Weight Loss Management and Personal Responsibility

Weight Loss Management

The first step in weight loss is to make the decision that you are ready to do it. And you are ready to begin today -- right now -- from this point forward -- until you have achieved your goal. Planning to begin tomorrow, the first of the year, or on your birthday is likely the beginning of the end of your decision to lose weight.

I can say this because I have been there -- and it wasn't very long ago. I had been "thinking about" taking control of my health and my lifestyle choices that would result in weight loss for a long time. I thought about it every day and every day I would say to myself, "I'll start tomorrow morning." Hundreds of days passed by with no changes made on my part.

Then, just weeks ago, I made the decision to take control of my life and my weight, beginning that very moment. You can do it, too.

Weight loss management sounds official and perhaps difficult, but it really isn't. What will be difficult to varying degrees for each individual is the development of new, healthier habits and lifestyle choices and unlearning the older, unhealthy habits that got you to this point in the first place.

The good news is that for most individuals, regularly repeated actions and choices become habits within four to six weeks. You and I, we just have to get through the first 42 days before our new choices become automatic responses.

Weight loss is based on a simple equation: Take in fewer calories than you expend in physical activity. Please note, I am saying the way to lose weight is a simple equation. I am not going to pretend that the actual actions required to meet that equation will be easy.

It will be tough at times, especially at first. But one of the attributes of human behavior is that we value that which comes to us through effort, and effort will be needed for you to reach your goal.

Weight Loss Motivation Comes from Within

Consider Lifestyle Changes

Who's In Control -- You or Everyone Else?

Social psychology theory uses a term called "locus of control." This term differentiates between an internal locus of control and an external locus of control. People with an internal locus of control feel that they are in charge of their lives and life situations; by contrast, people with an external locus of control feel as if they have little to do or say that affects their lives but rather forces outside of them are in control of their lives and life situations.

In a study that determined the difference in adherence to treatment for high blood pressure, it was observed that people with an internal locus of control more closely adhered to the prescribed treatment regimen than did people with an external locus of control. I believe these observations translate also into weight loss management.

It stands to reason that if I believe I am in control of what happens to me, I also believe I am the one who has to do whatever is necessary to change my overweight or obesity status. I am the one who is in charge of, and responsible for, the state of my health.

I don't believe this to mean that people with an external locus of control cannot manage their weight, I believe it will take more mental effort for such people to remain motivated to do so.

Weight loss is never an easy proposition. The lifestyle choices and changes that must be made and maintained to initiate weight loss and sustain a healthy weight. Internal or external locus of control -- it can be achieved by everyone.

The motivation to become healthier through lifestyle changes in foods eaten, portion control and other choices to be made must come from within yourself. The motivation to become healthier through lifestyle changes that include more physical activity must come from within yourself.


Chart of U.S. counties rates of obesity in 2007
Chart of U.S. counties rates of obesity in 2007 | Source

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Comments 16 comments

femmeflashpoint 4 years ago

LL,

This is a wonderful piece!

I'd like to add that even making small changes to stay healthy, especially towards achieving a good weight and being as fit as possible can make a big difference, and help build encouragement toward success with the larger goals.

A two block in the neighborhood can easily grow into three and then four, and so forth. And, the effects felt afterward are both physical and emotional, in good ways. :)

Finding a buddy for support is always a plus as well. Sometimes they'll even make for a little good friendly competition.

I was the eldest in my cycle pack. The one closest in age was still fifteen years younger. I found that I was pushing myself to ensure that I kept up, and then I as surpassing my friends in many areas, out of sheer excitement that I was able to pull it off. I never meant to surpass for negative reasons, only because at that point I realized I was challenging myself, and they were the ones setting marks for me. It worked out great and still does.

A word of encouragement towards those making changes is also a big help for them. And, in doing so, I think the encourager is rewarded as much as the one who's receiving it.

femme


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Femme, you've made excellent points here. Beginning is the most difficult part, but begin and keep on going.

It sounds like not only have you made lifestyle changes, but are enjoying yourself along the way. I don't think it gets any better than this.


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California

Wonderful Hub L.L.Woodard! We can always use motivation when we have a challenge ahead of us. It's definately a "life style change". Everyone, whether big or small should eat more healthy. Not only is it good for the heart and body, but for the mind and soul. I totally agree with femmeflashpoint and her comment. Voting up and useful!

Blessings

~Lisa


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

I appreciate your visit, Rusticliving. I am writing in part from my own experience as I make small lifestyle changes gradually with the hopes of improving my overall health.


missolive profile image

missolive 4 years ago from Texas

Hi LL Woodard!

Excellent points. I appreciate the tips as well as the videos. It is a lifestyle choice. Many times I'm enjoying a nice salad (I love a variety of salads) and someone will say, "oh, are you on a diet?" I'm not a fan of the "D" word. LOL I'd rather stick to healthy eating. As you say, it is our responsibility to do so.

Nice hub - thank you for sharing!

Voted up!


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Thanks for stopping by Missolive. My point about personal responsibility is that a person can't just depend on medical science to fix what ails us and it sounds like you've taken control of your health and well-being. More people -- people like me -- would be prudent to follow suit.


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Interesting read, I didn't know about the habit forming period, but it is a good goal for those attempting to change bad habits!

Thanks for SHARING.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Brett, glad to have added to your knowledge base. Even though a 4 to 6 week period to establish new thoughts/actions as a habit may seem like a long time initially, we adults know that such a time period is like a blink of an eye -- and it's good to know when you begin that a new lifestyle choice will be second nature before you know it.

Thanks for SHARING.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

No argument here. Accepting responsibility for your patterns is the first step to change. Voting this Up and Useful. Thanks for SHARING.


NMLady profile image

NMLady 4 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

The Indian area in NM and AZ has a great deal to do with liver function and the foods that are now available in that area. That area does not have food sources that most of the USA does....I realize this is a simple way of putting it but there is more to it than a simple map can tell.

Just saying.... it is not fair to make them feel bad over genetics and food source availabilty.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

The changes seem daunting if you think you have to do everything at once, which you don't. Success that comes one step at a time is just as useful and much more practical.

Alocsin, thanks for SHARING.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

NMLady, the hub was not intended to point fingers at anyone, it is more about realizing that the state of each person's health is up to them and not just something a doctor can do.

I appreciate the read and you taking the time to leave a comment.


healthguru72 profile image

healthguru72 4 years ago from Ohio

This was great hub, and it's true that taking responsibility for weight loss is so important. I find it harder to maintain weight loss than to actually lose the weight in the first place. It seems that some habits are hard to break forever (such as eating take away!), but I suppose that comes down to personal responsibility and choices. Voting this hub up and useful and will also follow your other hubs.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Healthguru72, I agree that maintaining weight loss can be challenging for sure -- especially because it basically means following good choices for the rest of your life. I hope you find success in this portion of your health endeavors.

Thanks for your read and your comments.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

I recently got rid of one very bad habit, drinking diet coke and instantly started putting on weight. I try my best to stay away from high calorie drinks but it's not easy. I get sick of drinking water. Voted up and shared.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 3 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Moonlake, I've never been a soda drinker, so I can't personally identify with that issue, but I know plenty of people in similar circumstances.

I've had a weight issue for the last twenty years or so. There are times I am very mindful of it and am moving toward more healthy choices, and sometimes, honestly, I lose motivation. I just know that no one else but myself is responsible for either the overweight issue nor any health conditions that arise from it. That thought was the motive behind writing this hub; that being overweight or obese is a personal responsibility rather than societal issue.

Thank you for reading, voting and Sharing.

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