You have come to this all important decision that it is time to lose weight. So are you going to go on a diet to lose weight, or do you intend to change your lifestyle to a healthier one? Do you see a healthy lifestyle in your future? Let’s take a closer look at this.
Maybe you have heard, or even said this type of thing yourself.
“I am tired of these tight clothes. I’m going on the XYZ diet lose about 15 pounds.”
“Swimsuit time is coming and I want to lose 20 pounds before going on vacation at the beach. I’m going back on the XYZ diet.”
“My daughter is getting married next summer and as Mother of the bride, I want to look good on her big day and for the pictures I will be in. I need to lose 50 pounds by her wedding! I’m joining the XYZ diet today.”
Can you relate to any of those scenarios? I know I can! Those can definitely be motivating reasons to lose weight and its definitely possible to get there. What happens afterward though?
The Thing About Dieting
The thing about dieting (and I’m not talking about specific diets on the market today), but I’m talking about the meaning of dieting overall to most people. For many people, they diet to lose weight. They have an end goal (usually a weight goal in mind) and in order to get to that point, they follow a diet to get there. This could mean reducing the foods they eat and exercising some more. They might change the kinds of foods they eat while dieting in combination with exercise. The thing is…there is an end in mind and this end is typically a weight goal they had, or a special occasion in their future.
The question to ask is, “what happens when you get there?” On the XYZ diet, you may have eaten healthier foods and combined it with the gym membership and it worked great. The problem arises when you reach your goal. It’s like you’ve hit the epitome of all of it. The top of the mountain peak. It looks pretty amazing there, but you don’t stay there forever and the only way is down! You have achieved the big goal and you feel you’ve done it. Time to get back to normal. The only thing is, “normal” is an unhealthy way of eating and less (if any) exercise. The pounds come back on and typically more than you lost the first time around. It’s a vicious circle that happens to people again and again.
Living A Healthy Lifestyle
When you have the mindset where you are living a healthy lifestyle from here on out, you can lose the weight and move on to maintain a lifestyle you’ve worked hard to build. Part of a healthy lifestyle is being mindful and aware. You understand what it’s like to eat healthy and the benefits to your body so it’s something worth keeping up. Exercise is a key component to life because not only does it keep you physically healthy, it is a valuable part of the equation to maintaining the weight you’ve worked so hard to lose. Understanding how you think and react to life’s situations allows you to make decisions that are in your best interest and serve you. You totally recognize that a healthy lifestyle is for “life”. It’s not just a cliche. And yes indeed, healthy lifestyle has both a physical and psychological element to it.
Make The Switch
Knowing the differences between time limiting dieting and a healthy lifestyle “for life” is a first step to moving beyond goal weight. You can read my story on how I made the transition from goal weight to maintenance by reading my article, “How To Maintain Weight (After Reaching Goal)”.
A healthy lifestyle involves the ability to live with healthy habits that you believe in and enjoy. Having the knowledge that getting to goal weight is just the beginning of an amazing life you have started that makes you the best version of yourself both physically and emotionally. Instead of picturing reaching a goal like you have scaled a mountain, think in terms of getting to the light at the end of a dark tunnel. Reaching the light allows you to live this amazing healthy life and now broaden your horizons with that light beyond the tunnel. It’s an amazing journey and staying both mindful and aware of what you have achieved and how you got there will be a constant reminder. A reminder of that lays beyond the light…. at the end of the tunnel.
After years of weight issues, I have finally found the formula of combining healthy food choices, regular exercise and positive behavior change to lose weight for good. Coupled with, exploring self-development, being productive and living simply, I am now maintaining a healthy lifestyle and in a good place. I enjoy writing articles to help my readers to become the best they can be!