Here it is, June! The summer solstice is coming upon us, along with bathing suits, tank tops and cute summer clothes. Summer may bring the desire to be more fit and lose weight. Unlike winter you can’t hide behind layers of clothes. Did you tell yourself that this is “the” summer to lose weight and get into shape? It’s not enough to just say you want to lose weight.
Most women are dissatisfied with their bodies, and more than 85% of women say they would be happier if they lost 5 pounds or more. That means 4 out 5 women reading this article want to lose weight, but often their actions do not follow their desire. Stress, work, family, and lack of time are a few, but major obstacles that can derail your best intensions to lose weight. Many people do too much, too hard, too fast with exercise, or use extreme diets that do not lead to long-term success.
What if you changed your approach this time? As the saying goes, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Now is the time to get focused and very specific. Focus on the happiness or feeling that you will achieve when you accomplish your goal. Here are three baby steps to shape you up for summer and beyond:
- What is your goal and why do you want to accomplish it? Realistically, with baby steps it could take up to 5 months to lose 10 pounds – that’s two pounds a month or half a pound a week.
- Make an action plan of a small change you can do everyday to work towards your goal. A small goal would be to drink more water, or avoid fried foods most days of the week. Write down your plan and share it with your spouse or friend – someone to help hold you accountable.
- Make better daily choices to work towards your goal. For example: choose diet soda over regular soda, eat a piece of fruit or limit the number of crackers you consume, or choose to go out for a 30-minute walk, or add more intensity to your regular workout. Do some activity to exercise your heart.
There are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat. Let’s say you negate 125 calories from your day by choosing skim milk in your latte and skipped a second helping at dinnertime. That’s really not much. Add a 30-minute walk to your day and you just increased your caloric deficit by 300 calories. Those small changes would add up to 2 pounds per month, 24 pounds in a year. It will come off slow and stay off. Little changes may add up to big results.
Like an infant learning to crawl, then walk, you too can take baby steps to achieve your goals. You will get there, and you may fall down a few times. But like your child, you will get back up and keep moving forward. Just remember, your goals will need a plan and time.