When tackling a goal as big as weight loss, remember to give yourself credit for every positive step along the way.
Weight loss cannot be achieved by making one choice or decision. It is hundreds of decisions made day in and day out that add up to change our overall habits and help us reach these goals. Therefore, each time you make a positive choice or a decision, it is important to celebrate those tough choices…
…Each time you make a choice that was different from what you would have naturally chosen, give yourself credit, a ‘mental pat on the back’ for working so consistently to make these changes…
…Celebrate if you refrain from snacking on the leftovers from a party a meal or that the kids didn’t finish. Celebrate, for example: if you share a meal or take a bite of a dessert rather than ordering your own. Especially if you are usually an ‘all or nothing’ person, remember to give yourself credit each time that you decide to make a compromise that falls in the ‘gray area’. This means that you are starting to practice moderation.
Remember that trying to undo habits and re-create new ones and it is not a quick or easy process. Even some of the most prominent philosophers recognized that this is so:
“Habit is habit and not to be flung out the window by any man, but coaxed down the stairs one step at a time.” – Mark Twain
“Habit is the most imperious of all masters” — Gothe
“All men’s natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.” — Confucius
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
“Cultivate only the habits that you are willing should master you.” — Elbert Hubbard
“Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.” – Proverb
Also remember, as difficult as it may be to break bad habits and to reset new ones…
“Good habits, once established, are just as hard to break as bad habits.” – Robert Puller
“First we make our habits, then our habits make us.” – Charles C. Noble
“Habits are cobwebs at first; cables at last.” – Chinese Proverb
It is going to take time and many different small scenarios before it starts to become routine. Also, even when it does, these are likely going to be things that you will have to continue to remind yourself about again and again since these are choices that go against your natural instincts.
As these small ‘wins’ begin to build up, they can help keep you motivated until you begin to see progress on the scale.