How can I know if I'm ready to start a weight-loss plan?
There are specific stages to making a change like weight loss, which indicate when a person is ready to take action. In this video, psychiatrist Sudeepta Varma, MD, explains the stages and how you can tell if you're ready to make a lifestyle change.
You've identified a lot of areas in your life that are suffering as a result of your weight gain or being heavier than you would want to be.
You've identified reasons for the change. You've recruited a support network. You've made a plan, and you're at that point
of executing that plan.
So when we talk about readiness to make change, whether it be with weight loss or any other aspect of our life, there are certain stages. And those stages had to do with initially smoking cessation,
And now really they can be applied to any form of change. So the first stage is precontemplation, right, which is like, I'm in denial.
I don't think I have a problem. Contemplation is, I do have a problem. Perhaps I know I'm overweight, and I want to do something about it.
And then we move on to action, and in the action phase, we are actually watching what we're eating and we're making those modifications,
or we're doing the exercise. We're committing to the program. And finally, there's a final stage called maintenance. So you'll know that you're ready when
you are no longer in denial. You don't say, I don't have a problem. You have talked to your doctor. The doctor says, you know, you'd benefit from losing x amount of weight.
This will take off the weight, or the pain on your joints, or the arthritis that you're having, that this would be better if you could lose the weight,
or perhaps the blood pressure. You've identified a lot of areas in your life that are suffering as a result of your weight gain
or being heavier than you would want to be. You've identified reasons for the change. You've recruited a support network.
You've made a plan, and you're at that point of executing that plan. So that's when I would say, I know that this person is ready is when
they know the reasons that they have to change, and they also know the reasons that if they don't change, what are the risks that are going to affect them.
So that might be the hypertension, or the high cholesterol, or the heart attack, for example. So making a list of the reasons to change and what's
at risk if you didn't change. That's, for me, one of the big things, a hallmark when I know someone is ready to step into action.
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