One thing I’m noticing six weeks in, is at this stage in my life, how difficult it is to drop the pounds. Due to age, years of stressful work managing numerous employees, and recent emotional valleys helping a family member through a major health crisis, my body doesn’t respond to healthy eating and exercise like it used to. Anybody relate?
But my body does respond — just differently.
I may not lose weight quickly, or painlessly, but the pounds are melting slowly and with determination. Like any important change a leader makes, weight loss requires an overall strategy, including: goals, steps, decisions, tools and equipment, accountability methods, small celebrations to keep you moving toward the big success, and support systems securely in place.
Here’s how my game plan is designed:
Overall Strategy — The difference between tactics and strategy lies in the details. A strategy is the overall vision or big picture, while tactics are the specifics to set yourself up to succeed. If you don’t clearly and intentionally put these things in place in advance, you are susceptible to getting blindsided by your emotions. My overall strategy includes a goal, (a desired end by a date on the calendar), to lose at least thirty pounds in six months.
Steps — Mixing up exercise routines, cutting up fresh veggies so single serving bags are ready in the fridge, taking bottles of water with me wherever I go, and replacing junk foods I like with healthy foods I enjoy, are just a few of the intentional steps I’ve made.
Decisions — My schedule is often hectic, I’m sure yours is too. When I wait longer than I should to eat, I’m prey for a fast food attack. But one decision that makes all the difference is remembering to wheel into the grocery store. Two of my favorite choices are an apple and string cheese, or a banana and single serving bag of cocoa almonds. Washed down with a big bottle of water, either will tide me over for a couple of hours, and energize me much more than a greasy burger and fries. I also get a mental boost from simply making the right choice. We spend a lot of time beating ourselves up for making poor decisions, but how often do we make the right one and acknowledge it?
Tools and Equipment — Mine are pretty simple. Weight Watchers and C25K apps on my smart phone help me track food and drink intake, and strengthen my body with some interval walking/running. Other helps are hand weights to work my arms at least three times a week, Zumba DVD’s, X-Box sports games, and a relaxing walk with my BFF when my body says, “You’re pushing me too hard.”
Accountability — This one’s simple, I’m doing it right here. It’s tempting to forego the public updates, but blogging accountability keeps me on track to meet my goal.
Small Celebrations — This often overlooked step is huge to accomplishing any major change. Humans need something to look forward to, and allowing yourself to acknowledge tiny accomplishments, like five pound marks, going to the grocery store instead of through McDonald’s drive through, or exercising when you don’t feel like it, can make the difference between failure or victory. A couple of small celebrations for me are a Diet Cherry Limeade from Sonic, (Route 44 size please, and happy hour prices of course), or letting myself sit on my back deck watching the breeze sway the oak leaves. Okay, so I’m easy to please.
Support Systems — We’ve all heard about them, but that’s because they work. My support people are my husband, my best girlfriend and walking partner, close friends in my community, and you. But the most important support system I have comes from a higher and deeper place. My faith in God. I can’t tell you how many times, while I’m huffing and puffing, feeling like I can’t make it another step, I quote this scripture, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I have yet to stop when that verse is on my lips.
I don’t know how many of you are following, but my h0pe is this. If one person is inspired to take courage and choose health, then going public with my struggle is worth it. And frankly, that one person might be me. It isn’t easy to make a necessary and important change, but the reward is worth the pain. So what if it takes longer than I’d like, at least I’m moving forward instead of back.
Are you making a fresh start with fresh faith?
Anita Fresh Faith
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Expert, Certified Training Facilitator, Communications Specialist, national speaker. She’s the author of, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market. Now available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, and Christianbook.com.
She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business coaching firm. Member of the Christian Writer’s Guild, Toastmasters, a client of WordServe Literary Group, and the Simply Sue Speaks booking agency. A graduate of CLASSeminars for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries.
Anita’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.
Anita likes to lounge by a river or lake in Missouri, laughing with with her husband of thirty years, Ricky.