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Getting Real – Setting Achievable Weight Loss Goals in 2018

By Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD, FASMBS

By now, those resolutions made just a few weeks ago may already be a distant memory. Whether these goals were in your mind or written on paper and taped to your bathroom mirror, they are probably lofty challenges to achieve.

Whenever you start something, you usually have a goal in mind. When it comes to your health, just committing to managing your weight can be an incredible challenge.

Whether you are setting out to lose 100 pounds or knock-off those stubborn last 10 pounds, you alone are in control of the result.

This is your victory to win.

I explain to people pursuing weight loss surgery that one of the life-changing benefits is personal empowerment–you are removing the control food has and returning it to yourself.

The same goes for goal-setting–you decide what the accomplishment/s will be and you will be the one who achieves them.

I’ve outlined some ‘real-life’ tools which can help support you during the journey:

EXERCISE YOUR WILLPOWER

Willpower is like a muscle, you have to use it or it will atrophy and become less effective. There are several methodologies to strengthen it: meditation, stress reduction, exercising, high-quality sleep regimen and general self-care.

When you have the resolve to make choices and say no, when necessary, you are exerting empowerment. This builds self-confidence and commitment to seeing your goal to fruition.

IMAGINE WHAT YOUR GOAL LOOKS LIKE

Visualize how you will look when you have lost a significant amount of weight. What kind of clothing will you wear? Will the weight loss inspire you to make quality-of-life improvements? If so, what changes do you foresee?

How will your mind and body feel when you are exercising regularly and prioritizing your health? How will the nutritional changes you adopt positively affect those around you?

How would your life be different if you did not have to live with diabetes, mobility issues, chronic joint pain, sleep apnea or high blood pressure?

Envision how your life is going to change for the better.

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BAN THE SELF CRITICISM

You know that inner voice in your head–the one that makes you feel ashamed when you’ve eaten the wrong thing or made a mistake?

When the message from your inner voice turns negative, shut it off.

Say this out loud:

“Sorry, but you’ve been turned off. Can’t hear a word you’re saying.”

Tell your brain you (now) reject the negative messaging and will not accept it.

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SET A SPECIFIC GOAL. THEN SET ANOTHER ONE

If you’ve never run a mile, vowing to run a marathon might not be the right place to start. Think of one thing you would like to be able to do, that you don’t feel comfortable doing right now:

•    Talk to that attractive co-worker

•    Learn a new hobby

•    Take a group exercise class at the gym

•    Go on a job interview

•    See an old friend

If you are someone who does no physical activity, start walking around your neighborhood 15 minutes/day and set a goal of working up to three 45/minute walks weekly.

Focusing on just one behavior feels less overwhelming and keeps you motivated.

Once you’ve accomplished the first goal, set a second one, then a third, and continue for the rest of the year. Imagine the successes you’ll be able to celebrate in 12 short months!

At Sterling Surgicare, we offer a team approach to helping guide and motivate you during the weight loss journey.

If you are ready to begin, start by attending my next New Patient Info Seminar at the Institute for Weight Loss at Raritan Bay Medical Center I hope you will share your goals for the year during the session tonight.

The New Year offers endless possibilities. Our bariatric weight loss team looks forward to celebrating many victories with you throughout the year.