THE BLOG

A Healthy Lifestyle Requires Focus

04/11/2011 02:55 pm ET | Updated Jun 11, 2011

There's nothing we want more than to be healthy and thin. We want to throw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt without wondering if it covers our fanny. We want to pull out last year's clothes without worrying about whether or not they're going to fit. And P-UH-LEASE! We want less clothes in our drawers -- but all one size!

So why is this goal so impossible to achieve? We have all the tools to succeed at our fingertips. Free weight loss advice on the Internet. Encouragement (and stern warnings) from our physicians and light cooking shows on TV. Most of us have even tasted victory on an occasion or two ... or four ... or more. With all the statistics and all the desire -- why is it so hard to rid ourselves of the burden that continues to squelch our happiness and our health?

And it's not like we haven't 'done' it before. Most of us have felt the excitement of a new beginning. We're going to do it this time! Day by day we plan and cook, look up and check off. Life becomes a series of calories, carbs or points. And we're losing! We're focused. Our eye is on the goal. We feel so good about ourselves and wonder why we haven't done this sooner! Five pounds, then 10. Whoo hoo! We're on our way.

But life isn't a series of peaks; there are valleys in the mix as well. Family struggles and work issues, relationships and holidays all demand a piece of us. Our focus shifts ever so slightly and we're once again struggling. It's not as easy as it was and we wonder why. The losses slow from pounds to ounces. Evenings seem to be getting looooonger. The war within grows. How many years has it been since we've had a slice of pizza! We feel miserable. It's just not worth it. Aaaaaaah!

Then it happens -- the inevitable binge. Maybe it's a binge and maybe it's a binge!. But either way, 'perfection' is broken and we feel discouraged and afraid. Why is it so hard now when it was so easy before?

Actually, that's an excellent question and there's naturally not one answer. However, with all the time I've spent in weight loss meetings, I've seen one common theme. That is ... focus.

In the beginning of any new weight loss journey, no matter who we are and no matter what diet we're following, the diet is the focus of our time and attention. We go to the meetings. We read the material. We plan our days. We set aside the time to do it right. As time goes on and we're more comfortable with our relatively new way of living, our peripheral vision becomes broader. Life's clamor is always at the outer edges of our vision, ready to take center stage.

But our previous unhealthy way of eating is still so much a part of us that it's easy to slip back to the familiar. When emotions are strong and we are busy or tired, if we're not focused on our relatively new way of eating, it's no wonder we feel the relentless tug of our old friend, food.

Being comfortable with a new healthy lifestyle is definitely a goal we all are striving for. We just need to remember, that with the comfort level we can't let slip the focus that got us to that comfort level in the first place.

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