Someone wrote me an e-mail recently that inspired me to write this post. She mentioned she was having a hard time getting on track, and that she might as well wait until Jan.1st to start losing weight.
Whenever I hear people say something like this ("I'm going to start on Monday" or "I'm going to start Jan. 1st" etc), I cringe inside. I never offer my advice unless someone specifically asks me, because I hate it when people give me unwanted advice. But here is what I would say to that person...
I always preach about ONLY making changes that you're willing to do for the rest of your life. A lot of people hear that, and think it makes sense, but they don't really let it sink in.
The only reason that someone should dread making changes to his or her lifestyle is if the changes are TOO difficult and miserable to do.
There is no reason to dread starting your dietary changes RIGHT NOW. If you're going to make changes that you're willing to do forever, there is no reason whatsoever to wait until Jan.1st.
There is also a big difference between the phrases "can do" and "willing to do". Anybody CAN make changes; but not everybody is WILLING TO make those changes. When deciding what changes you want to make to your lifestyle, you have to ask yourself (and really think about it before you give an answer), "What am I WILLING to do or change?"
I would suggest making a list like the example I made below. On the left column, write down things you are not willing to change forever; and on the right, write down some changes that are only a small sacrifice and you honestly don't mind doing them (something you're not going to dread!)
Remember, these are just examples. Only you know your personal battles and changes you should make--so try coming up with your own list and then start RIGHT NOW. It's not like you're heading to be slaughtered; they are just a few small changes that you're willing to do right now.
For a moment yesterday, I actually thought to myself, "I'm only 1.5
pounds from my goal weight right now. If I cut back on calories this
week, I'll for sure reach goal at my next weigh in!" But that is the
exact mindset that I try to discourage from others. I'm not willing to
eat less than I am right now FOREVER, so I decided that I'm not going to
change a thing--I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing recently,
and if it takes me 2 or 3 more weeks to reach goal, so be it. At least
when I get there, I'll know that I'm already doing what I need to be
doing in order to maintain.
Even if you're only willing to make one change right now, that's better than nothing. I didn't make all kinds of changes at once when I started losing weight. I wasn't even willing to exercise at first. But eventually, as you get used to your new habits, you just might be inspired to make more changes--because you want to, not because you have to.
I understand the "waiting until Jan.1st" mindset, I really do--I've said that phrase God-only-knows-how-many times in my life. But now that I've actually lost the weight and lived this lifestyle for 2 1/2 years, I know much more than I did before. And "starting Jan. 1st" is almost guaranteed to fail. There is a reason people make that New Year's Resolution EVERY YEAR--it's because the last year's resolution failed.
Remember, anybody CAN make changes; but what changes are you WILLING TO make forever? :)