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The "I will start when... " Trap and How To Avoid It


I will start when the kids go back to school, I will start when I am done with graduate classes, I will start when I go back to day hours, I will start when my husband leaves for deployment, I will start when I get my bonus, I will start when I return from vacation, I will start when the grandparents leave.

Start what? What are you starting? Health and wellness is a constant journey- it is certainly not something you will be finishing. 

In my experience there is almost always a rebound effect to heavy dieting - the more you restrict, the more likely you are to binge on all of the things that have been on your "do not eat" list. Or you choose the popular "I'll eat everything I love today, and then I'll go on a diet tomorrow."

This, of course, is the story of the holidays for many of us. But that doesn't mean you can't lose weight if you need and want to lose it. I have found that the clients I work with who have lost weight and kept it off have learned to focus not on losing a certain number of pounds or reaching an ideal weight, but on finding an eating style that will last for the rest of their lives.

To start any change we think circumstances must be ideal and perfect, and in reality they are not and never will be.

For lifestyle change, think EDITS. Edits to your lifestyle are smaller steps that form together to create the vision you are seeking. When we hear diet we hear restriction and deprivation. With Lifestyle changes we should seek a cognitive behavioral approach to creating thoughts about our choices to drive sustainable actions.  The "why" of what you are doing makes more sense and those choices get less difficult to make.

There is never going to be a perfect time to start making better choices- TODAY is the day to do that.

Start with realistic expectations…..Use mantras. A lifestyle change is daily and is made up of a million little decisions. Think about what really motivates you. ...Keep unhealthy foods out of the house. …sanitize your environment.

Don't have an 'all or nothing' approach. … think grey not black and white.

Success is in how the failure is handled. Successful people fail but they do not quit. Carry healthy snacks…..dictate your food, do not let society dictate your portions or you are screwed.

Fix your nutrition before you even consider what to do with exercise. Exercise and change diet at the same time. ... epic fail. Nutrition first. Baby steps! Then fold in the exercise.

Set yourself up for success.  Have a game plan before eating out. Eat before and do not go starving. Look at menu in advance, and ask for what you want within your repertoire of food choices. I have yet to see any restaurant that will not accommodate. 

These ideas are part of a daily routine of less that perfection, but a state of consistent progress that will yield dividends and crush the “I will START WHEN….” Mentality. 


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