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Top 7 Tips To Take The Plunge Towards Healthy Habits
By Raymond Lee
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Okay, you are committed. You have gone public and recruited a few buddies. You know what triggers your binges, and you have devised ways to avoid them. You have successfully maintained your habit without allowing it to get worse. Now it is time to get serious about change. Here are some additional steps and tips that you can consider to take.
- Grieve The Loss Of Your Old Self
Once you have begun to transform your bad habit into a good one, it is time to bid farewell to the old you. Remember leaving home? You felt excited, but you knew you miss your family and friends. Losing weight or making other life changes has the same bittersweet quality. Give yourself a chance to grieve over the loss of your old lifestyle – even though you know it was bad for you. It is easier to open a new chapter in life when the previous one is really closed.
- Reward Yourself At Every Step
Part of cheering your own progress involves rewarding yourself, not with a hot fudge sundae if you are trying to lose weight or a shopping spree if you are trying to reduce credit card debt, but with little treats that reinforce your change efforts: a new pair of walking shoes or a phone call to tell an old friend about your progress. Pace your rewards so that you earn at least one a week. Do not fall into the trap of saying, “I will do this or that after I have lost 30 pounds,” Buy some new clothes now. See the symphony next week. Take a vacation soon. You deserve it.
- Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
No matter how much weight you lose, there will always be people who look better than you do. No matter how well you budget your money, some people will have their finances more together than you do. It does not matter. To jettison bad habits and establish good ones, you do not have to be the best person in the world or even the best person on your block. You just have to change the person you are in the direction you want to go.
- Be Patient
Tabloid headlines like ‘Lose 15 Pounds in a Week’ train people to be terribly impatient about weight loss. Quick fixes never work. Weight does not come off quickly. If you are not ready to give it time, you are not ready to lose. For those who want to become regular exercisers, here is a good rule of thumb: Calculate the number of years you have been out of shape. For every year, allow one to two months to get back into shape.
- Pick A Meaningful Start Date
When Steve Purser, the San Francisco health official who lose weight and kept it off, realized that he was prepared to forgo alcohol and substitute walks for desserts, he did not plunge right in. “ I waited until the first of the year. I am not really sure why, it just felt right.” Pick a start date that is personally meaningful to you: January 1, your birthday or the anniversary of some event that pushed you to make your change.
- Focus On Benefits
Diets are by definition temporary. People never say,” I am going on this diet for the rest of my life. They say, I will try it for a while. When they stop, they regain the weight.” Instead of dwelling on how much you are depriving yourself, remember why you are fed up with being heavy. Mental preparation for weight loss involves refocusing your self-talk from ‘I can’t have this or that’ to ‘I am going to look better, feel better, have more energy and wear the clothes I love.” After a few months of avoiding alcohol and taking your nightly walks, you will be delighted to discover benefits that you would not even imagined.
- Consider Getting Help
If you follow these suggestions and tips for a year and still feel at the mercy of your bad habit, ask your family doctor for a referral to a therapist who specializes in your problem or to a social worker who can put you in touch with a support group.
Raymond Lee is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is the Founder of Bodyfixes Group specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. He is currently the author of the latest edition of "Neck Exercises and Workouts." Visit http://www.bodyfixes.com for more information.
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Article Submitted On: February 17, 2008