This was a quote from a website I was looking at, and the words rang true in my mind. When we embark on a weight loss journey everything seems an effort; from writing our food down to planning meals, to the worry of failing, and how we will handle unexpected events. Many times I have been told “it’s easy for you;” I’m never sure how anyone could even imagine that. Although one person may be a different size than another, it doesn’t mean they don’t think of food, or stop documenting their intake or have supposedly high metabolism to allow them to eat whatever they want.

Really, all they are seeing is someone who has made a lot of effort over many, many years. Maintaining weight loss becomes easier simply because a person learns things they must do to get back on track very quickly. It becomes less of an effort over time, because you the new routine and eating strategies become engrained.

The same thing goes for exercise, which is part of health and an integral part of weight maintenance. It used to be a HUGE effort to work out or go outside to run, but now it has simply become part of my daily routine. I have trained myself to try NOT to negotiate or rationalize avoiding exercise; I simply do it. It has become part of my daily routine. After so many years I got really tired of listening to the same old excuses I used to make. (“Too tired, too busy, too late, too-whatever.”) Also, I got tired of waking up the next morning feeling guilty and asking myself, “Why didn’t I do that? I would have felt ever so much better today if I had.”

It’s important to know that whether you are starting for the first time or the 10th time it’s going to be a mental effort to change habits. If you stick with it long enough, however, you will find that it becomes easier; it will become a routine. You will become more aware of the portions you need to satisfy your hunger, and you will become more aware of the foods that are triggers for cravings so you that you will avoid bringing them into the house. You will learn to eat regularly throughout the day, such that you are not excessively hungry in the evening. Gradually you will wean yourself away from the habits that were preventing success. Although everything may seem difficult now, with time it will become easier.

The biggest effort comes from our mind; fighting the ‘justification’ to snack ‘because we deserve it;’ fighting the urge to have seconds, not because we are really hungry, just that ‘we want it.’ “No, I’ve had enough, thank you” may be the toughest words we need to learn to help ourselves through parties, events, holidays and pleasing those around us.

Do not question activity or exercise, just do it. Do something. If you can’t do 30 minutes, do 15; something is much better than nothing. Eliminate excuses. There are always things coming up in our lives that throw us off our goals. Quickly reset your goals, and stick to your plan no matter what life throws at you.
It WILL become routine, I promise.

Never, ever give up. Keep trying until that effort becomes routine.

Dr. Doug