Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weight Loss Success Comes from Small Changes Not Massive Overhaul

When we want to drop pounds we often think we have to make massive changes in our lives.

That thought alone is often enough to keep us stuck. We don't want to have to make these big, radical adjustments. Change can be scary and truth be told...it is hard to do.

It isn't will power, either. We are genetically programmed to follow routine. Oh there are some people who roll with change better than others. And there are areas that we may be okay with change and upheaval and other areas where the thought of change induces stress. And for most of us with weight loss challenges, changing our food and exercise routines seems like it is changing our entire lives. After all the time, energy and focus of our lives often revolves around food--the choosing, buying, preparing, cleaning up after on top of the eating of it.

To have weight loss success we do not have to make huge adjustments. In fact success is guaranteed if you focus on making small, small, small (did I say small?) changes that you can absolutely stick to.

How many times have you promised to "be good" and stick to this or that diet? And how many times did it work for a while, maybe a day or couple of days or even weeks...only to come crashing down on you because you just couldn't keep it up? That's what I thought.

That's because you tried to make too big a change. I know. I've done it too. Often.

That's why I finally declared I Refuse To Diet!!! And that made the difference.

Sure I've made changes in my eating, I make healthier choices more consistently. But I'm not perfect--and I don't have to be! And I didn't start off with radical shifts. I started off with a very small, laughably small change that I new would be simple to keep. In fact, it was so easy that part of me thought it wasn't worthy and it would take forever to lose the excess pounds! But I knew I had tried the other methods in the past and while I might have had short-term success it all came rebounding back like I had a homing beacon glued to my thighs.

So I started small. And it worked! So I added another small change. And so, and so on. In the process I have rebuilt my health; I lost almost 100 pounds in a single year; I can do more and more every day.

The irony was that when I thought 1-2 pounds a week was too slow and I had to find a faster way to lose weight, I stayed stuck as a morbidly obese person. Once I took the focus off the weight loss and instead focused on healthy choices (and deciding that I deserved a healthy body) the weight started to drop off.

Now when I hit a point where I am struggling, I go back to the basics. Where is my attitude and what small change can I make that I can stick to?


sotm121097 said...

This is so true! I think lately that is my problem. I'm so caught up in the numbers game. I feel like I eat well but I haven't lost a single pound so not sure what I'm doing wrong? Any suggestions?

Laurie Tossy said...

Well, of course I would suggest you pick up my book "Refuse to Diet: Weight Loss Success Starts with Your Mind...Not Your Mouth" available on Amazon ;-) or join my group at http://RefuseToDiet.com (it is still free for charter members)

I firmly believe we have to change our mindset and thinking first in order to have weight loss success. I offer lots of tools in both those resources. And you can also look through some of these past blog posts under that "mindset" category.

Another tool that I find really useful is to establish a benchmark. Without editing what you eat, write everything down--and I mean EVERYTHING. Sometimes we think we are eating well and are actually engaging in unconscious eating that packs on the pounds.

Keep this food journal for at least a week without trying to cut back.

Also write down what you were feeling before/during/after the eating...did something trigger the eating?

This helps you to see any patterns that are occurring in your life.

Wendy Irene said...

Very true! One small change after another leads to big results. Congratulations on your success! It is wonderful you are helping others :)

Laurie Tossy said...

Thanks Wendy. Isn't it nice to get on a Victory Circle rather than the old vicious one! I love that when we start to shift our mindset and make healthier choices in one area it often overflows into other areas as well.