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The One-Size-Fits-All Weight Loss Goal

Jan 3, 2008
As summer fades into fall, this is an ideal time to assess your weight loss picture.

Now, be honest.

Has warmer weather helped or hindered your efforts? This is different for every person. Some people, inspired by bathing suits and warm weather, exercise more and eat lighter in the summer months. Others, inspired by the same bathing suits and warm weather, do the opposite.

Hey! What's up with that?

Well, the same things that can be a positive motivation can also depress the hell out of you. It's that simple. It's all about how you decide to view swimsuits (or anything else, for that matter). For some, wearing less clothing brings out fear or anger.

Another consideration during summer is the social scene in which you live. Some people exercise less and eat more due to outdoor parties, barbecues, weddings and family reunions. A third factor is the heat index in your area of the country.

No matter what season appeals to you, it's good to figure out when you most enjoy exercising and what season is best for you to make a real push towards you weight loss goals.

I like Fall. So, every fall I issue a 5-pound challenge to my clients. It's not an amount that's terribly hard to lose in a month but you will need to concentrate and focus. Whether your efforts have lagged recently or you simply don't feel real focused, get back on track!

It's also a great way to get "ahead" before the holidays creep in with endless rounds of parties and entertainment.

Here's how it works. Mark off a month or 30 days on your calendar. You can also copy a couple months off your wall calendar and paste them together so the four weeks shows up consecutively on one page.

Start today!

What you are going to do is lose 5 pounds, an entirely safe amount, in that 30-day period. How are you going to do this? By focusing on what you need to do, each and every day, to make it happen.

For those of you who are saying "I need to lose 30 (or 130) pounds, five is too small an amount," start with five! Five is the perfect sub-goal for everyone. It's not terribly hard or daunting.

For those of you who are saying "That sounds like a lot!" It's about a pound a week. It can be accomplished by avoiding sauces, sodas, mayonnaise and salad dressings... or by cutting out desserts. Decide what high-fat item to which you are LEAST attached and take a vacation from it and from the guilt you usually feel when you overindulge in it.

It's a great jumpstart!

It'll show, believe me. You'll be proud of your accomplishment.

I have a client who latched onto this idea with a vengeance when I once suggested it to her. She uses this strategy before she goes on vacation so she can enjoy a few treats while she's away without any stress about what she's going to face on the scale when she returns. You could use it the same way before the holidays if you are at a comfortable weight now but usually gain a few pounds during December.

What's the most important part of the five-pound challenge? Five pounds can make you want more!

If weight loss is daunting to you, try this simpler approach. Go for five. Then, the choice is yours. Ask yourself: Do you want to lose another five?
About the Author
Pat Barone, CPCC, PCC, earned her title "America's Weight Loss Catalyst" by coaching thousands of clients toward permanent weight loss. Her status as an expert is heightened by her own personal weight loss success. Receive her free newsletter "The Catalyst" by visiting
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