Weight Loss.

Two words many of us know we have to focus on but become terrified at whether we can be a success.

 “Do I really have what it takes to lose x-number of pounds?”

“Is it possible to enjoy my favorite foods and still lose weight?”

“Will I reach my goals?”

The answer to all three is…YES!

But wait! There is a catch. That catch lies in question number 3. The key word is GOALS. Not just an arbitrary, vague goal though. Specific goals in realistic time frames with the support and encouragement many of us need to reach them.

When it comes to losing weight, I’ve tried and failed countless times. I gave up and became discouraged at a lack of support and motivation. I gave into cravings and failed to plan.

As a result of poor choices, lack of planning, and lack of specific goals, my weight continued to climb to where it is now. I currently weigh 273 and started at 277, my highest weight ever. Those numbers are painful to look at even though I did it to myself with a careless, “Meh. I don’t care” kind of attitude.

My revelation that something had to change was three days before an event. I went to Lane Bryant to buy a pair of slacks. Not remembering my size, I reached for a 26 and 28 thinking the 28 would be a little loose. I was wrong. The 28 was snug…and it was the largest size available. Angry at myself, I paid for the pants and hurried out of the store. I knew then I had to do something otherwise I’d  have an unpleasant date with the 300 mark.

A few weeks later during the first days of the new year I sat down and started thinking. How can I change? I started thinking goals. What did I want? By when? How to achieve it?

I started with a realistic goal of losing 60 pounds by December 31, 2012. At approximately 5 pounds per month I decided this would be an attainable goal. The next step was how.

Eating healthy and committing to exercise are two easy hows but they’re only part of the equation. The additional parts involved meal planning, exercising at least 30 minutes per day, and portion control.

Each morning starts with a goal and ends with “Did I achieve it? If not, what can I do to improve?” If it is achieved, I pat myself on the back for a job well done. If not, I reflect on what I can do to make it better: Walk more, eat more fruit, talk to a friend, talk to my spouse, whatever works to keep going and push towards success.

Goals; whether large or small, cannot be achieved without effort. There’s hard work, small wins, large wins, defeats, and setbacks. But if we keep pushing forward and stick with the positive mindset that we will reach those goals, it becomes worth it at the end.

Changing our attitudes and mindsets is the hardest part when striving for weight loss success. After that comes will power. But with a great support network, determination, and an understanding that small changes lead to big success, weight loss can be possible.

If you’re lost and feeling discouraged, remember those goals. Write them down and reference them often. Write down five positive thoughts to help reach those goals. Call on your support network, celebrate the small wins, and above all else: Remind yourself daily that you can do it.

How do you hold yourself accountable to achieving your goals?

Vegas Blogger: Kim of TheCoffeePotChronicles.com

Kim Ulmanis is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas who writes The Coffee Pot Chronicles, a blog that focuses on life and personal development. She is also an avid photographer who enjoys roaming the desert in search of neon signs, old buildings, and remnants of the past. To view her work, visit her following sites on FaceBook and Flickr.

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