Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Baby Steps: You Can't Do it All at Once

The decision to lose weight and get healthy is step one in a process of many steps and many changes. One of the things that I have learned in my process is that you can’t do it all at once. Initially yes, you are doing a lot; changing your eating habits, exercise habits, grocery shopping, etc., but this can often be overwhelming and can sometimes lead to failure early on in the process.

A lesson I was taught by my first weight watchers leader (the one 10 years ago), that I still practice today is not to knock myself down (or out) for “failing” in one of my changes in the short term, instead celebrate all the ones I got right. She encouraged me to pick one thing that I wanted to work on each week. For instance, one of the first things you want to do when losing weight, if you are not doing it already, is to increase your intake of water. So for one week I committed to concentrating on getting in my water. I still met my points total (Weight Watchers program) by eating healthy, exercising, etc., but I didn’t sweat it if those things weren’t 100%; water was the goal of the week. I aimed to get in the recommended amount of water each day (WW recommends 6 8oz glasses a day). Doing this helps to set up healthy habits that last. Each week I would concentrate on one thing at a time until I felt comfortable with that habit, which meant that sometimes I concentrated on the same thing two weeks in a row.

In my current journey, which I plan to make more permanent than my last, I continue to use this lesson regularly. Changing habits in 1 to 2 week increments has helped me to establish better habits over all. I still find that there are things I need to concentrate on more than once, but that is ok, after all I am trying to change a lifetime of bad habits into a lifetime of good ones. So it is ok to go back and revisit things that need a little more work. Just as with all things, practice makes perfect.

So I encourage you and anyone who is starting, or continuing your lifestyle change to a healthier you, take it one step at a time, before you know it you’ve made great strides in your changes.  I hope the tip I shared here is helpful, I know losing weight/getting healthy is not rocket science, but sometimes it helps to revisit lessons learned in the past and share our expericences.

It is my motto in this journey that “slow and steady wins”, see you at the finish line!

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