By: Carla Peck, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP
It’s very easy for me to gain weight, and always has been. Once I started working in an office and sitting at a desk, weight gain happened even faster. I’ve been successful maintaining a 150 pound weight removal for nearly three years.
I could write a book, but before I do that, would like to share some quick tips:
- Begin the conversation with someone and get support. For me, that was getting through the front door of Weight Watchers to gain control of food portion sizes and learn to eat more nutritiously; and Community Healthplex where I regularly exercise. It takes a village to change habits and there are several resources to help. I have found the “in person” options and “talk” options are more effective than “on-line” options.
- Continue the conversation with others to stay motivated. EAP (employee assistance program) can encourage changing habits and help keep you accountable to yourself (your HR Department can tell you how to reach EAP) as well as the health coach program through most health insurers. Talk to the counsellors and coaches in these programs, do not email them. Seek out others who are working on similar goals – this will help with accountability too.
- I’ve read that sitting in a chair all day is the new smoking. Get up and move around. I keep a cardboard box under my desk and put it on top of my desk and stand to do some of my work. Instead of getting a glass of water during a restroom break, make it two trips instead of one. Go to the restroom on another floor. Park the car further away. Take the steps instead of the elevator (in the office and in the parking garage). Stand while talking on the telephone.
- Motivation comes and goes with emotions, but will-power can be strengthened. Mark “self-care” appointments to exercise, etc. on your calendar and follow through just like you would a work assignment, manicure, hair appointment, spa visit, etc.
- Stay informed. Read books and articles on conquering cravings, mindfulness, and changing habits to become more aware of triggers and for help figuring out “work-arounds.”
- Slip ups happen. Make the next meal or snack a healthy one (don’t wait until the next day or the next Monday to start again). Forgive yourself and move on.
Beginning changing habits is the hardest part, but is necessary because without taking action, change does not occur. Making small changes will build momentum. The sum of all the changes will multiply and create significant success!