I tell the tale behind my lifelong struggle with weight on this week’s Your Life, Unlimited radio show. It’s not pretty but it’s true.

Joining me in the studio was Casie Nishi, Executive Director of the Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks General Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba. With her lovely perpetual smile lighting up the studio, this lady shared her fountain of fitness and wellness knowledge with us. It’s so great to see the passion in action!

Enjoy the guest post prepared by the Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks General Hospital expanding on  3 strategies to get past your most difficult wellness challenges:

1) Avoid

2) Alternate Plan

3) Acceptance

Helping you reach your health and fitness goals 

Setting a goal is the first step to helping you stay motivated.  It should be a specific and measurable goal, and then it can be broken down into small action planning steps.   For example, you don’t want to say that “my goal is to be more active”, but rather to attend a fitness class every Monday this winter, or to walk for 30 minutes three evenings per week.   Action plans can also related to things you don’t want to do.

Writing down your goals and plan is a built-in accountability measure.  It also helps demonstrate progress (a great motivator itself).  Sharing goals with family members can provide additional support.

At the Wellness Institute, our staff meets with new members individually to make sure they have an exercise plan tailored for their personal health, but also to their goals.    For example, choose exercises you enjoy, make sure the time commitment is realistic, and try group classes for added social support and accountability.

It’s also important to think about relapse planning.   Sometimes how well we do at achieving our goal depends on how well we cope with challenges.  The best way to overcome challenges is to be ready for them.  For example, if working overtime at work will get in the way of attending a fitness class, or going for your walk, start planning for that now.   A relapse plan may include:

  1. Avoid – how can you avoid the situation.  Perhaps overtime is optional and you can choose not to work more hours.
  2. Make an alternate plan – if you have to work more, perhaps you can do your exercise class on the weekend instead, or perhaps go for a short walk to lunch rather than after dinner.
  3. Acceptance – like anything in life, some things are outside of our control.  There are some situations where you may have to accept that life gets in the way of your exercise or wellness goal.  In this case, you have to ask yourself – what got in the way, how did it feel?  What did I learn?  How do I get back on track?   If working overtime meant that you didn’t exercise for a full week, it's important to accept that and get started again before it becomes two weeks.    These are key coping strategies that will help you reach your goals.

Another way to stay motivated is trying new activities.   Check online for new classes or programs.  Group classes are a great way to stay motivated.   And if you exercise with a buddy, you can encourage and support each other.


Stephanie  Staples

Stephanie Staples

Your Revitalization Specialist

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