Taking your first steps on your path to wellness and weight loss can be a little confusing. What should you eat? How should you exercise? When can you get better sleep? I could tell you exactly what to do. Eat a diet high in anti-oxidants and fiber including healthy fats, lots of vegetables, some fruits, whole grains and mostly plant-based proteins. Sweat daily and include strength training, flexibility and cardiovascular exercise. Sleep 6-8 hours per night, improve spirituality, laugh more, create a sound support system and implement a stress management plan. There! That was easy. Your knees feel better already knowing the weight will start falling off. Now, implement what you know long enough to achieve your goal weight. Hmmm, that’s tougher. Of course, you can do anything you set your mind to; you are a resilient and intelligent individual. Still, most people do not reach their wellness goals. Why not? What if it didn’t have to be so difficult? Would you be more likely to stick to your plan if it was easier?

What if the first step to wellness is really just the easiest step? Indulge me for a moment. Pick the easiest thing you could pick to change in wellness. How about taking a walk to the end of your neighborhood, or street, or even just to the mailbox and back? You could do that, but for how long? Let’s say one week. Ok, so that’s it? How will you lose 50 pounds by walking to the mailbox and back?  No, no no. You need something more drastic to be successful. Instead, you could order one of those meal replacement subscriptions. Now, you’re talking! Consume 3 pre-portioned shakes daily and two snack bars until the weight comes off.

The shakes and bars can be useful tools, but for most folks, it is too extreme to facilitate long-term weight loss results. Most people fail on those diets without tremendous support. What happens next? Those dieters feel bad. Really bad. Like they failed and they are doomed to be overweight forever. They usually gain the weight back plus some.

How does the mailbox walker feel after the week? Successful! The mailbox walker was able to achieve the goal of a quick walk daily, and now the mailbox walker is up for another challenge. This time, the walker decides to walk farther, and is successful again. With this positive start, the walker decides to eat more vegetables at dinnertime for the next 3 days. Success again! The walker lost a few pounds, and felt to so great she made a joke at her new-found prayer group. She lost a few more pounds, walked a little farther, ate a little less, laughed more, slept better. Sounds like success started and snowballed.

Focus on the positive in your life. Accomplish the achievable by reaching multiple small goals in a row. Build on your successes and have patience. It’s a long road; there are no shortcuts and every step matters. LWell is here to keep dieters focused on long-term goals to support improved health through customized wellness strategies. By incorporating sleep, stress- management, fitness, nutrition and support, LWell members achieve clinically significant results and have a lot of fun doing it.