Archived Story

Developing a Weight Management Strategy that Works for You

Published 7:49pm Saturday, May 3, 2014

It is the unfortunate reality that there are only 24 hours in a day. When you consider that more than 75 percent of that time is obligated to work, family and sleep, the notion of carving out time for a sustainable exercise regimen is tricky at best. Furthermore, at the end of a long and stressful day, the last thing we want to do is to break a sweat for 30 minutes or more.

I would suggest that, for those of us who are constantly on the go, we employ a different mindset. Rather than listen to the voices that tell us that we are not exercising enough or not eating properly to benefit our health, which stresses us out even more, we need to develop a deep understanding of what our needs, our abilities and our clearly defined priorities are.

First, and most importantly, ask yourself if your daily food intake is meeting your nutritional and caloric needs for your individual requirements. Food choices can be 80 percent of the battle when addressing total health. Making good food choices at home, at work and on the road begins with making good choices at the supermarket. It is true that a lot of unhealthy food is cheap. However, this is where your priorities come in. You can choose to spend $2.50 on a package of chips or $2.75 on a bag of apples. How much is your health worth? Have you really thought about it? Which choice makes more sense for what you are trying to accomplish?

Secondly, ask yourself if your exercise habits are appropriate for your goals. Are you getting enough physical activity throughout the day, outside of your structured exercise? Have you spent the time sorting through your priorities, developing the self-knowledge required to understand why you make the choices you make? There are thousands of books and websites dedicated to giving you THEIR plan for obtaining physical fitness, but are they what is best for you? The most effective exercise programs are those that you will be consistent with. Don’t choose a regimen that is more intense than you are willing to work and don’t choose a regimen that takes more time than you are willing to give. And lastly, don’t choose a program that bores you. Don’t fall into the all-or-nothing trap of skipping exercise if you can’t get in a complete 60-minute workout. Be realistic about how much time you have and remind yourself constantly that any exercise is better than no exercise.

Last, but not least, use the strategy of healthy thinking. We must realize the importance of owning our thought life. The battlefield for most of us is in the mind. Our feelings can be very fickle, and we know how weak our flesh can be. But if we redefine our inner thought-life and quit listening to the whiney child in each of us, we can accomplish great things. Steven Covey’s book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” demonstrates that we literally become what we think about. If you believe that we ‘reap what we sow’ then our thoughts are like seeds that we are constantly sowing. Sowing thoughts reaps actions; sowing actions reaps habits; sewing habits reaps a lifestyle and sowing a lifestyle reaps a destiny. In other words, your life becomes the sum of what we dwell on in our thought-life.

We all know that to manage our weight we need to improve our nutrition habits and exercise more. Healthy thinking will help us make better choices. So, be proactive with your health, keep positive and enjoy the journey to meeting your goals!


Mike Hayes is a personal trainer at the Vidant Wellness Center in Washington and can be reached at 975-4236.


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