Happy New Year to all. Isn’t it great to get back to routine and reality? Or is it just me that craves fruit and vegetables? Inspired by the over-indulgence of the holidays and my predictable passion for weight and wellness, I’ve developed a list of paradigm shifts to make, if Weight Loss for LIFE is your goal. (These concepts also apply to other areas of your life.)
A paradigm shift is a fundamental change in a belief, an attitude or an approach. These are changes that stay with you. So rather than putting all the usual attention on your stomach, pay some attention to where your head and heart are at – your attitudes and beliefs. Who knows? It might take just one paradigm shift to make all the difference for you. You are unique and will find your own way.
If Weight Loss for LIFE is your goal, I suggest working on the ideas below, beginning with those that you know you can achieve with greatest ease. You will know when you’ve got it because it will feel like you’ve turned a corner. Keep working away at the list until you no longer need to – because you’re already maintaining your weight loss.
1. You accept yourself at your current weight and shape. That doesn’t mean you like the lumps and bumps, but you’ve made friends with them. You have acceptance and self-respect. You start living like you’ve already lost the weight, ie: buying great clothes even though you haven’t yet reached your goal weight – because you’re worth it at any size.
2. You aren’t looking for a quick fix, ie: dramatic and sudden weight loss. The real difference is you’re willing to take personal responsibility for losing weight and willing to do what it takes. You have patience.
3. You exercise for enjoyment, stress release and good health versus strictly a calorie burn. You know you’re getting all the benefits when you actually look forward to movin’ your butt.
4. You don’t give up when you screw up – you just start again. You know you’re succeeding when the interval between screw-up and start-up gets shorter and shorter. You now forgive yourself for the detours and even expect them as part of your humanity.
5. Your weight loss goals are long term and based on what is truly important to you, versus a one time event that comes and goes, like a wedding or reunion. While these events can serve as stepping stones, they will not serve you as THE goal in your big picture. You know you’ve made this shift when your progress continues beyond the event.
6. You eat for hunger and sustenance versus comfort. When you know your feelings and can deal with upsets and celebrations without foraging for food or drink you’re definitely on the right track.
7. You focus on the process of getting healthy, gaining energy and feeling great versus strictly results, ie: pounds lost. You know you’ve made this shift when you free yourself from the weigh scale. The weight comes off and it feels like you’re not trying.
8. You are willing and able to state exactly what and how much you consume in a day versus not owning up to your consumption. You know you’ve reached this pinnacle when you stop playing hide and sneak. You have all the awareness without obsessing about what and how much you eat. You give up getting stuffed. You feel great.
9. You don’t rely on diets. You do it your way by making healthy, balanced choices from foods you actually like in just the right amount (less). You’ll know the difference because you won’t feel deprived or starved – just proud. You’ll lose weight slowly and continuously. (Look for professional support if this isn’t working. You probably need education re: appropriate choices and quantities.)
10. You reach your goal weight and stay with the program, versus returning to old habits and larger clothes. You know you’ve arrived when the clothes in your closet are all the same size because there is no going back. You pay attention to weight gain and are ready to respond immediately. Congratulations! You’re maintaining a healthy weight.
Not only are the pounds gone, you’ve improved many aspects of your health and you feel great because you’ve given up getting stuffed like a holiday turkey.