“I will lose 50 pounds this year.” When I start hearing this kind of statement several times a day, I know the New Year is upon us! I always cringe a little, sensing the guilt of the passing year in a person’s new commitment to discipline.
How about looking at what you can actually DO to change your health, appearance, and sense of well-being? Weight loss that lasts is created by permanent lifestyle changes, not by following one of the new diet fads or purchasing one of the endless pills or devices I see 24/7 on TV at this time of year.
Will you really develop a realistic plan for adding activity to your life in 2011? Are you truly planning to change the way you eat, or are you just thinking you can turn your eating upside down for a month or two, only to find that you never intended to make the changes permanent?
Who cares how much weight you lose if you will just gain it back? Let the goal be behavior change. The scale will reflect that – over time. The scale is a fickle friend, as anyone who has dieted knows. Why not evaluate yourself based on how you are doing with lifestyle changes (realistic ones!) instead? And don’t forget to give yourself credit for a job well done.
Whatever your dream number is, let this be the year you feel the freedom of letting go of that focus, along with all of the stress it creates. Focus on feeling better and meeting your needs in healthy ways. This alone is a huge change of strategy.