Health Column: Positive attitude a key component in diet success

Many of us are either working at losing weight or worrying about losing weight.

Trying to lose weight challenges many of our emotions. It is important to make a commitment to have a positive attitude throughout your weight loss program or weight loss efforts. Emotions can grow and become strong.

If you think about positive results, you can gain positive results - therefore, thinking and believing that you are a winner at losing weight can have a strong impact on your weight loss progress. Think about how you are working to develop a new and improved you. The following are methods that can help enhance your attitude:

• Make it a point to say nice words to yourself every day. Don't think, "I only lost one pound, so what's the point?" Think about the health improvements that you have made and the changes you have made to lose that 1 pound.

• Be assertive. You might have to stand up for yourself where your weight loss efforts are concerned. Example: "Oh, just this one time won't kill me." That is true - it probably won't kill you, but will you experience the results that you want? Just say no thank you!

• Be self-reliant. At times, we have to be willing to do things on our own to see the results we want to experience.

• Monitor your food intake and activities. Be willing to keep a log in which you write down what you have eaten and keep track of your exercise and activities. Doing that helps you to see all of your accomplishments for that day. Then give yourself credit for your progress, and be understanding of your imperfections.

• Look forward to the future and learn from the past. Visualize yourself at your goal weight. See yourself wearing that smaller clothing size. Think about how you will feel about the changes that you have made. Use the setbacks from the past as a tool to learn from and how you will face similar challenges in the future.

• Imagine yourself being successful. To be successful at anything takes work. See yourself putting in the time and think about how good that will make you feel as you meet and cross each hurdle.

• Prioritize your life so that you spend time working on the goals that will make you happy. Changing our priorities means that we are willing to take activities out of our day, week or month that will keep us from achieving our goals and replacing those activities with others that will help us reach those goals.