According to Holistic Health Coach Debbie DeAngelo, RNC, “the desire to lose weight or eat healthier is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, it’s one of the hardest ones for people.”
Eating healthy and keeping a consistent workout routine is something many adults in the United States struggle with, which leads to people making a New Year’s resolution to make health changes.
Like DeAngelo says, it’s one of the hardest changes to make. Unfortunately, people who try it often quickly lose the motivation to keep going.
“Often times, they want to take their life in a different direction. The want to make a change in their life for the positive. But the problem is, that honeymoon phase wears off way before people can accomplish their goals,” says DeAngelo.
Jeanette George is an Erie woman who went through her own health journey and made it into a lifestyle.
“I’m still working at it, I’m 146 right now. I’ve lost 113 pounds, and I want to be 130. So I’ve only got a few pounds left to go and then I am at my goal, and I’m very happy about that,” says George
This didn’t happen overnight for George; she’s been on this path for 3 years now.
So how did she and others get past that honeymoon phase and stick with it?
DeAngelo says it really comes down to 2 things, figuring out how to make a change, and why people want to make a change.
“When people ask me to help them, I first want to ask what has worked for them and what has not worked for them in the past, so we can identify those obstacles that usually hold them back and we can try to plan around those. Secondly, I think it comes down to that motivator, your ‘why.’ Your motivator is what’s going to keep you going throughout the year when that honeymoon phase wears off, and it needs to be really specific,” says DeAngelo.
For George, the motivation was wanting to feel better and to manage her health complications. She had complications with her thyroid that started the weight gain. After removal of her thyroid and a gastric sleeve surgery, she knew she still had work to do.
“There was something wrong with my thyroid, and they had to take it because I gained over 100 pounds in one year. So we knew something was wrong because I wasn’t eating anything different, and all of a sudden this massive weight just came on me. So I ended up being 259 pounds. Then I went for gastric sleeve surgery, but I lost 65 pounds just from the diet before I had the surgery. The surgery is helpful as a tool. It doesn’t make you lose weight, it just shrinks your stomach to the size of a tennis ball so you fill up easier, and the bottom half of your stomach where your hunger hormones are is gone so you don’t feel hunger,” says George.
The health differences for her are life changing.
“Its had a positive impact on me. I don’t need a hip surgery any longer. I don’t have as many aches and pains in my joints as I did when I was 113 pounds heavier. My blood pressure has gone down – it’s wonderful in so many aspects.
George is committed to a strict diet and keeps herself moving every day.
“When trying to lose weight I eat less than 50 carbs a day and the calories fall into place anyway. I try to work out every day – I jog or I dance, or I march or something for half an hour every day, and that helps to keep my metabolism going.
DeAngelo says keeping active doesn’t have to just be limited to a time period. Its important to constantly move each day.
Nate Magee, a registered yoga instructor with Ashaya Yoga says it’s helped his anxiety especially. “it really helps you to calm and to notice your thoughts without chasing after your thoughts and without having to follow the repetitive thought patterns people have day after day,” says Magee.
Remember when starting you journey and throughout your journey, you won’t be perfect – and that’s okay. While it isn’t easy, it’s not impossible.
“People come in and they’re embarrassed about what they’ve done, whether they ate something they weren’t supposed to et, or haven’t changed their sleep habits yet, it’s not unusual. It’s not the first time I’ve ever heard that. When you’re struggling the most is when you need help the most, and people shouldn’t be ashamed of that. Says DeAngelo.
“No matter what diet you want to do, just try to stick with it. If you mess up, you can always start again. Just don’t give up, “says George.