Baby Steps

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2013 is quickly approaching, and with the start of the New Year comes the inevitable onslaught of diet and weight loss ads and TV shows.  Jennifer Hudson sings to me about Weight Watchers, Valerie Bertinelli touts the wonders of Jenny Craig, Special K asks me “what will you gain when you lose?” and a new season of The Biggest Loser will start the first week of 2013.

It seems like New Year’s is when everyone renews his or her pledge to get fit, lose weight, and be healthy.  While I applaud everyone’s efforts to lead a healthier lifestyle, so many of my clients have histories of having gone to extremes in failed attempts to get there.  Many people think that overhauling their entire life is the only way to see results; that by working out every single day, cutting out all white and processed foods, etc. they will achieve their goals.  But there is nothing further from the truth!

Change is difficult and it takes a lot of time, practice, and patience.  When we try and change the majority of our food and exercise habits at once, we are setting ourselves up for failure.  It’s nearly impossible to make these numerous changes and stick with them for an extended period of time (never mind the rest of our lives!).

For these reasons, I often talk with my clients about making small changes, one at a time, like baby steps.  Once the client has mastered the desired behavior, we can move on to the next one, and so on and so on.  If we give ourselves achievable and measurable goals and we practice them day after day, we are more likely to be successful in our efforts.

So, go ahead, make some resolutions to lead a healthier lifestyle.  Just be patient with yourself and take one step at a time.

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