There are plenty of websites, blogs and social media pages available to inspire would-be dieters and exercise enthusiasts on their weight loss journey. Well, I can wrap them all up in one short column.
In the spirit of the Lighten Up East Texas challenge, I thought I'd provide a comprehensive list of circumstances that threaten to hinder even the most inspired person's goals. Below are possible solutions to help you stay motivated.
Keep in mind that what works best for one may not be ideal for another. Doctors, personal trainers and dietitians' opinions vary as do individuals' bodies. Consult with one trusted professional to find out what is the best solution for you. But also realize that whichever plan is chosen, it will inevitably include the basics: eating well and exercising.
If you feel as though you've been working hard but aren't seeing results week after week, it may be time to check your regimen. Start journaling what you eat or keep track of calories in a free fitness app. Consult with a professional trainer to see if you need to rev up your cardio exercise. If you can't afford a trainer, look for free exercise and weightlifting programs online.
If things don't change, check with a doctor to make sure there isn't something else going on with your health. (Most programs advise that you check with a doctor before the start of a new regimen anyway).
Injured or sick?
Don't stress over it. If you plow through exercise while hurt or ill, it'll make matters worse. Give your body time to rest and recover then get back on it when you're 100 percent healthy.
Pace yourself. Don't try to put too much on your body at once. Exercise should be energizing, not make you feel run down. It takes a lot more time and effort into taking weight off than it did to put it on. Be patient. The rewards will be worth the wait.
Having a pity party?
Don't fall into the victim trap. Everyone will have a bad day or week from time to time, but every day we wake up is another chance to change what we don't like. If you're feeling alone in the journey, find a family member, friend, coworker or someone who has similar goals to share accountability, the struggles and the triumphs.
Know your why.
Why do you want to lose weight? Evaluate (or re-evaluate) your goals. That may spark the courage it takes to tackle the task. Are your goals realistic? Medical professionals tell us that healthy weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week. You could lose more and you could lose less, but striving to lose 5 or 10 pounds every week isn't practical or sustainable.
Also, remember that the benefits of losing weight go beyond looking svelte. Keep in mind that a healthy weight (achieved in a healthy way), and everything that comes with it, reduces or reverses chronic illnesses while improving mood and quality of life.