I was speaking to a friend the other day and he complimented me on my weight loss. As long as I have known him, he has struggled tremendously with his weight. He shared that he is still trying to lose 70 pounds, but has not yet experienced much success.
I started giving him some tips on how I lost my weight and became consistent with my running. I told him to snack on fruits and vegetables, and to increase his exercise to 4-5 times a week, with as much additional walking as possible. Unfortunately, I could hear the frustration and self-defeat in his voice; after each suggestion, he just sighed and said it is too much.
If you are experiencing the same overwhelming feelings as my friend, then this reality check is for you. For about the first two weeks of “Running Without a Watch” it IS hard. Really hard. Changing the way you think and act is one of the hardest challenges to give yourself. You need to reorganize your priorities and how you utilize your limited time. Are you going to spend another 20 minutes on the computer, or are you going to prepare your food for the next day? Are you going to sleep a little bit later, or are you going to make sure that you set aside time to exercise?
This is just the beginning; there is no quick fix for permanent weight loss. You can easily try one of the fad diets and lose 10-15 pounds quickly, but what have you really accomplished? While you may experience some temporary gratification, you haven’t solved the underlying issues. Without healthy lifestyle changes, you know that sooner or later you will gain the weight right back. It takes hard work and commitment to make lasting changes in life. I truly believe that each of us has the ability to do it. It may take longer than you hoped for, and you will probably experience some bumps and dips along the way, but trust me-- it is worth it!
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