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The 7 Phases of Change

By Kimberly Fulcher / Shawn Byler

Lose The Weight For Good With The Seven Phases of Change

The process of losing weight requires change; in lifestyle, routines, and habitual choices. One of the primary reasons you've fail when attempting to lose weight is that you haven't planned for the phases of change you will experience as you begin the process of transforming their body. Let's do something about that. Join me in exploring the Seven Phases of Change, and take control of your weight for good!

Phase One: Acknowledgement

Phase one is about honesty. You must clearly define the habits that aren't working for you, and make a commitment to change. (For example, eating a pint of ice cream in front of the television will not help you reach your goal weight. Going for a walk with a friend will).

Phase Two: Excitement and Skepticism

In this phase you begin to believe that you just might be able to do this. You"ve identified your obstacles, and you've started to make some changes. This will feel great. Inevitably, your feelings of excitement will mingle with skepticism. After all, when you've spent years losing and gaining the same ten pounds, you can start to believe that they're going to be a permanent fixture in your life! Still, in this stage your excitement should outweigh your skepticism, and you will enjoy the process of starting to make changes in your life.

Phase Three: Rebellion

When you are in rebellion you will have a strong desire to break "the rules of whatever program you've adopted. This could mean that instead of hitting the gym you hit your fridge with a vengeance; eating everything that isn't nailed down (or healthy). Admit it, you've done this before.

The difference between people who succeed in losing weight vs. those who don't lives in this phase. Either you're going to move beyond the fact that you've just eaten 10,000 calories, and get back on the horse, or you're going to wallow in self hatred - while you finish off a bag of chips. Put the chips down, and choose to get back on the horse!

Phase Four: Education

In Phase Four you decide that you will invest your time and energy in learning about why you do what you do, and how you can make permanent changes in your behavior. This requires education and self-inquiry. Find out why you're doing what you're doing, and identify what you need to address in order to make a permanent change.

Phase Five: Anger and Questions

While this phase can be uncomfortable, it is an incredibly important part of your journey. At this point you will connect with feelings of anger and disillusionment as you realize how simple it can be to develop healthy food and exercise habits. When this becomes clear, you're going to realize that you've been sold a bill of goods by the diet industry, and this is going to make you mad.

Go ahead, allow yourself a moment or two to feel frustrated. Then, get over it. Nothing productive will come from you finger pointing, marinating in resentment, or feeling sorry for yourself. You are in charge now, and that means you can begin using your newfound knowledge to create new results in your life. In fact, you can use your anger to spur you on!

Phase Six: I'm Free!

Your feelings of freedom will bring you great joy, as well as some grief, in phase six. When you recognize that you have successfully made a life change, you will feel a sense of freedom unlike anything you have ever experienced before. Your joy will be overwhelming.

At the same time, it's normal for you to experience simultaneous feelings of grief. After all, the changes you've made will materially impact the relationship you have shared with one of your most trusted friends; food. After all, food has been a constant and predictable form of security and sustenance in your life. When you realize that you cannot rely on eating to meet your emotional needs any longer, it is normal for you to feel a bit sad. Allow yourself to process those feelings. Then, refocus on your freedom and joy!

Phase Seven: Conditioning

Finally, your cycle concludes with your commitment to stay on course. Turn your new behaviors into trusted habits, and you will embrace a lifetime of health, fitness, and energy. Enjoy!

About The Author
Written By: Kimberly Fulcher and Dr. Shawn Byler.

© 2005. Excerpted from Life Fitness for Weight Loss; Break the Yo-Yo Diet Cycle!

Authors, Kimberly Fulcher and Dr. Shawn Byler are professional coaches and lifestyle experts, working in association with Compass Life and Business Designs, an on-line community for women that provides coaching programs and products.


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