Making lifestyle changes to support your long-term goal of a healthier life takes both courage and commitment. At times you might even feel like a salmon swimming upstream, especially when people around you seem to be eating whatever they want and spending lots of time watching TV or playing video games. You may be tempted to just “go with the flow” and let go of things like tracking your intake, planning meals, and exercising. These are the times when you need to rely on your courage and commitment to keep you going.
Courage is making the choice to take an action despite the challenges or fears we may face. Are you willing to experience a period of discomfort to reach a goal? Have you recently experienced a challenging situation that required courage for you to keep going with your new behaviors despite your discomfort?
Kate works in an office where co-workers often bring in food and leave it on a table outside her office. Every time she leaves her office, she is confronted with the visual cue and the smells which tempt her to eat, even though she isn’t hungry. She’s been trying to “grin and bear it” but lately it’s been harder and harder to resist. After talking to her OPTIFAST® provider, she reluctantly agreed to talk to her supervisor about the situation. They settled on two helpful solutions: ask people to bring food in only one day a week on Mondays and move the table to a hall away from her desk. Kate was very worried about looking like a “complainer,” but her supervisor was unaware of the discomfort this was causing her and assured Kate she was glad she brought it to her attention.
Commitment is following through on what you say you will do. It is what you do to achieve a goal. Following through on commitments increases your self-respect, ability to problem-solve, and confidence. This is especially important for maintaining a healthy weight. Weight loss and long-term weight- management don’t just happen. They are the result of many new healthier behaviors that are maintained consistently over the long haul.
Shortly after Ben enrolled in the Program he joined the fitness center at work. He set a goal to work out 3 days a week during lunchtime. Now work is getting so busy and people are asking to arrange lunch meetings. He’s feeling pressured to attend those meetings instead of working out. After discussing this dilemma with his clinic classmates, he decided to block out 3 lunch hours on his Outlook calendar so co-workers will know he is unavailable for meetings at those times.
Being committed to problem-solving, keeping a food diary, planning meals, following your meal plan, exercising regularly, and attending your regularly-scheduled OPITFAST® Program appointments will keep you on track and help you achieve your goal of long-term weight management.
1. Record the top three reasons you joined the OPTIFAST® Program. Aside from your weight, what is different for you now compared to when you first joined?
2. List a challenging situation you’re having right now and problem-solve a courageous solution.
What conversations do you need to have? Whose help or support do you need to enlist?
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