Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It Takes Some Effort

Here's my thought for today: For the past couple of weeks I've been getting some physical therapy on my left arm, which I injured somehow. I remember the first time I ever went to physical therapy for back pain years ago. Before going for treatment, I had a totally different concept of what physical therapy actually is. I remember being assigned some exercises to do at home, and even the therapy sessions consisted of a number of exercises I had to do on my own. "You mean I have to work at this?" I asked my therapist. "Sure, if you want to get some results," she responded. Well, was that ever a shock for me! I somehow had the idea that that's what I was paying them for! Here's what I thought: I'll go in for these feel-good treatments three times a week and just lay there while they soothe my pain away. I had no idea that the largest factor in my healing would be my own consistent efforts long after the treatments were over.

When it comes to health, wellness, and weight control, I think a lot of us have similar ideas. You've seen the ads, I'm sure. They go something like this: "Lose 40 pounds while eating whatever you want--without exercising." Wouldn't that be nice? I suppose if it were that easy, none of us would have weight problems! But the reality is, nothing worth having is that easy to get. If you want results, as my therapist said, you've got to make an effort. Her statement was a reality check for me, and still serves as a reminder today that whenever I want to accomplish something, I have to make an effort to make it happen.

Wishing you a productive day!

The Wellness Lady

Monday, August 3, 2009

It Works!

Well, I'm here to tell you that stating a commitment publicly does work. Yesterday I was about to indulge in a few extra calories when I remembered that I had told everyone I was getting back on track with my commitment to live healthfully and shed some extra pounds. Even if no one had heard me say it or read my blog, just the fact that I said it encourages me to stick to my word.

I am embarrassed to say how many times in the past I've started out on the right track and then, even before the day was over, I had fallen by the wayside. But now that I'm accountable--you're holding me to it, right?--my likelihood of messing up is a lot lower. (Notice I didn't say that my chances of messing up are nil. Remember, it's a constant battle for all of us.)

I also talked a bit in yesterday's blog about having a support system. I'd like to share with you a free online community resource that I learned about a few months ago. You can access it at www.sparkpeople.com and it has a wealth of info for people who want to lose or maintain their weight. It's got a recipe database, a nutrition calculator, exercise videos, articles on health and fitness, and groups you can join, such as the 10,000 Steps a Day group and the Calling All Vegetarians (and Vegans) group, of which I am a member. There's a lot more, and the best part is, it's free! If you're looking for that extra boost that a support group can give, check out SparkPeople. It's great!

What are your health goals? I challenge you to start thinking about them and writing them down today. Then tell somebody else what you're planning to do. It works, believe me.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Today's the Day!

This is it! The weight is starting to creep up again and it's time to get back on track. Today I will join my local fitness center and return to faithfully living the Weight Watchers lifestyle. After all, I'm a lifetime member! There's just no excuse!

Experts say that accountability is an important factor in sticking to your weight loss goals (or any goals, for that matter). So there you have it. I've verbalized my commitment and you are going to hold me accountable for sticking with it. Right? I hope so.

Do you have a goal you want to reach? Have you somehow gotten off track or fallen off the wagon? It's not too late. If you're like me, at some point you've probably found yourself trying to lose weight or attempting to make a lifestyle change, and then you somehow got off track. Maybe you said something like, "Well, I've blown it now. Might as well just go ahead and splurge." Or perhaps you told yourself, "There's no point in even trying. I give up. It's just too hard."

If that's ever happened to you (and even if it hasn't), here are some tips for making a healthy lifestyle change and sticking with it:

1. Make a commitment and tell somebody else. Ask the person to hold you accountable.
2. Write down your goals and keep them in place where you will see them every day.
3. Establish a support system. Research shows that people who have a strong support system are more successful at reaching their goals. Joining a group such as Weight Watchers or TOPS is one way to do this.
4. Keep a log. Track your food and beverage intake and your exercise on a daily basis. It's been proven that people who do this lose more weight than those who don't.

Remember, today's the day. Don't worry about the past. Resolve to make a fresh start; set some goals and stick with them!

The Wellness Lady