By Gigi Amurao
The year is still young, and I’m sure many of you are still on the fence about starting a diet or actually getting started on that new lifestyle you have always wanted. You will often hear people say, “Get started NOW,” but they don’t take into consideration what else may be going on in your life at the time.
When I first meet new clients, I ask them a series of basic questions that tell me if they are ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Seeing those questions on paper can help you gain a better perspective on what is achievable given your current schedule. So take this quiz to find out if you’re ready to lose weight and adopt a new approach to health and fitness.
Choose the response that most closely represents your thoughts.
- When I consider the pros and cons of making a commitment to losing weight, I feel that:
a. Losing weight means sacrifice and giving up a lot.
b. Losing weight is a good thing, and the cons of committing to a healthier lifestyle seem insignificant.
c. The pro and cons of losing weight are about equal.
- I am excited about losing weight, and now is a good time to start.
a. Well, not really. Between family and work obligations, I don’t have even five minutes for me; but I guess I can start. I mean now is as good a time as any.
b. I am finally ready and motivated to take charge of my life and turn it around for the better. I will be able to make time for eating right and exercising, and I have an amazing support system by my side.
c. I have a plenty of time, and I’ll get to it. I have a month to reach my goal weight before my big day arrives.
- Taking a walk or doing some other exercise for 30 minutes each day sounds:
a. Like a luxury I can’t afford right now. I don’t know how I can possibly fit 30 minutes of anything, much less exercise, into my already jam-packed schedule.
b. Definitely manageable, and on weekends I can even exercise longer, as I am off.
c. Like something I should do. I guess I can try to fit it in—I’ll do what I can.
- Keeping a food diary to track my calories sounds:
a. Like too much work. I’m not good with things like that, and I would most likely forget to do it.
b. Interesting. I’ve always wanted to know exactly what and how much I’m eating. I can definitely make an effort to commit to this.
c. A bit tedious. Do I have to do it every day? Does everything have to be written down?
- I’m looking for a new approach to losing weight because:
a. My partner/doctor/family member keeps getting on my case about being too heavy, and I need to do something.
b. I’m done with fad diets, and I want to make the necessary changes that will help me lose weight, keep it off, and be healthy for life.
c. This has been a constant battle. I’ve tried everything, and nothing has worked.
- Making the time to cook my meals:
a. Is just more work for me, especially when I’m busy. Grabbing quick meals on the go works better with my schedule.
b. Is the norm for me. I pack my lunches and bring them to work, and I eat dinner at home most of the time. When I do eat out, I choose the more healthful options on the menu.
c. Would be healthier than eating restaurant meals all the time, so I’d like to start cooking more. I know I need to do that in order to lose weight and take control of my health.
- When I go shopping for groceries:
a. I look at the whole-grain bread and broccoli, but I haven’t taken the plunge.
b. I buy what’s on my list, never shop when hungry, and leave with bags full of ingredients for healthy, balanced meals.
c. I know I should choose foods that are healthy, but I’m not sure which foods are good, so I wind up buying the same old stuff.
- Empty calories like those in soda, salty snacks, and desserts are:
a. Delicious, and I cannot say no to them—ever.
b. My downfall, but I’ve decided to get rid of all the empty calories in my fridge and replace them with nutritious whole foods.
c. An occasional treat, but sometimes they end up in my tummy. I know I should avoid them, but they tempt me at every turn.
- Do you eat fruits and vegetables? How often?
a. Yes, I do, but not often enough.
b. Yes, they’re the main attraction. I eat at least four servings each day and make a point to have them on my plate always.
c. I eat them every now and then, but I plan on changing that. I want to aim for at least three to five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Which statement best describes your current thoughts about exercise?
a. Working out is not for me. I’m too busy to add that responsibility.
b. I’ve tried to exercise regularly in the past, but I didn’t stick with it. This time will be different, as I am more committed now and have the time to do it.
c. It has been a struggle to get up early and exercise, and I do the best I can at sticking with my workout schedule. I know I should exercise regularly, but I get so tired and busy with all of my day-to-day stuff.
Count Your Answers
When you have finished, look back at your answers, and count how many of each letter you chose.
If you chose mostly A’s, you’re NOT READY. — It sounds as if your life is a little stressful right now. When tackling a difficult challenge such as trying to lose weight, it’s best to start when you have time and the people in your life will support you. Otherwise, it can be set up for failure. That said, just because you’re not ready to commit fully to a lifestyle change, doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about the healthy changes you will make when the time is right.
If you chose mostly B’s, you’re READY! — You realize that losing weight isn’t easy, but you’re ready and prepared for the challenges ahead. You’re ready to eat right and exercise regularly to lose weight and maintain the weight loss. The timing is right for you to take charge of your life. The next step is to set your goals. Try using the tips outlined in my last post, on setting SMART goals.
If you chose mostly C’s, you’re ALMOST READY. — You’ve tried to take steps toward your goals, but something is keeping you from committing 100 percent. Cooking your meals seems too much work, or your job makes it difficult to maintain a consistent workout schedule. Whatever the reason, your best course, for now, is to take baby steps. If making all your meals seems like a lot of work, try doing it just one or two days a week. If you can’t work out regularly, try getting in a workout on the weekend. Taking small steps is progress, and over time, those small steps will lead to bigger ones—and greater progress.
As long as you are trying to change and putting your words into actions, that is all a coach can ask for.
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Also See: The DigitalMuscle.com New Weight Loss Blog for more great info!