Today I am going to tackle another reader question:
I'm 17 and weigh 290 pounds. I really want to be healthy! What's your biggest tip for someone wanting to lose a lot of weight? (submitted by Maggie)
Oh gosh, Maggie, to be 17 again! It feels like yesterday, but it's been 14 years – my goodness. For your sake, I won't start going on with the “when I was 17” stories. You probably don't want to hear about the golden days, LOL.
In your question, you mentioned both “healthy” and “lose a lot of weight.” These aren't always exclusive to one another. For example, there are people who lose a lot of weight but may be nutritionally imbalanced or lack strength. On the other hand, there are people who are heavier who have normal blood pressures, great nutritional intake, and can out-muscle Popeye. For that reason, I'm going to focus on the “healthy.”
5 Steps to Healthy:
- Prepare your environment: Both physical spaces and people that are around you regularly need to be examined. What is in your pantry that might tempt you later on? Who do you spend time around that lives the lifestyle that you're trying to change? Removing temptations and bad influences are difficult things to do, but in focusing on a long-term goal of sustained health, it's one of the most essential pieces of the puzzle.
- Document the “why:” When you feel bad or have a moment where you think “I really need to get healthy,” grab a journal and write. Write what you feel in your mind and in your body. Use as many adjectives as you can – be as vivid as possible. This will be gold for all of those times when you are about to talk yourself out of doing something you'll regret, or for when you need to get back on track. Here's some more of my thoughts on this.
- Embrace the runny-go: You know when you are a kid and you think that taking a running start will propel you over that puddle of water? That's a runny-go. All of the pre-work in steps 1-3 above are the runny-go for your health shift. It's the ammunition that you will use to power you towards the most important step…
- Start: There is only so much preparation that you can do. At some point, you just need to start. Small changes will pool into larger changes which will lead you to your healthy destination. One foot in front of another. One good choice after another. As long as the good outnumbers the bad, you'll succeed. Don't be afraid to use the anytime reset!
- Celebrate victories: This is the hardest part for most people. You end up making these little changes that cumulatively add up to major, life-shifting wins! Did you make a great decision when you were at a restaurant? Did you go out and walk even thought you didn't want to? All of these things are reasons to celebrate. Recognizing the new healthy behaviors are essential to accepting your new lifestyle. Write it in a journal, give yourself a gold sticker, tell your friends how awesome you are. Even if you just shut your door and turn the music up to have a solo dance party, do something that makes you feel great.
What tips do you have for getting healthy? Please share in the comments.