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100 DAYS of WEIGHT LOSSThe Secret to Being Successful on Any Diet Plan
By LINDA SPANGLE
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2007 Linda Spangle
All right reserved.
Chapter OneDays 1-10
SET UP FOR SUCCESS
Day 1 I used to be that way ... Day 2 Interested or committed? Day 3 Do it anyway Day 4 Boundaries, not diets Day 5 Magic notebook Day 6 Protect your program Day 7 I can do it! Day 8 Help me, please ... Day 9 Here's what I want Day 10 Appreciate good support
I used to be that way ...
You are so determined to make this program work. This time you really want to stay on your weight-loss plan and reach your goal. But deep inside, you may be afraid you haven't changed at all and that you'll quit your program long before the 100 days are up.
Perhaps a tiny voice is reminding you of your past failures with dieting. In the beginning, you're always very excited and motivated. But after a few weeks, your enthusiasm drops, and without meaning to, you slip up.
Maybe you sneak an extra candy bar or a bowl of ice cream at the end of a bad day. Then you reason that since you've already blown it, you can go ahead and eat more. Soon you get discouraged with your behavior and eventually you quit your diet completely, just as you always do.
Change your thinking
Stop right there! Your past does not determine your future. In fact, your previous failures have absolutely no effect on your ability to succeed now. Starting today, eliminate the belief that things always go a certain way or that you never stay with your goals. Whenever those doubts creep back in, immediately give yourself this new message:
I used to be that way, but now I'm different!
This powerful statement completely ignores whatever you did before and instead promises you can change your outcome entirely. Rather than being fearful that you'll repeat the past, build a new way of thinking.
Make up a new ending
Because now you're different, you can do anything. You can even create different endings for your old negative patterns. Suppose you've been worried because you "always gain your weight back." Come up with a new statement that describes what you can do to prevent this.
For example, you might say, "I used to give up on a diet after a few weeks. But now, I pull out my journal every day and use writing to keep myself on track."
When doubts creep in, remind yourself that now you handle life differently. Go ahead and invent entirely new outcomes for your goals, then remind yourself often about your ideas. With time these patterns will become permanent and your dream of success will come true.
Make a list of any fears or negative behaviors that have hurt your weight-loss success in the past. Read each one out loud, and then say, "I used to be that way, but now I'm different." Then write new endings for them by completing this sentence: I used to _______________ (fill in your old behavior), but now I _______________ (write in your new ending). Read these new outcomes often, and then live in a way that makes them true.
Interested or committed?
Debbie was discouraged. "Whenever I start a new diet, I'm so determined to stay on it until I reach my goal. But after just a few weeks, something comes up-a party, someone's birth-day-and next thing I know, I slip off my plan and give up."
Do you feel totally determined to stick with your efforts, or do you entertain a few nagging thoughts about "having fun" instead of staying on your plan? If you tend to start and stop every time you diet, you may want to look at the difference between being interested and being committed.
Interest slips away quickly
With interested, you tend to stay with your plans only until something better comes along. For example, you may decide that you're interested in losing weight, but when someone brings doughnuts to work, you quickly go off your diet.
When you're just interested in dieting, you depend on seeing results to keep you on target. So as long as the scale keeps moving, you stay motivated. But if you hit a plateau or you don't see much progress for a few weeks, you may throw your program out the window.
Then when you struggle, you blame everyone but yourself. You accuse your friends of ruining your diet because they eat potato chips in front of you. In addition, you fall into "if only" thinking, saying things like, "If only I had more time, more money, a new job, or a supportive spouse, then I'd be able to stay on my plan."
Committed means "no matter what!"
When you're truly committed to achieving your goals, you have an entirely different outlook. Unlike being interested, where it doesn't take much to detract you from your goals, being committed means you stick with it, no matter what.
Rather than depending on results to help you stay on track, you work on keeping your motivation strong, knowing that results will follow. You don't blame circumstances or other people for your struggles. Instead, you stay on your diet in spite of not having enough money, time, or supportive friends and family members.
Look carefully at your current efforts. If you tend to easily fall away from your weight-loss plan, decide if you're taking the interested approach. If so, strive for being committed instead. Start adopting a "no matter what" attitude, then convince yourself you can stay with your goals regardless of your daily challenges.
Decide that you will always be committed to your weight-loss plan, not just interested. In your notebook, describe how you will stick with your program, no matter what. Do at least one thing today that demonstrates you are truly committed. For example, take a walk or eat your vegetables-no matter what.
Do it anyway
I don't feel like exercising today! Does this sound familiar? Then what happens? Do you push yourself and exercise in spite of not feeling like it? Or do you give in and hang out on the couch because you don't feel like making the effort?
Right now, you may be solidly committed to your goals. But what happens when you don't feel like cooking healthy meals or following your diet plan? If you aren't careful, you can easily slide back from being committed to being just interested.
Committed means do it anyway
You don't usually wait until you feel like going to work. You just go. The same thing is true for visiting your mother or changing dirty diapers. Because you consider these things to be important, you do them regardless of how you feel at the moment.
In the same way, you don't have to feel like working on your weight-loss plan to stick with your program. To improve your commitment, learn to focus on your actions, not just your feelings. On days you're not in the mood for exercising or eating right, tell yourself to do it anyway.
Then skip the leftover dessert and eat your fruit instead. Get up off the couch and put on your workout shoes. If you're really committed to your goals, you'll make these choices no matter what, regardless of whether you feel like it or not. Each day, take a few steps that will move you forward, even if you don't feel like it. Remember that when you're truly committed, you do it anyway.
Here's a summary of the differences between people who are interested in their goals compared to those who are committed.
People who are interested in losing weight
Stick with it until something better comes along
Take action only if they "feel like" doing it
Need to see results in order to stay motivated
Blame people or circumstances for their struggles
Easily give up when they face challenges
People who are committed to losing weight
Stick with their plans no matter what Take action whether they feel like doing it or not
Assume that if they stay motivated, results will follow
Take responsibility for their own actions
Keep going in spite of challenges and setbacks
In your diet or exercise plan, identify a task you don't feel like doing, and then do it anyway!
Notice how it feels to accomplish a goal by taking a "no matter what" approach to it.
In your notebook, make a list of actions you plan to stick with today, regardless of how you feel at the moment.
Boundaries, not diets
You've probably heard people say that diets are bad for you and that you should "never diet again!" The problem isn't usually with diets themselves, but with the rigid, perfectionist ways we use them.
If you're like most people, when you're on a diet, you try hard to follow it perfectly. Each day you strive to take in the exact number of calories, fat grams, or carbohydrates allowed by the plan.
But if you slip up and eat a delicious (but forbidden) food, you figure you've blown it, so you might as well eat more. Soon you throw the entire diet out the window. This all-or-nothing approach never works because when you are off your diet, you cancel out the progress you made while you were on it.
Boundaries define your diet
Like it or not, to lose weight, you have to follow some type of system. Your plan can be quite rigid and meticulous, or as simple as deciding you'll eat less and increase your level of exercise. Instead of getting stuck on the word diet, learn to think of it as setting boundaries for your eating plan.
Picture your diet program as a road or a path. You can define the boundaries of your diet road based on the number of calories, points, or other factors you choose to follow. As you walk on the road each day, your goal is to stay between the sides of the road. Unlike strict or rigid diet plans, boundaries stay flexible. They provide guidelines, but at the same time they allow for common sense and good judgment.
During times when you're strong and focused on your diet, you move the boundaries closer together, making the road narrower. When you take a break from your program or work on maintenance, you widen the boundaries and allow more variety in your plan. But even on a really bad day, you never eliminate the road or get off of it completely.
Set guidelines, not rules
Boundaries should give you benefits, not punishment! They should provide guidelines for you to live by, but not burden you with rules. You can define boundaries for any type of diet or weight-loss approach. Depending on your needs, you can simply adjust the edges of your plan to match where you are in life. By doing this, you'll be far more successful than if you punish yourself every time you step off the road.
In your notebook, draw a line down the middle of the page, creating two columns.
Label one column "Narrow road" for your diet plan. Label the other "Wider road" for your maintenance or alternative eating plan.
Under the titles, define your eating and exercise plans for each of these roads. Then decide on ways you can be flexible with them without losing sight of the healthy road you want to follow.
Excerpted from 100 DAYS of WEIGHT LOSS by LINDA SPANGLE Copyright © 2007 by Linda Spangle . Excerpted by permission.
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