6 Questions to Ask Yourself to Determine Whether You’re Really Ready to Lose Weight

Jodi Davis

| 5 min read

When do you know that you’ve arrived at that crucial point in your life when you finally realize you’ve had enough? How is it that you can recognize when you are done contemplating a change; essentially, knowing that it’s time to get serious?
You may tell yourself, “I’m ready to take on the challenge to become healthier; yes, I will be successful at losing weight.” But are you really ready?

End in Disaster

If you jump in before you’re actually ready, most likely your weight-loss strategy will end in disaster. Millions of people out there know exactly what I mean. I, for one, claimed to be truly ready to lose weight countless times during my 25 years of attempted diets. Each one ended in disaster; I ended up gaining weight in the long run and felt like a complete failure. My self-esteem shot to zero and I didn’t like myself. That wasn’t what I had hoped for when I created my weight-loss strategy, obviously.
I now know that I wasn’t really ready.
Today, I’d like you to ask yourself the following questions to evaluate your weight-loss readiness:
1. Have you resolved all emotional issues related to being overweight?
It isn’t a surprise that overeating is tied to emotional stress. Stress, anger, boredom and sadness can activate emotional eating. Focus on identifying your emotional issues related to food and overeating so you can be prepared for any possible challenges.
2. Do you have support and accountability?
There are times when any weight-loss strategy can be tough. Facing the occasional moments of temptation and random periods of discouragement isn’t uncommon. It’s nice to have a person in your life to offer words of encouragement. This is extremely beneficial when you need positive help in order to stay on the right track. Weight-loss support groups are great too. Not only will there be people to help and support you, but you can do the same for them.
3. Are you currently dealing with any big distractions in your life?
If you’re in the middle of any major life-changing events such as serious financial troubles, a severe illness, problems with your marriage, job-related stress, or other events that are causing distractions, then you may not want to add the challenge of revamping all your daily exercising and eating habits. It’s OK to give things a chance to calm down before you embark on any weight-loss attempts. This goes hand-in-hand with resolving all emotional issues first.
4. Are you driven and ready to make long-term lifestyle changes?
I want to stress that a lifestyle change is for the long term … they do not have an end date. Diets have an end date (for most people), which is why they often don’t work. Successful weight loss results from living a healthier lifestyle. Consuming healthy foods and exercising daily may mean that you’ll have to make changes. Are you ready for that? Knowing what you need to do and actually doing it are two different things.
I believe that if you are driven to change your lifestyle for the better, you will find focus on it and you will succeed!
5. Is the mental picture of how much weight you’ll lose — and how quickly you’ll lose it — realistic?
Achieveing and maintaining a healthy weight is a process that lasts a lifetime. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t tell you what is best for you. I lost 162 pounds in approximately 71 weeks, which equals about 2.3 pounds a week. That was close to what I predicted before I began my new lifestyle. I knew that I needed to burn about 500 to 1,000 calories more than I consumed each day. I didn’t journal every calorie, but I kept my caloric intake around 1,200 and walked 1.5 miles every day. It was doable and didn’t get discouraged like I had in the past. I was living healthy, that was my goal!
6. Do you have a positive attitude about your weight-loss challenge?
If you haven’t embraced the idea about losing weight, you may not be ready. Do you dread what lies ahead? If so, you’re more likely to find excuses to give up. I suggest you think positively and do your best to embrace your new lifestyle. Try to focus on how great you will feel when you weigh less, increase your energy level and look in the mirror. You can and will celebrate every successful step you take along your weight-loss journey … and I would love to celebrate with you!

What to Do if You’re Not Ready

Did you answer “no” to more than one of these questions? If so, that’s OK. You just may not be ready to begin your weight-loss strategy right now.
I suggest that you explore what is holding you back and face those obstacles. It might just be a matter of timing. It’s OK if you need to resolve some things in your life first. It’s also OK if you need to work on your commitment to making permanent lifestyle changes. Do your best to address these obstacles as soon as possible and then re-evaluate your readiness to lose weight so that you can quickly get started on a healthier lifestyle.
Life can be chaotic, but I don’t want you to let it become a permanent excuse. Visit me often and I will do my best to help you become ready … we’ll get through this together.

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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