As you enter the next phase of your healthy lifestyle, you have many tools available. By now, you may have established a few habits that help with weight control, picked up some advice and a few tips from Lark DPP, and learned a bit about how what you eat and how active you are affect blood sugar and heart health.
Staying motivated is important as you get ready to keep up the healthy choices for the long-term. The Lark DPP check-in mentioned trying your best and sticking with it to be successful, and these are some other ways to get yourself to keep it up.
Trying Your Best
“Try your best, and you will succeed.” Did your parents and schoolteachers ever tell you that? It is true! In school, trying your best may have gotten you a better grade or test score. When talking about health, trying your best can get you better health regardless of where you start. Knowing that your efforts will pay off can be motivating to keep them up, such as reading calorie counts on menu items before you order, and drinking an extra bottle of water each afternoon.
It is difficult or impossible to persevere when you have no reason to do so. Luckily, you have tons of reasons to keep up your good choices! Why did you start Lark DPP in the first place? Was it to prevent diabetes, lose weight, and gain energy? Was it to increase self-confidence and be proud of yourself? Was it to please your doctor or prove to yourself or your family that you could do it? Was it to live longer? Reminding yourself of your reasons can increase motivation to keep going.
There is no doubt that some days and choices will be more difficult than others. A workout may have left you feeling sore and reluctant to get moving again the next day, or you may feel down on yourself, and ready to throw in the towel, for having eaten a cupcake in the break room at work. Sometimes, it seems like you are doing everything right, but the scale is not cooperating. Pushing through the rougher times can increase your overall strength and ability to make healthy choices part of your life plan.
Still, there may be some occasions when it is time to give yourself a break. If you have been dragging through workouts for several days, for example, it may be time for a day off to give your muscles a chance to rest and repair. Or, it may be time to plan a cheat meal in the coming week or so if you have been craving a certain food for a while and no substitute will satisfy that craving. Balance is key to keeping up a healthy lifestyle for the long term.
Noticing progress since the beginning of the program can increase motivation to keep up the good work. You might think about weight loss, changes in activity levels or fitness, or differences in daily food choices over the past several months. If you have logged and tracked your weight, food, and activity in Lark, you can check your trends since the beginning. You may be surprised at how far you have come!
Progress may also come in the form of changes in knowledge and attitude. Are you more informed about how food and activity affect health and blood sugar? Does checking nutrition and ingredient information come naturally now? Do you consider asking your friends to walk or go for coffee instead of having a heavy meal when you want to socialize?
Success comes in many forms. It is worth noting your success so you know what you can continue to do to make progress, and so that you realize that the hard work is worthwhile. As Lark wants you to know, any small choice can have major benefits!