Weight Loss Info: Health Articles

Pros and Cons of a Healthy Lifestyle
by David Junno Psy.D.

Deciding to change your lifestyle.
Once we recognized we have a problem, the temptation is to want to make a change immediately. This, however, is rarely a good idea. The reason is that for our attempts to be successful we need to be absolutely sure we are willing to make the changes necessary.

For example, if we discover that we have high cholesterol, we might want to immediately start dieting and doing more exercise. However, this can lead to problems. If we have not made a firm decision to make the necessary changes, then when we encounter obstacles, (which there will be many of), we will not have the commitment to overcome them. We then might define our inability to overcome the obstacles as a failure on our part. This is likely to lead to the belief that we cannot make the necessary changes, and we give up trying.

To avoid this problem we need to focus on making a decision to change, rather than just reacting to bad news. One of the best ways to do this is to focus on the pros and cons of making changes.

The Pros and Cons of Changing
Take a piece of paper and write on the top what you want to change, for example: exercising more, or eating less saturated fat. Then make two columns on the paper and title one of them, pros and the other one, cons. Under pros, write down all the good reasons for making your change. For example under exercise you might say, get into better shape, or have more stamina. Under eating less saturated fat, you might write: lose weight.

Under the Cons, write all the reasons for not making these changes. For example under exercise you might say, "I don't feel I have the time", or "I don't like exercising". Or for eating less saturated fat you might say, "I would have to give up my favorite foods", or "It will require a lot of changes in my meal preparation". According to Prochaska, Norcross and DiClemete in their book, "Changing for Good", for a change to be successful the pros have to outweigh the cons.

Are your pros more than your cons? If so, go ahead and start preparing to change. If your pros are not more than your cons, do not despair. This just means you need to focus your efforts on looking for more of the pros, and coming up with responses to the cons that will decrease their influence on you. Being aware of the cons of making a change is very important, as they tell you what you need to prepare for. Being prepared for the obstacles before you encounter them will improve your chances of success.

David Junno Psy.D. is a personal coach and author of: Lower High Cholesterol, Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease- READY OR NOT! an e-book program for living a healthier lifestyle. You can visit his website: http://lower-high-cholesterol-ready-or-not.com