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Weight Loss Discipline

Why is it so hard to lose weight and keep it off? We haveall heard that weight loss is just a matter of taking inless calories than we expend. That certainly sounds verylogical, but is it really that simple?

For example, I had an intention of only eating fruits andvegetables for a day or two, to counteract the recent 'junk'food I had been enjoying. This was a solid plan thatpractically guaranteed a decrease in caloric intake.However, a solid plan doesn't always mean an easy execution.

I figured I would be relatively safe making a trip to thehealth food store. So my guard against high fat foods wasdown. When I got to the store, my sensibilities wereassailed by a well meaning clerk hawking some freshly madecorn beef and cabbage. I could hardly resist thetemptation. And that wasn't the end of it. Once my armourwas breached, the temptation of tasty, 'health oriented'cookie samples fought for my attention.

Once again, I capitulated. My normally strong will powerseemed to crumble. And once weakened, it seemed reasonableto just continue. It's like that first drink for therecovering alcoholic.

I am by no means overweight, but once in a while my dietgets out of hand and the fat around my midsection gets alittle more sizable than I am comfortable with. Usually,times like these are a great opportunity to get a littledetoxification in, so I like to focus on fruits andvegetables for a day or two.

This has the dual effect of decreasing my caloric intake. Iwas also sticking with the simple plan mentioned above. Sowhere did things go wrong? Did I not have enough discipline?Did I lack willpower, or was it something else?

In retrospect, the problem appears to be a lack ofpreparation. I failed to use the power of why. Let meexplain. When the chips were down, I didn't seem to haveenough reason to maintain discipline. Maybe you have had asimilar experience? I rationalized with, "oh, a littlewon't hurt me". The truth is, once you start down thatroad, it can be hard to turn back.

What would the right preparation be in that case? What isthis power of why that I am talking about? A great way tofortify will power with any strategy is to actually writeout the reasons why sticking to your plan or achieving yourgoal is important. It is kind of like stockpilingammunition. The weaponry, in this case, appears in the formof a list.

With a long list of reasons supporting the plan or the goal,I would have had a lot more reserves to draw on when myfront line defenses were being stressed. When the wellmeaning clerk was pouncing, I should have had a ready listof whys to fall back on. As the clerk was just being niceand sounding really sensible, plus it was a free sampleafter all, my mind should have responded with my ready madelist of why I should not vary from my plan.

That didn't happen because I never made such a list.Whatever you are trying to accomplish in life, there arebound to be obstacles and obstructions that just leap intoyour path to stop or block you. These are the times thatyou need your list. The list is your power. No list, nopower.

When anyone sits down to plan something or set a goal, theyneed a list to support them during weak times. The longerthe list, the better. Even if one has to carry the listalong in one's pocket, it is worth it. A list of about 50reasons, while hard to create, can pay off in a major way.

Imagine the clerk's surprise, had I pulled out my handy listand read it off for him. My armour would not have beenpierced and the clerk would have had to move on to moreready prey or risk having the spear of temptation blunted!No list, no power.

So, how long is your list?

This article is for information purposes only. It is notmeant to advise on diet or weight loss or on any healthmatters. If you have or think you have a health issue,including weight or diet issues, consult your primary carephysician for proper diagnoses and treatment.

copyright 2005 by David Snape

Dave Snape is a health, fitness and wellness enthusiast. His website is


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