Do This ONE THING for More Healthy Lifestyle Motivation and a Better Mindset
At a recent Obesity Action Coalition Your Weight Matters Convention, research psychologist Dr. Jason Lillis, gave a great talk titled, Using Your Values to Empower Healthy Changes with Acceptance-based Therapy.
Dr. Lillis began his presentation unconventionally by talking about death. He asked attendees how they would like to be remembered when they die – and which would they want on their tombstone –
# 1 – She finally lost 20 pounds…..OR
# 2 – She was a caring, loving daughter, wife, mother, sister, friend…
You get the idea.
Dr. Lillis had everyone’s complete attention as he went on to discuss the importance of living a life where you are true to your values.
Dr. Lillis’ presentation was spot on and reinforced the importance of enjoying your healthy lifestyle journey versus seeking a magical goal weight that you think will bring you happiness.
As I discuss with patients, adopting a healthier lifestyle is not a bunch of “shoulds”. I “should” lose weight, I “should” exercise, I “should” watch less TV.
Instead, a healthy lifestyle is all about you and your life goals. But sometimes you need to do some soul searching to figure out WHY you want to become healthier on a deeper level.
It’s time to figure out your WHY. Here are some questions to guide you:
Do you want to be able to keep up with your children or grandchildren?
Do you want to be able to go on vacation and keep up with the walking or biking tour?
Do you want to be able to pursue fun activities like tennis or dancing?
Do you want to be able to take the stairs without getting short of breath?
Do you want to be around longer for your significant other so you can pursue your bucket list together?
Dr. Lillis talked about checking in with yourself on a regular basis – daily or weekly – and seeing if you’re behaving close to your values.
If not, think about ways to improve your behaviors so that you can live the life you want to live, bringing you more joy and contentment – not just a smaller waist.
Isn’t that what life is all about?
Enjoy your health!
Robert Kushner, MD