Being ready to lose weight involves many things. There is definite preparation to be done, and without the right kind of preparation, it is unlikely that you will be able to maintain your weight-loss effort.
If weight control is a serious issue in your life, you need new awareness and insight into your problem before you can solve it. A one-sided food solution superimposed on a multifaceted problem is doomed to fail. Even the best techniques won’t be effective if you are not prepared to change.
Don’t equate action with change. Taking action may be the most visible, obvious step to you and to those around you. But there are things that need to happen before you take an action like starting a diet. Here are some things that will help you get ready.
- Try to make your goal crystal clear. One way to do this is to imagine a time in the future, maybe the moment when you step on the scale and the number reads the way you want it to read. Then, in your mind’s eye, conjure an image of yourself at this weight. Try as much as possible to keep this image in your mind’s eye. This will help you keep your goal in front of you.
- Use this visualization technique often. Now that you can see your goal clearly, begin to think about your feelings, your self-image, your attitudes, the pressures in your life. Consider whether any of these things have been getting in the way, keeping you from achieving your goal. Make a list of those things that you think may be undermining your desire to lose weight.
- Consider what your real needs are. Are you meeting your needs in other areas of your life? Write down ways in which overeating may be an attempt at meeting these needs. Then you can think of ways to answer your needs that would be much more effective in your life than overeating.
- Think about three times in your life when you had the most trouble controlling your weight. Try to remember if there was anything stressful going on at those times. If there was, see if there is a connection between those stresses and your eating. This will give you greater understanding of your eating patterns.
- See if you can team up with a friend who is also interested in losing weight. You can decide to lean on each other, take courage from each other, listen to each other, help each other over the rough spots. This kind of helping, supportive relationship will strengthen your commitment, give you courage, and make the process more enjoyable.
- Consider which food plan out there is best for you— not the latest, trendiest, best-selling diet— but the one that will best fit in with your own lifestyle, your own needs, your own comfort. You might want to ask other people what their experience has been with certain diets. You might even decide to create a food plan yourself, one that is totally tailored to you.
When you get going on this kind of comprehensive thinking, your diet effort will pack much more of a punch. Having the power of good, constructive thought behind you can mean the difference between yet another diet failure and real, lasting weight-loss success.
Julie Schwarz also contributed to this article. Dr. Kenneth Schwarz, a psychologist and psychoanalyst practicing in Connecticut, and his wife Julie are the founders of www.mariaslastdiet.com, a website offering strategies and support for diet success. Dr. Schwarz provides tools to help women succeed regardless of which diet they choose. Sign up for their free newsletter and receive ongoing support for total diet success.
Schwarz, K. (2007). Get Ready To Diet. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/get-ready-to-diet/
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jan 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.