My friend Shannon is doing a little remodeling. Since she knows that I am involved with weight loss and exercise in my teaching and professional life, she has been sharing her thoughts and progress on her diet and exercise program. Like this recent update she sent to me:I have more will power than I thought I did: I didn’t eat at Burger King. I turned down my husband’s offer to go out to eat and ate a healthy meal at home instead. I’m working out regularly (meaning I rarely skip more than 1 day at a time) I have really controlled my intake of Dr. Pepper since starting my nutrition plan. I’ve also learned that backsliding isn’t something I need to beat myself up over, I just need to push forward and work harder. Today has been a huge cheat day for me because of the stress of helping finish a report that’s due tonight. But, tomorrow is another day and I’ll do better then. When I started this process I had daydreams of losing several inches in my waist in a matter of a few weeks, shrinking my arm flab to get toned triceps in a hurry and loving the way I look. I’ve learned that it takes time and hard work and I have to really stick with it even though I don’t see the results yet. I feel better about myself than I have in years and really like the fact that I’m approaching weight loss in a healthy manner (exercising and eating right) instead of just trying to lose weight by any means necessary. My thought processes have really changed and I hope this is the beginning of a new lifestyle for me as opposed to a temporary phase.
Shannon is doing everything right. She is making difficult decisions, dealing with stressful situations that interfere with her progress, and changing her whole thought process about losing weight. She is also learning how to handle bad days. Lapses are a part of any behavior change process and should be expected. The key is to keep a lapse from turning into a relapse. I think the best sign that she is on the right track is this: “Tomorrow is another day and I’ll do better then.” And she did.