a vision of what you want. Paint a picture of what it looks like and feels like in your body. Define what is important to you about attaining this vision. Being ready to change and building a vision fuels motivation and self confidence.
Below are the top ten strategies Faith is using. These work great for her. Some may work for you, others may not. We all have our own bio-individuality. Be patient with the process of discovering what works for you. Be ready to be amazed by what you will achieve.
Faith’s Top 10 Tips:
Achieve & Sustain a Life filled with Health & Happiness
1. Drink water! Starting with one glass first thing in the morning.
2. Stop late night eating.
3. Switch biggest meal of the day to lunchtime.
4. Always eat breakfast.
5. Weigh daily.
6. Lifestyle changes made incrementally, “nothing drastic”.
7. Minimal alcohol intake.
8. Environmental support: supportive relationships and access to enjoyable exercise.
9. All foods in moderation. No deprivation, no denial.
10. “I can happily live this way” mindset.
Bonus tip: The liberal use of humor.
"The best exercise is to push yourself away from the table."
"If you slow down enough (the thing you don’t want) will catch up with you."
"It’s not what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you."
"You can’t really hide/sneak food. It show up on you later."