Judging someone by their girth and appearance is unfair and unjust. A person can be 190 pounds, 300 pounds or 400 pounds and a bystander has no idea how much they weighed yesterday. Knowing someone’s weight history reveals the journey. Are they in the process of gaining, losing or maintaining?
By developing and following certain strategies, healthy weight changes can be accomplished. Do not ignore medical red flags and lab values. Those nagging numbers mean things. High or low laboratory values could depict life threatening diseases. Don’t laugh them off, take them serious.
Learn how to get healthy and stay that way. This means accepting a lifelong commitment to a new set of healthier lifestyle habits that can continue. Educate yourself with new ways of age specific ways to maintain good health.
Don’t break the wellness chain. Stay on track with new healthy habits. A chain of days dedicated to your goal will only get stronger as it grows longer. Each day is connected to the next.
Know your must-do daily numbers. One day of 18,000 steps is good, but seven days of consistent 10,000 steps or a certain calorie goal is better. A slip-up is human, and a quick return is vital.
Day-to-day weight fluctuations happen. Daily readings on the scale can be misleading and discouraging. Trust consistent healthy choices. A decrease of waist circumference is a better indicator of getting healthier.
Stop floating into mindlessness and stay accountable to new habits. This may be the most difficult task in winning at losing weight. Food journals and phone apps log activity and can keep you motivated. Your feet have a hard time outrunning a careless fork. Be aware of mindful eating.
Find support from anywhere you can. Support can go both ways. Asking a family member or friend to help you with healthy goals can inspire healthy habits all around. Encouragement and advice from virtual apps can be invaluable.
Burn calories wisely and well. If additional exercise is not exciting find a way to burn calories that is. Enjoy a new activity. Hike, bike, play with a tyke. Get a dog that loves long walks. Sing a song of farewell to unwanted weight and a hearty hello to stronger muscles.
Look at weight maintenance as a lifelong practice. Quit calling your new routine a diet, people go on and off diets. A healthy lifelong lifestyle program requires daily vigilance, work and determination. These habits become ingrained and inspiring to those around you.
Be patient with your mind. It takes a while for your mind to adapt and adjust to a physical change. Research reveals that for every 25 pound change, it takes a year to identify that it is really you looking back in the mirror. Patience and practice set a “new normal” to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the rest of your days.
Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator, registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a Diabetes Self-Management Training Program at Dunlap Community Hospital, Orrville, Ohio. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.