Monday, August 15, 2011

Commitment and Follow-Through

8/15 Morning Walk
We've all heard some variation of this theme: the gyms are packed in January and by February they're empty again. Why is that? Why do some people start off strong and then fizzle out? If I were to play amateur psychologist, I would say that some people secretly don't want to change their habits, or at least they're not ready to. But, everyone berates themselves for carrying extra pounds and makes a New Year's resolution to lose weight, right? Guilt. It seems like the thing to do. I would also say that many people have yet to realize that lasting change doesn't happen overnight; it takes time. Many people want results and they want them NOW. So, they exercise every day for an hour. When they don't get the results they want when they want, they quit. Impatience.

I'm sure there are other reasons and I'm just guessing, of course, because after all I am an amateur. When I started my weight loss program, I approached it with the attitude that it was time to take charge and show my body who was boss. I had the diet mindset. I drastically reduced my calories to about 1000 - 1200 per day. Stop beating yourself up. I had it all wrong. All I needed to do was to gradually decrease the amount that I had been eating and move more than I had been doing. I had to make the commitment to change my habits. I had to make the commitment to eat sensibly and to exercise for a lifetime. Then I had to follow through on those commitments.

In an older entry, "Motivation and Accountability" I posted a picture of my pedometer that read 2.89 miles. I now walk between 5.0 and 5.5 miles. When I started walking, I committed to 3 days per week. Now, I walk 5 days per week. Enthusiasm is great; but if you lose motivation and become discouraged because you are overdoing it and not seeing the results that you want, you will be more likely to quit. Start by making a commitment that you know you can keep for at least a month. Can you easily exercise 3 days a week? Do it. Only 15 minutes a day? Do it. After a month, you will feel so much better about yourself for having kept your commitment. Then you can work on gradually increasing your time. Commitment and follow-through are the building blocks to lasting change. If you're on a similar journey, I wish you the very best.


  1. You, my friend, inspire me. :)


  2. Aww thanks. Just trying to help others learn from my mistakes. :)



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