While most of us know we need to exercise and eat healthy to lose weight, we often blame our inability to do so on things like overloaded schedules, low energy, confusion and boredom. Playing the blame game not only gives us more excuses to skip workouts, it also distances us from the fact that how we live our lives is a choice. Taking responsibility for your own choices may be the most important step you take to lose weight.
Why We're Fat
Obesity is on the rise, despite our obsession with six-pack abs and movie-star bodies. There are many things that contribute to our current weight problems including:
- Sedentary jobs
- Computers and the Internet
- Hundreds of TV channels to keep us entertained for hours
- Long hours spent in cars
- Neighborhoods that aren't exercise-friendly
- Technology that makes it possible to do almost everything from a chair
- Medical advances that let us off the hook (such as plastic surgery)
- Busy schedules
- Lack of physical activity in schools as well as easy access to junk food for kids
- Denial - Most people know that quick fix pills and gadgets don't work but they keep trying them anyway to avoid exercise.
- Confusion - There are so many rules about eating and exercise that we allow ourselves to get overwhelmed by the choices and don't do anything.
- The belief that, if we can't meet the exercise guidelines, why exercise at all?
- Fear of failure, doing the wrong thing, injury or even making fools of ourselves.
Of course, there are other factors involved with obesity, such as genetics or certain medical conditions that preclude weight loss, but for most of us, we're overweight because of our own choices. If you're tired of making excuses for your health, now is the time to take control.
How to Take Control of Your Own Choices
Losing weight means creating a calorie deficit by exercising more and eating less, but the first step in doing that is taking a look at how you live each day and asking yourself: Where am I going wrong? What am I really in control of? Take a moment to make a list of all the choices you make each day that can affect your weight such as:
- What, when and how much you eat
- Whether you exercise or not
- How active you are throughout the day
- How you deal with stress
Looking at that list or your own list, what comes to mind? Do you feel like you're in control of these things and, if not, why not? You may feel that your choices are limited (or even nonexistent) because you're overwhelmed by a busy schedule, trapped by a job that doesn't allow for much movement each day or you're simply too tired to workout.
However, even with the busiest life or the most sedentary job, there are always healthy choices you can make. Even one good choice can put you on the right path and, more importantly, make you feel more in control of your weight, your health and your future.
Think about one healthy choice you could make each day, something that would give you back control without having to overhaul your entire life. Some ideas:
- Bring your own healthy lunch to work
- Use part of your lunch hour for a brisk walk
- Incorporate simple office exercises into your work day
- Look for one task, appointment or to-do item you could delete in favor of a workout session
- Find 10 minutes each day for a quick workout
- Get up 10 minutes early for a walk around the block or a short yoga workout
No More Excuses
To take control of your health and fitness is to take full responsibility for what you're doing or not doing. It isn't easy to change how you live. In fact, it takes tremendous courage, strength and will to look at your life, see where you're going wrong and switch directions. However, the more you do it, the more you realize you can do it and that's what you really need to lose weight.