May 28, 2010

Honesty; The First Step to Change

There are many theories and many experts out there who think they may have the answer to weight loss, eating well, and daily exercise (just to name a few) but nothing earth shattering or shocking has come out of these studies, products and promises for life long change.
I don't have the answer either (although sometimes I go through periods of believing I do). What I do know is from experience and not so much the books I have read.  The first step to making a change is to be honest with yourself. In the weight loss classes that I lead I usually have one or two participants who claim that they eat a clean diet and never touch junk food.  At second glance of their eating records, it is clear to me that the majority of their diet comes from processed and high fat food.  To be clear, there is no judgement on my part. I certainly do not offer suggestions for change unless the participant ask for it. Perhaps they aren't aware of alternatives, perhaps it is how they learned to cook. There are many other reasons for obesity than just eating high fat and not exercising. 
If you want to make a change and feel ready to move, it is important to be honest and open with yourself.  You are not a "bad" person because you eat junk food. You are not a "bad" person because you don't enjoy exercise. I am very sorry if you get that vibe from the fitness leaders and health professionals in your community because it simply isn't true. There is no such thing as "good" or "bad" and those that believe there is judging based upon their own hangups (there, that's my judgement). 
No one is perfect. Everyone struggles with something. In my opinion, it is through honesty that you will find life long success. True, you may fall back into old habits but just get up again and start over. Keep at it. On average, "the research" says that it takes about 9 tries before change is successful.  Celebrate that your lapses when you have just means you are closer to success!
Happy Change.

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