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be positive
Your weight loss is directly influenced by the way you think and feel. The more you can remain positive and motivated, the more success you're likely to have. Here are three great ways to stay focused on your success:
  • Form a support circle. This includes your family, friends, coworkers and your doctor. It's pretty safe to assume that these people want to help, but they might not really know how. So, be patient while they learn the ways that are most helpful to you. One key element of getting the support you need is to be specific...and ask for the help you decide you really need. Think it over. Focus on the behavior that you want the person to exhibit—or to change—rather than asking for kindness, understanding or sensitivity. Make your communication clear, and you're much more likely to get the help you need.
  • Keep track of your progress. Weigh yourself periodically. And each day write down a day's complete eating and any physical activity you've done. This is both a great way to feel proud of your accomplishments and a helpful means of spotting any potential problems with your weight-loss program, should they arise. Any time you visit your doctor, bring along your daily notes to share with him or her.
  • Reward yourself early and often. Changing your lifestyle takes motivation, and although feeling better about yourself is the biggest reward of all, sometimes you might need a little something extra to motivate you. So make sure you reward yourself once you reach a goal, whether it be completing a 10-minute walk or losing 10 pounds. Some of the rewards you need are psychological—give yourself a "pat on the back" for a job well done, even if your new lifestyle becomes "second nature" over time. But don't feel shy about rewarding yourself with new clothes or other personal pampering, either—you've earned it!

Part of staying positive is dealing with the negative.

A positive attitude and good motivation will get you started, but it's easy to fall into unrealistic expectations that could derail your efforts.

Here are a couple of "can't win" thought patterns to look out for:

"It's all or nothing." This attitude tempts you to think that foods are either good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. Just one slipup, and you could view yourself as a failure. Instead, expect mistakes as part of weight control. It's better to have them and recover quickly than to have no plan for dealing with them when they occur.

"Nothing but negative." It's easy to make a mountain out of a molehill. Miss one opportunity for increased physical activity, and the thought could pop up that you're "right back where you started," ignoring all the work you've already done. Focus on the good work you have done, and look ahead to more of it.

"Don't worry, be happy." These thinkers have the opposite reaction from the ones above: they're always going to do better next week. This may be optimistic, positive thinking, but it often lacks a plan for making it happen. Plans beat platitudes, every day.

"This is it." Sometimes you may feel like you have found the "right" program, the "right" doctor, or that this is exactly the "right" time for success. Unfortunately, weight control isn't a one-shot effort. Think long-term: seeing your doctor regularly, making physical activity a part of your life, and, rather than just dieting, changing your eating habits for life.

Weight-loss pitfalls can be discouraging, but if you deal with them rather then give up, you'll be a stronger and happier person for it!

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