Effort – There’s no two ways about it, successfully managing weight requires effort. We have to change some pretty fundamental things about ourselves, and that takes work.
The downside of effort is that sometimes it’s not rewarded, at least not in a tangible, scale-based or smaller pants way. That’s discouraging, to be sure, but what helps me is to focus on the idea of effort for it’s own sake, doing the right things just because they’re the right things to do.
Expectations – There’s an old management adage that says you should expect the best from people and let them rise to the occasion. As far as I know, there’s no good reason that we can’t apply it to ourselves. I expect myself to (mostly) get it right, and darned if it doesn’t usually happen. I also expect myself to veer off course now and then, sometimes on purpose and sometimes not.
Emotion – While I don’t have huge problems with emotional eating, it does make an occasional appearance. At those times, I take a deep breath and try to strip away the emotion to focus on the simple science of managing calories and exercise. I feel better physically almost immediately, and that often carries over to the emotional side of the equation.
Exercise – Almost all the fitness professionals say that success is mostly due to diet, but for me, exercise turns out to have the greater impact, especially strength training. Once I began exercising, I not only saw major changes in my size, but also in my attitude and my enthusiasm. (There’s another great ‘e’ word for you!)
Energy – I suppose this is more of a result, but it’s important so I’m including it. I set out to lose weight so that I would feel better and have more energy. Little did I know just how much energy I’d have! A friend says I’m like the Energizer Bunny. A neighbor says that watching me work around the house makes him tired.
Case in point:
I’m not humble-bragging, I promise, but it does show the benefits of eating well and exercising regularly. A hundred pounds ago, there’s no way I could/would have done all those things in one WEEK, much less in one day. Actually, back then I wouldn’t have done most of those things at all. I’d have hired it done. So not only did I get in a good 10 hours of exercise, I saved about $200. Win-win!
All of this pondering has revealed another ‘e’ word to include: Evidence. It might not be in the conventional form (scale, clothes, etc.), but when you’re on the right path, there’s likely to be evidence of your success piling up around you. Look for it!
That covers the letter E for me. At least, until you add in your contributions.