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3 Weight Loss Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
weight loss

For millions of people – including myself – food is like that crush you had back in high school. It can be the most exhilarating, mind-blowing experience one minute, and have you kicking yourself, questioning your self worth the next. Like it or not, food has an emotional connection for so many. We go to dinner to celebrate special occasions, reward ourselves with dessert and tie in treats to almost every event, from holidays to sporting events to the movies. Food is seen as a prize and far too many just want to win.

Food and I began our love/hate relationship many, many years ago. I remember as a teen putting myself on the latest fad diet dropping a few pounds, for about five minutes. It wasn't until a few years ago that I discovered the one factor that was keeping me from reaching my goals and staying there.

As important as the food you put in your mouth, is the thoughts you put into your mind.

In 2006, after giving birth twice in 16 months (once to a whopping 11 pounder), I dropped 30 pounds – 22 of which have actually stayed off, depending on whether I resist the urge to eat off my kids' plates or not. I realized that it wasn't about the latest diet craze but a change I needed to make in myself. Every single decision I had previously made about diet and exercise was created by a negative emotion, setting the tone for some serious failure. That's when I discovered my…

3 Weight Loss Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Pitfall #1: Denial

We look in the mirror every day. But many of us choose to see the person we once were, ignoring the extra 50 pounds that we've packed on. Others tell themselves that it's a temporary thing that "just happened" blaming a bad relationship, grueling job or baby weight. I'm here to tell you, if the kid's in Junior High, you can pretty much guarantee it's not the baby – the weight is here to stay.

Solution: Accountability

Before make any changes, write down everything you eat for one week. You just might be surprised at all of the mindless munching you've been doing. Weight loss is simple math: amount of calories in versus amount of calories burned. Make a plan for one week at a time and stick to it.

Pitfall #2: Negativity

"I'm fat." Two words that need to leave your vocabulary. No one has ever moved mountains or peeled herself off the couch after treating herself so harshly. If you wouldn't say it to your best friend, don't say it to yourself.

Solution: Think Thin

Have you ever been to a party with a thin girl? She doesn't sneak off to the coat room to stuff scallops wrapped in bacon in her face. And not once does consider leaving the party to hit the drive thru. She sees food as a tool to keep her strong and healthy, with occasional treats thrown in. Reminding yourself that you're in control, avoiding words like skinny and diet, replacing them with fit, strong and healthy, will help re-program your mind and set you up for success.

Pitfall #3: Expecting Perfection

The idea that you can never have any of your favorite foods EVER again is just a recipe for disaster. Setting an unattainable goal and becoming obsessive trying to reach it is no way to create a healthy lifestyle.

Solution: Rewards and Time Off for Good Behavior

Have you been putting off indulging in some precious "me" time? Think of something you've been wanting to do and use it as a reward for a successful first month. Setting goals and rewards along the way will keep you motivated and accountable..

*Giving yourself a piece of cheesecake because you walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes… uh, BAD idea.

Before you make any of the above changes, there's one key thing you need to master, first -- self-acceptance.We all struggle at one time or another, it's human. The key to success isto take responsibility for the past, live for today and plan for the future. Recognizing that you let things get out of hand is OK but physical appearance it not all you have to offer the world. Remind yourself of everything you are, how much you've accomplished and set small, attainable goals. The road to a better body has many turns and takes a lifetime. It's a rewarding journey if you slow down enough to enjoy the ride.

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