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Patience: The Dieter's Virtue

Share This article - Did you ever start a diet and lose a couple of pounds each week for the first few weeks and then start estimating? You know, "OK, so if I lost 7 pounds for the last 3 weeks and there's 16 weeks till Labor Day, then by the end of the summer I'll have lost...."

Don't tell me you've never done it. I think everyone experiences looking ahead to the day they reach their goal ... fantasizing about it, figuring out when they think they'll reach it. I sure did! There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it can be extremely motivating and encouraging. However, the problem is when it becomes your focus or benchmark.

Weight loss is never a steady course. Some months we lose more than expected. Other months we lose less than we had hoped. If we map out the monthly estimates of what we planned on losing and don't reach it, we tend to see it as a failure rather than seeing the weight loss we did have. This attitude can be discouraging and get us off track.

I realize that everyone wants to get to goal ASAP. I did too. But the focus needs to be on daily living – supreme enjoyment in your new lifestyle – not in seeing how quickly you can hit the low numbers on the scale and "end the diet".

Whether you have a couple of pounds to lose or a few hundred, the best thing is to go ahead and have those moments of daydreaming about reaching goal. Then, rein yourself back in and say, "OK, what can I do today to make that happen?" The more effort you put into today, plan and prepare for today and focus on today, the more likely you will be to reach that goal tomorrow.

Be patient! It's a virtue that will help you reach your goals in the end.

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