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Coaching Corner: Sustainable Change

Wellness CoachingYou’ve got two options:  Option A, lose 100 pounds in 6 short months only to gain 50 pounds of the weight back within the next year; or option B, lose 100 pounds over 2 years and successfully sustain that loss for the next 30 years. Clearly, I hope we’d all choose option B, but what is it about instant gratification that may have us leaning toward the first option?

The fact is that when we decide to make a change and become persistent on changing anyone of us can make that change a reality in a short time frame. The issue here isn’t whether we can do it or not, but rather will the change be sustained and last a lifetime?

As hard it can be, we have to focus on establishing strategies that are doable for the long-term in order to be younger next year. We have to block out the short term gratification of seeing the scale move. The media is constantly sprouting more details on new diets and fast weight-loss schemes; however, for the majority who implement these diets, they are just that— a DIET. If we don’t change our environment or create strategies in our lives that are designed with longevity, we’ll never create change that’s sustainable. Ask former guest Lyle Orr about change and how he’s created something maintainable.

Hilton Head Health’s, Bob Wright often talks about the facts behind members of the National Weight Control Registry (an organization of over 10,000 people who have loss significant amounts of weight and kept it off for a long time) and of the major habits as part of their lifestyle. When it comes to sustainable change, we have to figure out unique healthy strategies that work only for us; but at the same time, we can also learn from individuals who have gone through the struggle but are now sustaining success. Check out how most of the NWCR members are maintaining and then figure out how you can implement:

  • 90% on average exercise 1 hour per day
  • 78% eat breakfast every day
  • 75% weigh themselves at least once a week
  • 62% watch less than 10 hours of Television per week

A lot of the time we see weight loss as just eating better foods or exercising a little more, but check out the mindset approaches successful individuals utilize to sustain change:

  1. BECOME SELFISH – people who sustain change are selfish. They put themselves first when they deserve to and they choose their health over other people or responsibilities.
  2. SET BOUNDARIES – they remove themselves from high stress situations or health hazards. These individuals put up healthy walls in their environment and focus only on the things they can control.
  3.  NO EXCUSES – successful changers are honest with themselves. They aren’t deceitful or liars when it comes to the health behaviors in their life. True to the core of what they are doing.
  4. GET SPECIFIC – they get detailed about the change. This is when I am going to make this happen; this is how it’s going to fit into my day.
  5. STAY PREPARED – these individuals take the guess work out of things. They prepare for the unknown in relation to their desired change. They set themselves up to succeed.

Do all of the above, and you’ll be on surefire path to solidifying any change you desire…

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