1. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
Other people have different lifestyles, family history, DNA... Make a goal for *you* and keep your eyes on your own paper.
2. Don't get on the scale every day. In fact, check it once a month, no more than twice.
There are daily fluctuations in water retention and hormones. Factors such as medication or a few salty chips can shift your numbers. Don't let numbers throw you off your game.
3. Don't scrutinize yourself in the mirror every day.
Staring at it doesn't change it. If you must, do an overall scan, and move away from the mirror. Too much close scrutiny can turn a good day bad, when the day IS good.
4. Don't scrutinize every imperfection.
Assess what you want to change, come up with a plan to do it, then do it. Hating on yourself does absolutely no good.
5. Don't look for improvements every day. Shift happens slowly, but it does happen.
Lifelong change takes time and if you're looking for immediate transformation
6. Don't ask fitness questions from your friends. They don't know any better than you.
Find a pro, or do tons of research. And remember, there are NO miracle pills or powders no matter how convincing the ads are. There is no way to lose it and keep it lost unless you eat different things and move your body. Period.
7. Don't get sucked into words like "always" and "never" unless it has to do with safety.
Goes to #6. Don't let people tell you to NEVER do that, or you should ALWAYS eat that.. There are many theories, and endless ways to tweak workouts and nutrition plans to suit your tastes and goals. Don't let those words sway you before you have all the facts.
8. Don't get sucked into the "age" thing. You can get fit at any age.
9. Don't think you can't eat.. think you MUST eat.
It's not so much quantity, it's *quality*. Grilled chicken, with a beautiful veggie filled salad, fruit, and a sweet potato doesn't have as many calories big mac and fries.
10. Don't reward yourself with food.
Don't take one step forward and 2 steps back.
11. Don't let yourself off the hook, but don't be hard on yourself either.
Treat yourself as you would your child, or any child, with encouraging, but stern and wisdomful love. You are a child after all, in the history of the world, you haven't been here that long. Be patient with yourself.
12. Don't talk badly about yourself.
That negative self talk is like punching yourself in the gut. You can only take it for so long before you double over. Encourage yourself! Your internal dialogues should have a "you can do this!" feel about them.
13. Notice what you're doing right and work to improve what you not doing right.
See number 12.
14. Remember your value is not in the numbers on a scale but in your progress.
Scales are only a small part of your body's journey. They are but one measurement. If you're doing everything (mostly) right, and you're clothes feel looser, and you see changes and feel changes, that is far more powerful than a number.
15. Take the word failure out of your vocabulary.
You only fail if you give up, the rest is trying. If you need to tweak your plan along the way, do so, but don't stop and don't give up.
16 See food as a means to your goal and choose accordingly.
I've said it before, I'll say it again, food is the clay, workouts the chisel. If you don't use good clay, there will be nothing to chisel. You need to put into your body what you want out of it.
17. Know that every right choice you make takes you one step closer.
The more right choices you make the faster it will go.
18. Don't make goals realistic.
Go for the big hug hairy goal but tackle them realistically.
19. Think nutrients not calories.
If you worked to fulfill your nutrient requirements and left the junk food off, you'd never have to think about calories ever ever again. And if you eat clean most of the time, then you don't need to worry about food joy "sometimes".
20. Don't give up.
It doesn't get any more straight forward than that. If you want it, fight for it. I promise it will be worth every treat you walk by, every take out that stays out, and every workout you make yourself go to. You can't buy confidence and happiness, but you sure can own them.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/deadstar/3206879752/">deadstar 2.1</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>