It’s the New Year, a time that re-ignites the desire to lose weight and get in shape. Before you dive in, evaluate your readiness to stay the course. Without a solid foundation, starting too quickly can lead to frustrating results. When you’re emotionally prepared, however, your results become permanent. Use these five questions to decide if now’s the time to fully commit to your weight loss success.
1. Will you make your well-being a priority?
To lose weight successfully, your physical and emotional health must be your number one concern. This doesn’t mean you neglect personal responsibilities. It means you respond to those responsibilities through self-loving eyes. For example, you set boundaries on the demands of family and friends to create “Me” time. It also means you address life stressors that erode your confidence, such as a strained marriage or job dissatisfaction. Even if you delay focusing on weight loss, you’ll feel more confident to begin when your life feels stable.
2. Will you change your lifestyle?
To succeed with weight loss, you must replace old habits with new ones. Your willingness to exercise regularly and eat wholesome foods increases your chance for long term success. What lifestyle changes are you willing to make? For example, will you limit television time to make room for exercise? Will you take time for self-reflection to nurture your spirit? As you adopt new behaviors that support good health and well-being, you create a lifestyle that nurtures your long-term success.
3. Will you seek out support?
Losing weight sometimes feels frustrating and discouraging. Make it easy on yourself. Connect with others for support and professional guidance. Consult with a dietitian for nutrition advice, a personal trainer for exercise suggestions or a weight loss coach for inspiration. Besides professional assistance, join a weight loss support group or connect with others on-line through forums. If groups don’t work for you, talk to a trusted friend for support when discouraged and camaraderie to celebrate progress.
4. Will you look deeper if necessary?
If you struggle to lose weight, despite your best intentions, perhaps it’s time to dig deeper. For some people, excess weight offers protection and food equals comfort. Despite a conscious desire to be thinner, losing weight sometimes triggers subconscious fears that actually prevent progress. If success always eludes you, seek professional support to discover what’s holding you back. If you can relate to this, use the therapist finder tool at Psychology Today to find a counselor in your local area to help.
5. Will you be patient and persevere?
Permanent weight loss takes time. You need this time to not only release weight responsibly, but to release limiting beliefs and negative thoughts from your mind. If you lose weight too quickly, your self-concept doesn’t have time to change. Old beliefs then draw you back to old habits. Be willing to have patience and persevere. Doing so transforms discouragement into a determined belief that nothing will stop you from reaching your goal.
What if you don’t feel ready?
If after reading these questions you don’t feel ready, that’s OK. Give yourself permission to wait. Take time to discover what you need to fully commit. Use the above questions to guide you. You actually begin the weight loss process by creating a strong foundation first. When the timing is right, you’ll feel an inner trust that guides the rest of your journey with confidence and inspiration.
Are you ready to lose weight? Let us know in the comments below.