Article By: Maria Tucker, MPH, RDN, LDN, CDCES
Maria Tucker is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with over 20 years of experience assisting patients with diabetes, obesity, and nutrition-related conditions. Maria is also the Founder of MyBiyaya.com, a site dedicated to healthy recipes and kitchen shortcuts.
The days are getting longer, the crisp, cold morning air is getting warmer, and the tulips have proudly shown their pretty little heads... Ah, the signs of the arrival of spring. We don’t typically think of spring as a time for reflection, but it can be a time for renewal, a re-birth, so to speak. It can be a time to take a step back and think about how you did with accomplishing goals you set out to accomplish at the beginning of the year, whether it is to lose weight, eat healthy, or be more physically active. What have you accomplished so far? Are you making progress in reaching the goal you set for yourself this year? What barriers have you encountered as you work towards your goal? Who supported you?
Spring IS a time for positive change – the green leaves appearing on trees, the warm sunshine, the first harvest of fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ market, etc. Lots of people get excited about spring because it gives them the opportunity to check in with themselves and push forward with what is working or make changes to their plans and activities. Many begin planning for the summer vacations, graduations, weddings and prepare for travel, family gatherings and other activities. As you take a step back and reflect on your weight loss adventure, consider these pearls of wisdom:
1) Give yourself a pat on the back for your accomplishments so far! Oftentimes we become too hard on ourselves and fail to recognize the little victories we accomplish. Celebrate your non-scale victories!
2) Thank the people who are supporting you throughout your weight loss adventure. Write an email, type a text or better yet, do it the old fashioned way and send a thank you card. Acknowledge them for being there for you through the ups and downs.
3) Take time to think about what kept you from reaching your goal. Write down the barrier(s) keeping you from accomplishing your goal. Was it your work schedule or work load? Was it family responsibilities? Once you’ve identified the barrier(s), write down some strategies for overcoming them; include your family members, co-workers or others who may be contributing as a barrier and discuss with them your plan.
Keep in mind that the rest of the year, the summer, fall and winter seasons are going to be here soon enough whether we like it or not! The best way to minimize stress when thinking about the year in front of you is to PLAN AHEAD. If you are traveling out of town, devise a strategy for eating while on the road trip – when to stop, where to eat, what to eat before you go on your trip. Try to get involved in planning the menu for family gatherings or summer parties if you can; that way, you know there will be some options you can eat. Plan to include some outdoor activities or indoor games to play during the party to keep you moving. Finally, STAY FOCUSED on your goal!