Back On Track

Staying And Getting Back On Track After The Holidays

December 28, 2013

Happy New Year, New You!

This is a great time of year. The commercials, network news shows and other media are geared toward losing weight, eating healthy and exercising. Everyone is trying to sell their product or services just in time for the big resolution day of January 1st.

The news shows have interviews about resolutions, goal setting and how to achieve success from all types of experts. Leading professionals seem to agree on one thing; when we want to get back on track after the holidays, small changes are best rather than making big changes all at once. Taking on small changes creates a momentum of success. Rather than tackling all of the big changes of getting back on track, what about taking on one change and build from there?

How many times have we decided to change our life and lose weight with a overwhelming list of habits and items we need to do? This is abrupt and a set up to compromise your best intentions to lose weight and keep on track. For many of us, when we become overwhelmed, we overeat.

Think about your own weight loss surgery journey. With the holidays, have you taken a few detours from being on track? If you've always attempted getting and being on track with lots of changes and it hasn't worked long-term successfully, consider doing the same thing in a different way.

Consider for yourself, is it best to get back on track by making big changes or breaking down getting back on track into steps. For example, if you've gotten into grazing, drinking with meals and eating simple carbs and sugar, take on one at a time rather than all of them. As an example, possibly, for January, stop drinking with your meals. For February, set your goal for the month to avoid sugar and simple carbs, then for March take on another step in what you consider to be "on track" for you. You can reach a single goal easier in one month than a multiple of goals that will cause you to make a sudden, abrupt u-turn in your life.

Some suggestions for getting/staying on track:

1. Create a plan. Commit to your plan by putting it in writing or on your computer. List the habits or behaviors you want to change. Under each item, list the action item as to how you will accomplish the goal.

For example:

For January - Avoid grazing:

  • Plan meals and snacks for each day.
  • Commit to logging my food intake in a journal or online (such as on your OH profile).
  • Clean out trigger foods that cause you to graze.
  • Replace trigger foods with healthy food options.

Your goal is to avoid grazing and the items below are steps you can take to accomplish your goal. For February, create a different goal to change a habit or behavior.

It takes 21 days (three weeks) to form new habits. By committing to a single back on track goal on a monthly basis, you'll have created a new habit in the three weeks with an additional week to enjoy your success. Each monthly success creates a momentum of success and it becomes easier to stay on track.

2. Lean on your support system. Become involved in posting and participate in a support group. You can also join an OH Group. The OH Group will allow you to have access to support, your leader and fellow members 24/7.

3. Create accountability. In addition to a food journal, you can also utilize your own blog to record your food, exercise and what is going on with you. This will assist you and also create more connections with other ObesityHelp members.

4. Create your own personal list of things to do instead of eating. Distractions can be very helpful. The head hunger of emotional eating will pass if you allow it. For those times where your motivation is lower than normal, you can refer to your list of things to do. Your list can include things you enjoy. Many members have shared items in their lists. The common ones include going outside and get out of the environment of the kitchen, call or e-mail a friend and post on your favorite ObesityHelp message boards and/or an OH Group.

January 1st is just a few days away. There is no magic in New Year's Day. Create your own clean, fresh slate any day of the year. Every day can be New Year's Day to start changing habits and behaviors that keep you from being on track. Start now. Start at your next meal. You have an opportunity to start anytime.

Remember, you can have a Happy New Year any day of the year. Whether it is May 14, September 9 or even the day after Thanksgiving, you can have a New Year!

cathy wilson


Cathy Wilson, PCC, BCC, had RNY surgery in 2001 and lost 147 pounds. Cathy is a regular contributor to the OH Blog and authored the "Mind Matters" column in ObesityHelp Magazine. Cathy is a licensed pilot and loves flying. She is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC).

Read more articles by Cathy!