"Good habits are hard to develop but easy to live with" and "Bad habits are easy to develop but hard to live with.” Brian Tracey, motivational teacher Many of us have all the will power in the world Monday – Friday. We have our days structured with good habits, going out to eat is easy to avoid, and we exercise because we treat it like it’s just part of the work week. Here comes the weekend and we fall apart giving into spur of the moment meals at the mall, popcorn at a movie, dinner and drinks with our friends, and cake at our kid’s parties. Why is the weekend so hard for so many? It’s simple. We develop good habits during the week and allow ourselves to fall into our old patterns during the weekend. Easily, we undo a whole week’s worth of exercise and good eating within 48 short hours. How do you overcome this obstacle in the fat loss game? First, you have to have a new weekend habit form. Changing Your Weekend Behavior Worksheet: 1. Awareness: You must become aware of your habits. 1. What are my habits that I am doing on the weekend that need to be changed? (For example, I don’t order well when out with friends, I don’t bring snacks to events.) 2. How do these habits affect me on Monday? 3. How do my poor choices affect those around me? Am I guilty after I eat and then in a bad mood? Do I influence my children and spouse to eat poorly with my own choices? 2. Wanting to Change: As someone with a health problem (putting on too much weight), you must decide that breaking bad habits through a conscious effort is a worthy goal. You must convince yourself that the change in the habit is worth the effort involved. Describe how and why you want to change this behavior? 3. Commitment: You must be determined to do whatever it takes for breaking bad habits so that you can better control your life. You make a decision that “no matter what” you will change the habit. You do the work required to stop. It might require work, but anything worthwhile is always hard work. List the things you must start doing in order to be successful on the weekends. Examples are: - Plan my meals on Thursday for the weekend. - Pack a cooler to take with me and begin by carrying it through the week so that I feel comfortable with it. - Throw out foods I know I can’t resist. - Tell everyone around me that I am changing my lifestyle and that you NEED their support. That means no tempting me with going out to eat and allowing me to order and eat things that are not going to get me to my goals. Is your goal less important than a few French fries or a couple of cookies from the mall? - - - 4. Consistent Action: It is important to focus on changing just one habit at a time. If you find your first weakness to be the junk food in the house, get it out. Tell your family members that any junk food in the house shouldn’t be kept where you are tempted. Besides, if you shouldn’t have it, they shouldn’t have it either…right? This week I will focus on changing this one behavior… Reward yourself on Sunday night when you make it successfully through the weekend. Find small things you can treat yourself with (a new tune for your IPod or a new nail polish) to make the new habit enjoyable. My reward for 100% success is… 5. Perseverance: There will be times when you question whether it is all worth it. You’ll say to yourself that breaking these bad habits is too difficult; that you are too “weak” to change. Your old self, often so comfortable living with the bad habits, is trying to hold on. Breaking your old patterns may require reaching out. Get on the message boards at PNP and let it out. Someone will help you! The last few tips for gaining control over your eating behaviors are: Never be ashamed to be changing your life. I find it hard to believe that if you are proud of your new lifestyle that those who love you will stand in your way. Most of the time they feed off of your vibe. If being on a “diet” seems miserable they will try to get you to break it. If it seems like the best thing since sliced bread, they will do all they can to help you win! Exercise on the weekends and I mean exercise…not yard work, cleaning house, etc. Get yourself up and do something for 30 minutes. It gets your head in the game. If you have yard work or whatever to do, then exercise first and go for it. You are more likely to eat like a champ on the days you work your body. Plan, plan, plan and when you are tired of planning, plan some more. The more you think about your goals and how you will get there, the more likely you are to have success.
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