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Archive for June, 2010

Weight-Loss and Fitness: My “Choose You” Update

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 29, 2010

Well, I’m here to admit that I was unsuccessful in my Choose You commitment.  I don’t really consider it a failure though, because I did meet most of my goals.  I’m very happy that I am finally at the point where I am not craving sweets and other junk foods.

I didn’t lose any weight, but I was successful in maintaining my healthier eating habits.  I wasn’t even tempted when my daughter brought back a plate full of deserts when we went out last week.

I have no plans of giving up.  My next Choose You commitment will be to continue my healthy eating while also integrating regular exercise (specifically swimming) into my plan.  Although I hope to lose some weight in conjunction with all of this, I’m not going to hold myself to any number on a scale.  If I lose five pounds that will be a great bonus, but I know the most important thing is that I am choosing a healthier lifestyle for myself.

I recently wrote a post about choosing to see the positive when we are working hard at weight-loss and fitness goals, but not seeing many results.

I find myself in the classic half-full or half-empty mark in my healthy eating plan. I can choose to see my plan as half empty, because I haven’t even lost one pound yet. Or I can choose to see my plan as half-full, because I have had success in eating healthier foods and avoiding sugar. In other words, I can choose to feel good about myself or choose to feel like a failure. It’s totally up to me. And I’ve decided to try something new, “choose” to feel good about myself and take a closer look at all the ways I’ve been successful.

Although I haven’t lost any weight yet, I have had the strength and willpower to maintain healthy eating habits (and give-up sugar) for over six weeks.  In my book, that’s success.

Anyway, that’s my story.  I’ll let you know more about my new commitment next week.

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Tips For Increasing Your Dieting & Weight Loss Willpower

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 12, 2010

How important is willpower when it comes to our ability to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle?  Is it possible to change poor eating habits to healthy ones if you don’t have a lot of willpower?

My answer:  The more willpower you have the easier it will be, but perfection isn’t necessary.

No one wants to admit that they lack willpower or self-control, but the truth is, none of us has an unlimited supply.  Some days we may have less self control than others, but that makes us normal, not imperfect.

When it comes to healthy living, a healthy dose of willpower is helpful.  The good thing is, once you’ve had the willpower to resist certain unhealthy choices and adapt healthy ones, willpower is needed less and less because your new choices become habit.

If you have unhealthy habits, it is possible to change them into healthy habits.  They say it takes about three weeks for something to become a habit (or to unlearn a habit), so those first three weeks are when willpower is most needed.  And there are things we can do to help maintain are willpower during these critical times.  Here are a few tips…

1.  Have a plan for dealing with times of low willpower. Making the plan before you’ve lost your willpower is key.  Think of all the possible problems that could arise, and then come up with some ways to help you overcome them.

For example:  If eating healthy is your goal, make sure you have a lot of healthy alternatives available for the days you’re feeling you must eat something that you know you shouldn’t.  If you don’t think that will work, then go ahead and eat what you’re craving, just limit yourself to one serving of it (rather than the whole box).  If you think it will help, write down your solutions to the possible problems in a journal or on a post-it note, and review them frequently.

The most important thing is to be prepared.  Because it’s not a matter of  will you have a moment of weakened self-control, it’s a matter of when.

2.  Find ways to reduce the stress in your life.  Emotions definitely play a role in the amount of willpower we have on any given day.  If you’re an emotional eater, you know what I’m talking about.  Do what ever you can to reduce stress in your life.  Here are a few ideas…

Do what ever you can do to reduce the stress in your life.  This isn’t just a way to help your willpower, this is a necessary component of healthy living.

3.  Have a glass of orange juice. Studies show that glucose is a key ingredient that your brain needs to help maintain an effective level of self-control (willpower).

4.  Exercise the willpower muscle.  Don’t wait for something huge to come along and challenge your willpower.  Instead, make an effort to challenge your willpower on a smaller scale more frequently.  Doing this actually builds up your ability for having greater willpower at the times you really need it.

These are a few tips that can help you develop stronger willpower.  But it’s important to know that we will all have times we falter, there is no such thing as having complete self-control, and that is perfectly okay.

What are your willpower issues?  Do you have any tips you can share about ways to maintain willpower for healthy living and healthy eating?

Posted in BlogHer, body image, dieting, food, Health, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »