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          Staying Motivated and Avoiding Danger Zones

          July 13, 2005

          Stay Motivated
          Nobody ever said that losing weight would be easy. Staying motivated can be hard work, but it isn’t impossible. Accept that you may hit a motivational plateau. At first, losing weight and exercising is exciting and fun. After time, many people lose their motivation. The key to motivation is figuring out how to keep going, even when you don’t feel like doing so.

          • Don’t rely on willpower — it simply doesn’t work. Willpower is driven by emotions, which can be fickle. Emotions landed you into a weight problem, but they won’t get you out of it. Instead, program yourself for success and stick to the program.
          • Give yourself permission to say, “I don’t have to want to do this all the time.” By acknowledging that, you can respond to it accordingly. People who watch what they eat and exercise regularly don’t necessarily want to, but they understand that their actions have consequences. They’ve programmed themselves for success.

          Avoid Danger Zones
          You can’t be overweight unless you have a lifestyle to support it. Danger zones can be places, times or moments:

          • Places: Clean up your kitchen pantry. You can’t eat unhealthy food if it’s not there. Avoid fast-food restaurants and other places that don’t go along with your goals.
          • Times: Change your routine. If you know you tend to eat junk food late in the evening when you decompress, come up with some alternative stress-reducing behaviors that don’t involve food.
          • Moments: When you get an impulse to eat, and you’re standing in front of food, fight it. Leave the room, go outside, do whatever it takes. The impulse will pass. Fight the urges moment by moment.

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