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The Road to Transformation: 7 Steps to a Healthy Weight Loss Journey

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People often ask me what the road to transformation looks like. They have imagined this vision of a yellow brick road leading off into the sunset.

In reality, they should be picturing a route full of twists and turns, hills and valleys, detours, and changes in speed (or pounds lost) that may even cause them to have to make a u-turn or two as they navigate the road to their weight loss goals.

As with any journey, if you start with an honest desire, create a plan and are prepared, you'll be able to overcome obstacles, stay on course, and successfully reach your destination.

Before you embark of this journey, it is important to take a self-inventory of why you desire to do this. Remember, you never HAVE to lose the weight, so don't kid yourself by saying that it is something that you need to do. Losing weight is something that you WANT to do. Never forget that. When you are on your 29th minute on the treadmill and your body wants to stop, remind yourself how much you want to be there! Think about the outcome and how bad you desire it.

Once you have committed to the journey, it is important to create a plan and have realistic expectations of the obstacles ahead. The obstacles are our triggers: the people and events that elicit a strong emotional reaction within us. They can range from something as simple as sitting on the couch and watching your favorite TV show, to stress at work, to an argument with your mother-in-law.

When we encounter triggers, emotions come flooding in and we are driven to turn to our addictions. However, we can use powerful tactics to navigate around the triggers and stay on course! Put these effective tactics in your arsenal of tools to navigate your way to success.

Emotional triggers

  • STOP! Self inventory. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Feel your heartbeat.
  • Ask yourself if you are really, truly hungry.
  • Are you happy? Sad? Depressed? Anxious?

Random food cravings

  • Create an environment for success (first step). No junk food in the house.
  • Avoidance is necessary.
  • Find good substitutions for your favorites (eat this, not that).
  • Portion-controlled trigger food (not highly recommended).

Hitting the drive-thru

  • Place a motivational picture on the dashboard.
  • Take an alternate route home to avoid the temptation.
  • Prep and carry food with you, so you're never hungry.

Eating out successfully (when you must!)

  • Order from the appetizers only (smaller portions).
  • Order only baked, steamed, grilled, or boiled entrees.
  • Always ask for sauce and dressings on the side.
  • Split your entrée with your dining partner.
  • Have the waiter bring half of your entree already boxed to go so it never touches your plate.
  • Avoid any bread, chips, etc. before the meal.

Make the workplace work

  • Create an environment for success -- stock drawers with healthy, no-cook snacks and protein sources to always have on hand.
  • Avoid the areas of the office where you feel tempted (donuts, vending machines, cafeteria, etc.).
  • Prep and pack your food to bring with you.

Avoid a social gathering sabotage

  • Eat beforehand!
  • Take a fiber supplement to feel full (a favorite Dr. Oz tip!).
  • Avoid the food area.
  • Bring your own healthy foods.
  • Grab a low/no calorie drink as soon as you get there and keep it in your hands.
  • Chew mint flavored gum the whole time.

Eating late at night

  • Create new rules for your environment, such as no food in the TV room or bedroom.
  • Brush your teeth.
  • Relax with a warm tea or flavored water (if you crave sweet).
  • Start a Passion Project that you work on at night.

Our season premiere will be kicking off this week! In the very first episode you'll meet Tony, who, during his journey, lost both his home and his son during our year together. However, he was determined not to allow his situation and the painful emotions of his loss affect his destiny. He never forgot how much he desired to be healthy and fit. Although he encountered some of the most traumatic events in life, Tony found the courage and strength to navigate through the storm. He persevered and created a whole new life for himself and for his loved ones.

One of the keys to Tony's transformation was learning and applying the tools and techniques above to his situations. Just like Tony, you can reach your goals and enjoy a more fulfilling life with a plan.

Tony is one of the most inspirational people I have ever had the opportunity to know and work with. I can't wait for you to meet him and watch how he navigates his way to an amazing transformation!

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