Changes for life: making them last

The theme this month seems to be all about change. This past week at our Bariatric Surgery support group we had a guest speaker, Deborah Lindeen MA, LPC, ATR-BC, who is a licensed professional counselor and her topic was “Making Changes Less Painful.” She focused on the different stages of changes. When making changes, we go through the stages pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance.

What I have noticed from my clients is, the pre-contemplation and contemplation stages are critical stages to recognize. I usually present some of the facts about what is going on with them and help them weigh the reasons to change and the reasons not to change. If the benefits outweigh the consequences, I get a sense of the motivation from the patient to want to move into the preparation stage. Then with my help, we create a plan to get them into action.

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Changes for life: Maintaining your weight loss

You hear people say all the time, “You look great! How did you lose the weight?” When I read Shape magazine, my favorite part was the testimonies from people who lost weight along with their personal blurb about how they did it. I also really enjoy looking at the “before and after” pictures. In fact, we have a few hanging up in our office and it’s such a joy to see the happy faces after having accomplished their weight loss goals.

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Changes for life: Revive your goals

This past Sunday as I celebrated Easter with my family, I was a little sad that I didn’t get the opportunity to decorate eggs or watch an Easter egg hunt since I wasn’t around any children. That really got me to thinking about how Easter eggs, bunnies, and chocolate are far fetched from the true meaning of why we celebrate Easter Sunday. In the end, it was refreshing to have this year without all of that in order to take a moment to experience joy and enjoy the time I spent with my family. Plus, I wasn’t tempted to dig into a box of peeps!

It’s easy to lose sight of the important things and get caught up in the busyness of life. I read an article called “Resolutions Revisited” and it revealed a statistic from the Journal of Clinical Psychology stating that after one month, two thirds of the population will have maintained their New Year’s resolutions and after 6 months less than half will have maintained thier vows. They went on to discuss some of the reasons why people don’t accomplish their goals and some strategies of those who are succesful such as:  

1. Adhere to a specific plan. The author suggested being strict with your plan.

2. Tell people about your goals. They can keep you accountable and prevent you from stumbling.

3.  Set reasonable goals that you know you can accomplish by the end of the year. It also helps to set “mini” goals or benchmarks so that you can feel good about the steps you are taking to reach your ultimate goal.

Another article from the Wall Street Journal,“The Science Behind Failed Resolutions”  suggested that focusing on one goal or strategy at a time helps people practice the self-discipline they need to accomplish thier most important goals.

I want to challenge you this week to take a moment and meditate on at least one goal you want to “revive”. Then, write out why it is important to you, what steps you are going to take to accomplish it, who you are going to tell, and what you will do to reward yourself at each mini goal you meet.

Check out what the Acedemy of Nutrition and Dietetics has to say about resolutions as well! 

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Changes for life: getting back on track

Do you remember back in January when I posted guidelines for creating SMART goals for the new year? Well, I want to challenge you today to take a personal inventory and grade yourself on how you are doing. Give yourself a/an…

  • A if you have made many behavior changes and have lost at least 25% of your goal weight for the year. 
  • B if you have made some changes and lost about 10% of your goal weight loss this year.
  • C if you have gone back to some old unhealthy habits and maintained or gained weight over the past 3 months.

If you gave yourself an A, way to go! Keep up with the good work. For those of you who gave yourself a B or a C, it’s time to get back on track so that you can accomplish your goal by the end of the year.

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