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Are You Still Dieting and Exercising? Yes! Always!

Why encouraging others helps her feel accountable for her continued weight loss journey.

Are you still dieting and exercising? That is a question that I am asked at least once a week. And my answer is, and will be from now on, a firm, “YES! Always!” 

Even though I have lost 68 pounds, I understand how important it is that I keep up this new lifestyle in order to maintain my good health. And besides, I still have not reached my ultimate weight goal of 160 pounds, or my fitness goal of being able to run a marathon. 

Upon her return trip to Louisiana to see how I’d done with my transformation Julie Hadden shared with me how important, yet difficult it is to maintain the weight loss. So often we think that once we’ve lost the weight we can just quit and live happily ever after, but we can never quit. Instead we need to strive even harder and set new goals. One thing that keeps Julie focused is helping others learn what she has learned.

I had set a similar goal of being able to reach out to others and share with them the knowledge that I have gained over this past year, and that goal is now being met through a fitness program we’ve started recently at our church.   

Each lesson begins with the importance of eating nutritiously. I teach that if our bodies are getting the nutrients it needs it is less likely to crave things that are unhealthy. We should stay away from foods containing high fructose corn syrup, MSG, and hydrogenated oils and instead opt for fresh fruits and vegetables. We should also account for every calorie we put into our mouths, because we don’t realize just how much we eat unless we write it down. 

After the nutrition lesson we begin the exercise portion. I try to incorporate into each meeting the importance of variation. For example, I’ve explained that although it is important to do cardio workouts to burn calories, it is equally important to do strength training to build muscles and to stretch them to make them lean. 

Balance is another skill we work on at each meeting. We usually spend about 20 minutes for each of the three types of workouts—cardio, strength, and stretching.
Lastly, we share successes and concerns. We encourage one another and help to hold each other accountable. And I remind them each week that this is not a DIET, this is a lifestyle change. It’s all about focusing on being healthy and being the person that God created us to be. 

Encouraging others helps to hold me accountable for my continued weight loss. Additionally, it helps to keep me focused on continuing what I’ve started and gives me more reason to never quit.

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