"Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire." - Dan Brown, The DaVinci Code
During the month of October, you'll see plenty of htings that scare you - ghosts, ghouls, monsters - but weight loss shouldn't be one of those things. It's easy to subconsciously self-sabotage at different stages of weight loss, so think about what areas you need help in. Are you afraid of how others perceive your efforts? Are you worried about exercising? Are you easily discouraged by long-term goals?
Avoiding these "scary" aspects of weight loss is what usual gets us into trouble. It's easier not to think about something that scares us than it is to get to the root of the problem. You'll have a harder time keeping weight off if you avoid the difficult decisions instead of making a conscious effort to make healthy choices, so get used to confronting these demons if you want to succeed!
Think of some of the more common "demons" you encounter during weight loss and what you can do to overcome the fear or anxiety you feel about them. Remember that being in good health at your goal weight is worth whatever effort it requires to overcome your fears!
"I'll be the slowest one at the gym." Exercising is not a race; the only personyou're competing against is the "old" you. If it makes you feel better, start slowly by walking aorund your block while the weather is still nice. By the time it gets too cold to walk outside, you will have built up some endurance and can fare better on the treadmill. Immerse yourself in music, an audiobook, or a TV show while you work out. Chances are good your fellow gym patrons are doing the same thing and are too busy to pay attention to you.
"My friends will pick on me for making special requests when we go out to eat." You don't have to tell your friends about your program in detail, just mention that you're watching your weight (or don't mention it at all; it's your business!). If your friends tend to be bad influences, try participating in non-food-related events with them for the meantime. Remember, at first people might ask why you're doing it, but pretty soon they'll ask how you did it.
"I'll have to give up the foods I love." Remember it's not "never," it's just "not now." Chocolate cake will always be there. Pizza will always be there. Don't tell yourself you can never have those things again, but remind yourself you're avoiding them right now. If you're one of those people who can't pass it up if it's in front of you, remind yourself that candy corn will be there again in the future; you don't have to buy it now just because it's in season. Physically avoid temptation if necessary, but keep reminding yourself you'll get the opportunity later to indulge that craving. Chances are good that the craving will subside and your brain will move on.
"My goal is to far away - it'll take forever." Some of us have a long way to go in our progress, but if you set mini-goals and remind yourself of them daily, they'll seem easier to reach. You didn't gain all your extra weight overnight - it might take awhile, but pound by pound, the weight will come off. Set a goal of 5 pounds, or 1 pants size, or something ealse measureable but fairly easily obtainable. Smaller steps are a lot less daunting than larger leaps. And remember, the time will pass anyway - would you rather be 6 months in to weight loss progress, or 6 months without having lost anything (and maybe even having gained weight)? Keep working at it!
"I won't be able to keep it off." If you make your mind up to keep the weight off, you will. You may always have to put some degree of work into it, but if you put in the effort to lose weight, you can keep up the effort to maintain it. The habits you're adopting while you lose weight will help keep it off in the future. As long as you monitor your weight on a regular basis and make changes to your eating habits if and when the number on the scale starts to creep up, you'll have a much better chance of keeping it off long-term.