BENEFITS OF MAKING LIFESTYLE CHANGES
To be part of the Fit City Challenge you are obviously willing to make personal
changes. That willingness is the first step. Acting on that willingness is the
next step. And that part takes careful thought and planning.
Lifestyle changes are to be made gradually, and you should be willing to give
yourself time to accomplish your goals. Habits are hard to break, and changes
rarely occur overnight, so don't expect too much too soon. If you attempt to
change many habits at the same time, you may find yourself too far outside of
your "comfort zone," making it all too easy to fall back into the unhealthy
habits you're trying to change. To be successful you must start with changing
not only habits, but also your thoughts and feelings about being more healthy.
Whatever your reason for joining the Fit City Challenge, good health and
healthy eating and exercise are inseparable parts of our mission.
Setting personal goals is important in making lifestyle changes. Goals give you
something to work toward over time. They allow you to focus on the changes that
are most important for you to undertake, and they provide you a measure by
which you can gauge your progress. The focus needs to be on making your goals
realistic ones. Realistic goals give you reasonable assurance that your efforts
will be successful, so think it through carefully. Don't set yourself up
for disappointment and discouragement.
Concentrate on making small changes first. Setting short-term goals- both
daily and weekly- is essential for your continued motivation and success in the
Fit City Challenge. And remember to take pleasure in every small step and every
little victory, because each one moves you toward the greater goal of your good
Donald Schumacher, M.D.
Center for Nutrition & Preventive Medicine
Chair, Healthy Weight Task Force