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Losing Weight is All About You

Many fitness experts and nutritionists say if you truly want to lose weight and successfully keep it off, you must make a permanent lifestyle change.

Cecilia Halseth is a motivational fitness speaker living on Hilton Head Island with her husband and their three sons. She is the author of “Walking is for Wimps,” a guide on how to successfully lose weight and keep it off permanently.

By Cecilia Halseth

I have never liked the word “permanent” — it sounds so overwhelming and restrictive. The phrase “new lifestyle approach” fits better. Regardless, this new “approach” will take a lot of work to succeed.

Many overweight women are already successful in various ways. They have worked hard and made sacrifices, especially with their time. Some are great businesswomen or great mothers. Others are top-notch students. Many of them have also worked hard to be loyal and reliable friends and co-workers. All of these require hard work.

When we work this hard, it is not a temporary thing. No one says, “I’d like to be a great employee for six months or an excellent student for one semester.” That is ridiculous. We all make continuous commitments to make sure our family, friends, and employers know they can count on us. Working hard to acquire a healthy, attractive body you’ll feel happy with is no different.

Every day you think about your children, parents, husband or partner, co-workers, etc. You think about what you can do for them, what they might need, and how you can help. You need to take this type of commitment for others and apply it to yourself. It is your turn. Think about you every day. Every morning, or even the night before, think about what you need to do that day to achieve or maintain your “happy weight.”

Start thinking about and planning what you will eat every day. It may sound obsessive, but it isn’t. Every person who is in shape does the same. You need to realize that thinking and planning about what, when, and how much to eat is normal. It’s a part of everyday life. The more you think about and plan your food intake every day, the more natural it will become.

This new attitude is what I call your “new lifestyle approach.” This new “approach” is not restrictive or intimidating. It doesn’t mean that you will rarely be able to eat delicious food or that you must work out 4 to 5 times a week.

It is simply the realization that you need a new way of thinking and a new approach toward food and exercise. It is about making good choices of what and how much to eat and compensating when you overeat by cardio exercising. That’s it!

Achieving a happy weight and keeping it forever is a type of success you deserve for yourself. I guarantee it will be one of your most rewarding personal successes because it will provide you with feelings of self confidence and self content, not to mention a healthier body.

Organize your Workout Routine

At the beginning of each New Year, one of the resolutions that many of us make is to exercise more so we can become healthier and fitter. But like everything else at which you want to be successful, you must plan it. Don’t leave exercising to chance. Write it down and do it. No excuses!

Choose your Days

I always start my workouts on Mondays. For me, parties and dinner gatherings are usually on the weekends so that is when I mostly indulge in eating high caloric food. I’m always ready to work out on Mondays because I need to burn off some of the weekend calories.

Flex your Schedule

I exercise every other day during the week, but I always start on Monday. If I’m busy Monday, then I’ll do it Tuesday. The same with Wednesday and Friday. If I can’t work out on those days, I will do it the following day. Let me add that when I talk about exercise, I’m referring to cardiovascular exercise.

Mark your Calendar

A good tip to organize yourself better about when to exercise is by doing what a good friend of mine does. She actually writes the days and times she plans to work out for the week in her calendar. Then, she will not plan anything else at those specific times. Having it written in her calendar makes it real, something to which she has committed.

Be Efficient

Also, it is not necessary to work out for a whole hour. Try to cardio exercise efficiently, meaning work out for a shorter time (20-25 minutes) but with a little intensity — sweat a little throughout your workout. That is more effective than doing low to moderate-intensity workouts for an hour, and it is easier to fit into your schedule.