It takes a lot of courage, persistence and willpower to follow through with a diet and exercise plan and achieve your goals. But then, doesn’t one need all these things to get through just about anything in life? There are some things that I learnt as I went about my own weight loss regime. Things which are equally valid and applicable to other things in life.
- If you really want something in life, you have to sacrifice something else. You can’t have everything. You have to choose. You cannot eat all the foods you like and still be the weight that you want to be.
In life, you can’t have a high powered, extremely successful career and an extremely fulfilling family life. You can’t have all the money you want and all the leisure time you want. You have to learn to strike a balance between the things that make you feel good in the short run, and the ones that are good for you in the longer run.
- If you put your heart into doing something, you achieve a lot more than what you first set out to achieve. When you work out a healthy diet and exercise plan and stick to it, you don’t just lose weight, you develop a healthier, happier way of life.
If you find a job that makes you happy, if you like what you are doing, you don’t just make a living out of it, you make a life. If, on the other hand, you like being a mother and choose to do that full time, that can turn out to be more fulfilling than any job that you have ever held.
- If you feel like you don’t have the energy to go on and just want to stop and give up, don’t stop. Slow down, but keep moving towards your goal, slowly and steadily. Working towards a goal requires you to be persistent and regular in your efforts. If you think you don’t have the energy to complete your usual thirty minutes on the treadmill and are feeling tired after just fifteen, don’t stop at fifteen. Decrease your speed to a more comfortable level, catch your breath and go on. Even if you didn’t burn your usual three hundred calories, burning two hundred is better than just one hundred and fifty, right?
When you feel that the stress of your job is getting to you and you want to just throw it all away and quit, just slow down. Discipline yourself to adhere to strict limits on working hours. Know how much work load you can take on, and politely but firmly refuse any more than you can handle.
- Achieving something significant does not have to be about depriving yourself of all pleasure. It is about making sensible, better choices which lead to a better output in the long term. You don’t have to stop eating all the things you like if you want to lose weight. You don’t have to give up chocolate and fried food all together. But make it a point to choose grilled meat over fried as often as you can, and to reduce your portion size when you have dessert.
If you want to go back to college and get an advanced degree, that doesn’t mean that you will need to live on a tight budget and have very little social life. Eliminate unnecessary expenditures, such as designer labels. Choose the more economical places to buy your clothes, stationery and breakfast cereal. Watch movies on DVD at home. Cook for yourself as often as you can instead of picking up frozen dinners or takeouts. Make a few small sacrifices now and reap great benefits in the future.
- If you slip up once, that doesn’t mean that all is lost. If you gorge on pizza and chocolate pie one day, that doesn’t mean that your diet is ruined. Just don’t let that thought take control of your mind and pick up from where you left off.
If you betray a friend’s trust once, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person and a terrible friend. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Even the people we trust the most will let us down once in a while. Just don’t let it get to you, apologize and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
- Weekends are for fun, relaxation, for being yourself and for doing the things you love doing. When on a diet, eat normally on weekends. It prevents you from putting the weight back on when you go back to normal eating. Plus, it ensures you don’t feel deprived.
Spend weekends with family and friends, watching movies you like, going out to places you like, and generally doing things that you like. Don’t ever work on weekends or worry about what you’re going to be facing on Monday. This is your time. Enjoy it.