You Have to Stay Focused

To stay focused, in this article, means to keep your mind and actions directed at your goals. You can start out with your exercise program, new way of eating, and expectations of everything going according to plan.

However, I’m writing this article to tell you that rarely are things that easy. Below are six things that can get in your way and ways to overcome them.

1. Fear – As you strive to stay focused, you may discover that you are different from others and this can frighten you. Or maybe you are considerably overweight or obese, and you don’t like the way you look compared to the others around you, and this scares you.

The fear of injuring yourself or doing too much may concern you. Perhaps you just can’t do certain exercises or eat various foods, and this gives you a feeling of anxiety. Whatever the case may be, many are frightened by something related to exercising and eating right.

The question is, “What can you do to overcome some of these fears”? First, you must realize that everyone is different in body sizes and fitness abilities.

Next, it is important to remember that God made you in His image (see Gen. 1:26-27; Ps. 139:14). You must learn to love yourself and not compare yourself to others. Many have to work hard to look the way they do, and you are on your way to looking the way you want.

Learn what you can do, and stay focused on doing that until you can do more. Also, talk to your doctor or nutritionist about what you can and cannot eat.

Finally, II Timothy 1:7 teaches Christian that God did not give us a spirit of fear.

2. Unrealistic – As you strive to stay focused, you may discover you are unrealistic. You may think that because you made up your mind to "do this thing" that everything will go as planned.

You may have become frustrated, because you can’t get your workouts in during the morning hours, as planned. Maybe you are still eating late because of your work schedule.

You may have promised yourself a treadmill in your home, but your money is "funny," and you can’t afford it. If you were just laid off, it may become impossible for you to continue to buy the healthy foods you were eating.

All of these scenarios plus others may cause you to become angry and lose focus. We must be flexible and realistic. The late Rev. Dr. Ceasar W. Clark said, “In this life, things rarely work out according to plan.”

If you don’t learn to stay focused, be more realistic, and expect some bumps in the road, it can cause you to act irresponsible. For example, you may not exercise at all, because you can’t go at the time you planned.

You must learn to adjust and get your workout in, when you can. This may mean getting up earlier, working out later, or doing mini-routines throughout the day.

As it relates to eating, it is true that it cost more to eat healthy. However, there are ways to eat better for less. You may have to buy a head of lettuce, instead of a bag of Romaine lettuce. Buying generic healthy food is another way to cut the price on your food.

The bottom line is, you must learn to make change work for you. Dr. Baines, Jr. said in his sermon that "God has a plan for you."

He went on to say that not only does God have a plan, but He has the character and the collateral to back up the plan. This is good news for those who want to be more intentional.

3. Impatience – As you strive to stay focused, you may discover that you are impatient. Do you think you can lose all the weight you desire to lose, in a month?

It takes 3,500 calories to make a pound. It also takes 3,500 calories to lose a pound. If you are an active woman, you should eat no more than 2,200 calories/day.

Let’s look at how long it will take to lose one pound by cutting 500 calories a day. If you eat 1,700 calories a day, it will take you one week to lose one pound.

You may speed up the process, by burning more calories. If a woman that weighs 180 pounds does a moderate aerobic exercise for 30 minutes, she will burn appropriately 230 calories. If she picks up the intensity and works out an hour, she can burn around 500 calories.

If she stays focused and does this for a week and cuts her eating by 500 calories a day, she can lose two pounds a week. If you are like me, you are not going to do this much work on a regular basis.

However, you may cut some calories and do at least 30 to 45 minutes of exercising around three to four times a week. This can lead to losing one pound a week.

So if it took you 10 years to gain 50 pounds, don't think you will lose it all in a month. It is going to take work, and it will be slow.

However, if you just make small changes to your lifestyle and stick with it, you will be surprised by what you can lose and keep off. Take it from me, someone who has lost over 135 pounds and has kept it off for over the last five years.

4. Boredom – You may want to stay focused, but you may have also gotten bored with your routine and what you are eating. You may have lost some weight and now feel very comfortable with your workout routine. Your food choices can be too routine for you.

Try eating different foods – colors, taste, or culture. Go out sometimes, but watch the serving portions. Try new nutritious recipes. Do a food tasting dinner, with your workout buddy.

You will discover that you will get bored with your routine. Maybe you like to walk on the treadmill – a great work out. To stay focused and keep from getting bored, try walking outside.

It’s possible that your music on your MP3 player, IPod, phone, CD player, or tape player has gotten stale. Just get new music or mix it up.

Your workout partner may be the cause of your boredom – talking about the same old stuff. Give them a break for a few weeks, but keep exercising on your own.

Whatever may be the cause of your boredom should not be the reason you lose your focus and stop exercising and eating right. Learn to change things around with your exercising and eating. You should challenge yourself and do something different monthly.

5. Ignorance – Not knowing what to do will cause you to lose focus and not be as intentional as you should be. Have you ever heard of “just spinning your wheels”? That is what we do, when we don’t know something and we go about trying to do it anyway.

Learning how to properly exercise will eliminate some injuries, boredom, and help improve your fitness level. Talking with a knowledgeable person about nutrition will definitely help you with your weight loss or management.

Knowledge is power. However, knowing something and not doing it is a waste of time. Find out what you need to know to help you do what you need to do and then stay focused and do it.

Everyone will not be helped by doing the same exercise routine or eating the same meals. Talk with professional people, read books, and learn from your and others' experiences.

6. Apathy – As you strive to stay focused, you may discover yourself becoming apathetic (i.e., becoming less concerned). If you are not concerned about your health, you will not care what you do with your exercising and eating.

Signs that you are concerned with your health are the decisions you make and the focus you keep. You make wise decisions when you are focused.

Don’t be surprised when you become heavier and less fit, when you show signs of not caring and don’t follow through. You can change your life, by caring about your health.

In conclusion, when it comes to achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it is important to stay focused.

Work on handling your fears, being more realistic, having a little patience (i.e., "Rome was not built in a day"), changing up your exercises and eating, gaining some knowledge, and acting like you are concern about your health. Please complete the feedback form below.

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