Today my heart has been troubled as people truly wishing to lose weight and control their eating habits are earnestly looking for help and wanting to know … “How do I stay Motivated?” … “How do I grasp the energy to even get started?” … “How will I be able to lose 125 lbs?”
Throughout my life, I’ve been faced with the same nagging questions.
Why is it that sometimes I was determined and able to stay on a diet regimen for a long period of time and successfully lose 20-60 pounds? Why was it at other times I couldn’t last a day? How could I go to bed with the very best intentions to begin anew in the morning, only to wake and move the start date to “tomorrow”? What is that magic switch that happens every now and then? How does one tap into that energy? Why can’t we call up that determination and motivation when we want to … or ... Can we?
If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, the mere idea of needing to shed a large number of pounds, sometimes in triple digits, can seem a daunting task. At other times, whether it is 5 pounds, 50 lbs or 150 pounds, the task of just getting started seems nearly impossible.
Listen, YOU CAN DO THIS!! There’s no magic button to push. Don’t focus on the task as a whole, just concentrate on taking a few tiny Baby Steps!!!
Do you recall that carefree time in your life when motivation came easy?
A time when every step forward was most exciting and was met with great anticipation?
A time where we did not allow ourselves to think of obstacles?
A time when no one could stop us and it never occurred to us that we couldn’t do something?
A time when anything and everything was possible and no one could hold us back?
A time when, with 100% determination, we leaped forward without fear and with steadfast determination?
Let’s go back and look at the faith we had as a child and see what lessons we can learn!
1. Take Baby Steps!!! If you know in your heart you need to lose weight, don’t worry about summoning great mountains of motivation and courage to begin. Quite literally, you need to move forward by taking baby steps!
Babies do not understand the full meaning of why they take steps, but they take them just the same. They display a blind trust and innate curiosity to move forward, even if they do not completely understand where they are going or how they are going to get there. A baby stumbles, falls, cries when they are hurt and screams in frustration … but they quickly forget the minor roadblock and, with faith and perseverance, take the next baby step forward. Their steadfast perseverance continues until they learn to succeed and are soon able to walk. We can learn much from these little ones.
2. Adjust Your Attitude!!! You may not “want” to plan your meals, count your calories or begin an exercise program, but again we can learn from our childhood.
Remember the first day of kindergarten? As a child, we didn’t necessarily “want” to go to kindergarten … but there were lessons to be learned. Even if we didn’t understand it, our parent(s) did. Whether we entered school kicking and screaming, shyly or perhaps in tears, we were "forced" to attend because it was a necessary growth experience. In very short order we found out it wasn’t as bad as we had feared … in fact, it was FUN! It opened doors to new adventures and understanding we would not have known otherwise.
In addition, aren’t there other things we don’t “want” to do, but we do them just because they need done? What about dishes, laundry or cleaning the bathroom?
Consider adopting these same attitudes about eating healthy and participating in an exercise program. Make TODAY the day you “force” yourself to take that initial step by remembering what you learned in kindergarten or just because it needs done … but do it TODAY!!! In short order, you will become comfortable with the changes and begin to look forward to your new activities, just as you did in kindergarten! As an added bonus, you’ll experience the feeling of satisfaction for having begun … just like you feel when the dishes are done or the house is clean.
3. Take Tiny Helpings!!! Whether you are looking at the amount of food you put on your plate or setting your weight loss goals, take tiny helpings! Just as a child has a tiny tummy and eats often, this is the key for you as well. Take smaller portions and eat more frequently, 3 meals and 3 snacks. It will keep you content and keep your metabolism working.
In setting your weight loss goals, take tiny bites. Set a goal of 2 lbs or 5 lbs and realize that success. Then, just like a child looks forward to getting a star on their paper, reward yourself for each small victory you make! Children need frequent rewards to keep them motivated … and so do you! In celebrating each success, you reinforce your behavior and motivate yourself to keep going!
YOU CAN DO THIS!!! Trust enough in the experiences of childhood to take Baby Steps and begin the journey of your lifetime! Your epiphany will come as your successes build and there will come a day when you cross the threshhold and KNOW this is a change you have made for life! I BELIEVE IN YOU!!!