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Are You Really Ready to Get Ready for the Beach?

Your weight-loss success with any program depends on your readiness.  So… are you ready?  Are you just wishing and hoping for a healthier body?  Or are you really ready to make the commitment to get in shape and feel ready for the beach?  The following questions can help you judge whether now is the best time to start your program.

Has something changed in your life that causes you to make long-term lifestyle changes that require eating healthy foods and exercising properly?  You have to be honest with yourself.  Knowing you need to make changes in your life and feeling up to the challenge are two different things.  If you aren’t quite ready, then figure out what is holding you back.  Are you happy being fat?  Is there an immediate medical reason for losing some weight?  Is your mindset in the right place to lose that weight and get back on a healthy track?  Your biggest challenge is getting mentally prepared.  Once you’ve made the commitment you’ll see your weight drop and your energy increase.

Are there events in your life that you think are preventing you from committing to getting healthier?  Sometimes we use life’s problems as a crutch to put off losing weight or getting back in shape.  Address these now.  If you're dealing with major life events, such as marital problems, job stress, illness or financial worries, consider giving your life a chance to calm down before you start.

Are you being realistic about your goals?   There is no quick fix regardless what your television tells you.  Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong process.  But it doesn’t have to be painful.  It doesn’t have to require a boring, bland diet.  So while some programs help you lose weight quickly initially, over the long run it's best to lose weight at a moderate but steady pace.  That’s why we promote Three Steps: lose your weight in Step One, reset your pancreas in Step Two: Transition, then enjoy fun food in moderation for the rest of your life in Step Three: Success For Life.

Are you realistically addressing your eating disorders or other emotional issues that make it difficult for you to achieve a healthy weight?  Some of us have a tendency to binge, purge, starve or overexert when we exercise, or if we're depressed or anxious.  If you have these issues you may need professional help to get your head in the game before you make the weight loss commitment.

Have you decided that you really do need to change your eating habits?  This sounds easy to do in theory but we all know that it’s easier said than done.  Casting aside established behaviors and developing new lifestyle habits takes commitment, but it can be done.  And the results are well worth the effort.

Are you ready to leave your couch potato lifestyle behind?  Increasing your level of physical activity is essential to losing weight and keeping it off.  While weight loss does not require strenuous activity it only makes sense to get yourself on the right track with some exercise, even if it’s only walking around the block one time just to get started.

Are you being realistic about your weight loss goals?  You don’t have to set your goals too high.  Losing as little as five to 10 percent of your weight can improve your health if you're overweight.  Be realistic about your weight loss goals.  Ask your doctor how much weight you should lose.

Is your system of family and friends ready to support your weight loss efforts?  We all think we’re tough however it certainly helps to have someone in your corner.  You need a coach, who is someone you can rely on, so talk to your weight loss coach weekly to help you stay on track.  Fill out your meal diaries and be sure to check in on time.  Many of us find it rewarding to join a weight loss support group.

Speaking of the meal diary, do you set aside time to keep records of your food intake and physical activity?  We all know that keeping records increases our chance of success.  Try it and you'll be pleasantly surprised by how helpful it is to track your progress.

Have you learned from the past about what motivates you?  If nothing else, our personal histories should cause us to look at past successes and failures in weight loss and other areas of our lives?    Figure out what has caused you problems with weight loss in the past and keep working to resolve hurdles that might prevent success.

Do you have any preconceived notions about weight loss that sabotage you?  Some of us have hang-ups with words like “diet.”  Figure out what words or perceptions may be holding you back.  Losing weight can be a very pleasant experience when you focus on the right goals and have the right program.  Nearly all of us find we feel better when we're more active and weigh less.

So, what did we learn?  Depending on how you answered these questions you may be ready to lose weight.  It’s okay if you discovered that you aren’t ready.  Just figure out what you have to do in order to get ready, then begin your new journey to readiness.  Explore what's holding you back and face those obstacles.  In some cases it may be a simple matter of timing.  For instance, you may need to resolve other problems in your life.  In other cases, you may need to work on related issues such as your feelings toward weight loss or your willingness to commit to permanent changes.

Maybe you’re able to make these changes alone, or maybe you feel you’ll need help.  Either way, keep learning.  Educating yourself about the process of successful weight loss and maintenance is a great start.  For instance, learn more about your pancreas’ role in dietary changes necessary for losing weight.  This kind of knowledge helps you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.  Also, talk to your coach about behaviors that can interfere with your weight loss, such as eating when you're stressed or bored.

Figure out if you’re ready to get ready for the beach.  If you're ready for weight loss but fear you'll become discouraged quickly, then think about what you need to change to get your head in the game.  Becoming more physically active and making dietary changes will make you feel better and give you more energy.  Then, rather than thinking of weight loss as a short-term drudgery, view it as an enjoyable, permanent lifestyle change.  I did, and I kept the weight off!


By Mike Beatty

Mike Beatty is a contributing author and CEO of ITG Diet in St. Petersburg, providing coaching and personalized weight loss programs across North America. 


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