Expert answers: What tips do you have for others starting a wellness journey?
Jessica Erickson, a Mayo Clinic patient, shared her tips for starting a journey to healthier habits.
Congratulations on taking your first step on the journey towards a healthier weight and lifestyle! I have found from personal experience that the journey can be a rewarding and successful one. There is no easy path to guaranteed success. Both traditional weight loss methods and bariatric weight loss procedures require a lifelong commitment in order to achieve and maintain your healthier weight.
Keep your primary focus on your destination.
This will enable you to plan and proceed with confidence along a path containing obstacles, one that you carefully negotiate with the help of your team of providers and support staff. If you allow them, they will walk the path with you along this journey.
Ask questions about the lifestyle you will be leading.
As you take your first step, ask questions about the lifestyle you will be leading once you have achieved your goal. It is important to understand what you will need to change in order to successfully maintain your weight loss.
Use the journey to your goal to learn and adapt your lifestyle.
The time it takes you to reach your goal is a gift. Use this time to learn and adapt your current lifestyle and diet to the permanent one you are choosing. Repetition builds habit. Making small but important dietary and lifestyle changes, well in advance, will establish habits that are sustainable once you have reached your goal. It is never too early to start making small positive changes.
Be kind to yourself.
We crawl before we walk, and we walk before we run. There are times you will fall down, but that doesn’t mean you have failed. Reach out for support through support groups and providers. Your journey will be unique, so refuse to compare yourself to others. It can be challenging to set aside the opinions of others, which at times may be hurtful. Psychology and support groups can offer the backing you need to help you proceed with confidence.
Recognize that the world is filled with opinions and listen to reputable sources.
Focus on making good choices under the direction of individuals who know and understand the complexities of a journey to a healthier lifestyle. When offered advice, make sure that advice comes from reputable sources.
Understand that you will never be the same.
This journey to a healthier life will take you to a new world. You are in the driver’s seat. Your choices will guide you to your destination or to an unwanted detour. Proceed with cautious confidence. You are being given valuable life skills that will help you succeed at achieving a healthier life.