This isn’t usually the question that you ask when you are thinking about losing weight. Usually you consider it something that must be done by a certain time of the year, perhaps in combination with an upcoming wedding or reunion lingering on the horizon. I bet about 95% of the population wants to either gain muscle or lose fat, or both. But is it enough to just believe you want to lose weight in a specified timeframe? And what has stopped you from doing it in the first place all this time you’ve been sitting around with an extra tire or two? Here are five questions to ask yourself before taking the plunge.
1.Are you ready for failure?
This may sound a little bit pessimistic, but it’s a valid question. When you are trying to do something as difficult as losing weight, which has been happily clinging to you for years or months, you can expect some drawbacks. On average, a ‘dieting’ person will do something every three days to upset their dieting schedule because their limits are too restrictive or too sudden. You just ate a Thanksgiving meal and suddenly you are limiting your intake the next day. Don’t you think the pressure will make you slip up once or twice in the next few days or weeks? Expect to fail once in a while, but expect to get up again and not let it affect your eventual outcome.
2.Are you in for the long run?
I know you’ve heard it said a million times that you have to make an active, healthy lifestyle just that-a lifestyle. The problem is that we think in the here and now terms, because here and now my jeans aren’t buttoning. Well, the problem with this is that we often make ourselves unhealthy, not just physically but mentally when we think we should have immediate results. And when you do lose weight, what will stop you from going back to your old habits because you never learned how to live healthy, just how to give up things on a short-term basis? It shouldn’t be done if you aren’t in it for the long run.
3.Who are you doing it for?
This is a question you need to ask yourself everyday of your diet. Who are you doing it for? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? An overbearing parent? The idea of fitting into your old wardrobe again? Chances are you haven’t really thought of your real reasons for doing it other than something has pressured you to act. Maybe you are just so fed up with yourself that you decide you need to do it. The truth is that if you are doing it for someone else, or for fashion, or for the sake of boosting your self-image, than you won’t be able to hold true to that purpose everyday. Some days you’ll give up on yourself again, or get aggravated at your boyfriend or girlfriend, or you’ll just not care about fitting into that size 5 dress ever again because it is an outdated style.
How about doing it for health? For quality of life? For the ability to stay around long enough in a good physical condition to see your children and grandchildren? What about doing it for the sake of feeling more balanced and more in control? Our reasons are what drives us to stay on track-so make yours some good ones.
4.Are you ready to make sacrifices?
Argh! I used that nasty “S” word-Sacrifice. “But I don’t wanna give up overeating or watching all of my favorite shows at night!” The problem is that, while you might not say this directly, you are probably hesitant to give up things you love for things that seem like a punishment. Vegetables over Chips can be a painstaking operation for some, but are you ready to sacrifice some of your guilty pleasures for some healthier ones? If you aren’t, then you probably don’t have what it takes to succeed in your weight loss plan.
5.Will you be happy with small successes?
Okay, so you’ve been dieting strictly for two weeks and exercising most days of the week. Why aren’t you seeing rock hard abs by now? Um…that’s because you still have a long way to go. Unfortunately, it takes a good month or so to see the difference in your health and body when you first start an active lifestyle from a sedentary one. Are you going to be optimistic enough to see that not being out of breath when you climb the stairs, or an easier time carrying groceries is a small success? If you are a pessimistic person by nature, you might want to work on your attitude first. There is no way you can make the journey worth it if you don’t take pleasure in the trees and animals you meet while passing. Making the decision to be optimistic and treasure your small weight losses will give you a jumpstart into your exercise/weight loss program.
If you think you are a little shaky on any one of these areas, maybe you should do some prep work and figure out where you are at right now to know if you can get somewhere else.