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Just Get Started

By Amanda Johner, MD FRCSC


Before you even think about starting a weight loss plan, it pays to remember this: losing weight isn’t easy. You have to work at it. And just like all the other things in life that require hard work, if you stick with it, the rewards can be amazingly satisfying. But, too often, many of us put off weight loss until it has already affected our health with obesity-related conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or even cancer. Obesity has been described as a disease of procrastination, it being speculated that people who are habitual procrastinators may be likely to put off dreary chores like exercising or healthy eating - two essential factors in avoiding chronic diseases like obesity. There is no easy answer to why people in general procrastinate, and in particular, why overweight individuals defer weight management.


To help you reach your goal weight and to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we’ve put together a list of common roadblocks that you must learn to avoid:


Fear of Failure: Losing weight isn’t about blame or shame. Many people fear failure and base self-esteem on accomplishments. Rather than risk failure, they end up doing nothing at all.


Perfectionism: Often we are raised to believe that we have to be perfect at everything we do. Consequently, many overweight people feel that if they can’t be flawless on their diet, they should quit. It takes a permanent lifestyle change to lose weight. That means you have to figure out what swaps and compromises you can make without carrying the burden of perfectionism.


Negative Self Talk: Statements like, “I should lose weight or I should get started on my diet”, usually don’t work and in fact often make you feel resentful, guilty and prevent progress on your weight control plan. The reason that so many diets bomb is the bouts negativity that happens when people reach plateaus. Only by staying in a positive frame of mind do we have any hope of being successful at losing weight. Start by telling yourself than you can achieve your goal.


Lack of Motivation: An absence of motivation can derail a weight loss program before it even gets started. That’s why you should come up with a way to keep your drive to succeed intact. Map out a strategy for those occasional lows that can sap your motivation.


Remember, the best way to get something done is to get started as soon as possible. Yes, it would have been great to lose weight months or years ago, but there’s no point in dwelling in the past because you can’t change it. Yesterday is gone. All you can do is make the best of the time you have now. That means get started today!