On the road to weight loss, fitness,
and health, you can easily become
discouraged. In fact, discouragement
is what leads many people to give-up
when they may have been near a point
of significant progress and encouragement
in their program.
1. It does
get better - and often very quickly!
Many people that are significantly
overweight or that have been
sedentary for a long time, find any activity,
even walking a few hundred feet,
to be very difficult and uncomfortable.
Be encouraged, many physiological
changes happen very quickly once
you start moving. Walking, for example,
starts getting easier and more comfortable
within a couple of weeks. Keep
moving - every day will be a little better!
2. The visible
signs of progress in a weight
loss program are often very slow to
come. Healthy weight loss takes time, but
that can be very discouraging. Be encouraged
to know that for each day that you
exercise and eat healthy foods in moderate
quantities, you have made progress.
It might not be measurable that day,
but you have made progress and it will
be measurable over a period of weeks and
months. Be encouraged!
was 43 years-old and had been
sedentary for 20 years. The scale had
not changed in those 20 years - she still
weighed 136 pounds, but she knew she
had lost muscle and gained fat. Her waist
was bigger and she couldn't fit into
the same size clothes that she did 20
years earlier. What bothered her most
was that she was always tired and never
to start walking and weight training
but quit after a week. She said, "it's
too uncomfortable, I can't keep doing
this." I encouraged her to continue and
told her that it would get better. She
"quit" three times during the next
two weeks. We talked frequently.
Six weeks later she started to notice
some muscle tone and she noticed that
her endurance and energy level had
increased dramatically. She said,
"I'm very encouraged!"
Eight months later she had gained two
pounds on the scale but lost three
inches in her waist - and she walked
a marathon! Yeeeeeeesss! Be encouraged!
4. The whole
idea behind physical training
is that you push your body to do
a little more than it's comfortable with
and it responds by making physical and
physiological changes. These changes make
you capable of doing a little more with
less discomfort. Be encouraged!
5. Keep records
of your progress. Every day
write down the positive changes you've
noticed and also keep a record of
the exercise you do every day. Write down
what you did, how long you did it, and
any thoughts about your exercise that
day. Keep a running total of your minutes.
You can look back at what you've
done with a great sense of accomplishment
and you'll be motivated to do
more. Be encouraged!
6. Progress and
improvement generate encouragement.
YOU can progress and improve
and be encouraged to do more. Tomorrow
morning, put on your walking shoes
and take a walk, even if it's just a
few minutes. The next day, do it again
- progress and improve.