How to stay Motivated to Eat Healthy

          It was a Thursday, after a string of late nights for my husband at work and my putting the kids to bed on my own. I’d been determined to cook at home, for the obvious health and pocketbook benefits, but in a moment of exhaustion, and with him home before dinner time in the first time in a while, we found ourselves and the kids sliding into a booth at Outback.
          Now, I’d had a pretty good week of weight loss, coming back after the winter string of sugar-laced holidays a couple pounds lighter, in fact. But now, the smell of coconut fried shrimp was calling, and someone (not me) ordered a giant Bloomin’ Onion. Which was soon staring me in the face, smell wafting up  and shortly accompanied by a loaf of warm bread. I bravely sliced two pieces, spread them with butter and handed  one to each of my kids.
          I tried not to look at the Bloomin’ Onion while I perused the menu. I wanted to order something dripping with cheese, or maybe fried. I needed to tap into the deepest motivations to resist those temptations. So I brought my mind back to the goals and images that had been most powerfully effective for me.
          1. The number goal on the scale that I was so close to. At that point, I was just a few pounds away from crossing over the BMI range out of the Obese category. This had eluded me for so long, I’d get close, then blow it, get close again, then blow itagain! I needed to be done and overcome that barrier.
          2. Life Insurance.  I’d already scheduled an appointment at the end of the month to meet with our isurance agent about taking out a policy for myself. I knew that if I met the above mentioned BMI range, I’d get a much better rate on my plan, and a bigger plan at that, if I was lower weight.
          3. The mental picture of a giant clot sitting in a coronary. (google “clot in coronary” to see some of these if you are brave!) I have say, having taken gross anatomy and felt with my own hands many a calcified vessel that was supposed to be an open and supple artery isn’t something you forget. I’ve found that to be successful at eat healthier, picturing the greasy food tempting me clogging up one of my arteries can be very effective. Especially when I think about my kids and husband, and how I don’t want them have to suffer through me having an MI.
          4. And the most powerful motivator: my kids. Stats reveal that kids who grow up with one obese or overweight parent are fifty percent more likely to deal with overweight themselves. If both parents are overweight/obese, that number increases to 80 percent. I know that the strongest influence toward healthy eating habits and lifestyle they can have is for me to lead them by example. I often choose healthy options just because I look at their precious little faces watching me.
          I’m sure everyone has their own motivation for losing weight. Perhaps big events, reunions, weddings, or just looking better. I’d encourage you to make a list, at least mentally, of why you’ve got to stick with the plan. Writing it down is even better. Review it frequently! This will get you through dinners out that involve Bloomin’ Onions.
          How did I fare that night at Outback? I had a pile of steamed veggies and grilled fish. I didn’t trust myself at that point to even taste the fried stuff in front of me without losing all restraint, so I didn’t touch it!

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