You already know what you should be eating and how much you should be exercising. Finding ways to incorporate these changes into your busy life is the challenge. BeWell knows that making sustainable lifestyle changes is difficult. We spoke with the Health Improvement Program to discuss overcoming real-life diet and fitness hurdles and (finally) making that positive change.
I'm ready to make a change. Should I think big?
It may seem counter-intuitive, but you should set small, attainable exercise and fitness goals for yourself — goals that are just a step up from your current habits. In this way, you are setting yourself up for success, not failure.
I've been struggling with the same change for a long time but I can't seem to make it. Any advice?
Remember that knowing does not equal doing. Sustainable lifestyle changes are achieved by a gradual process of setting — and then meeting — realistic short-term goals. Once you experience success, it is likely to snowball and you are more likely to make other positive changes.
It is tough to do this alone. Is there any support available?
The Health Improvement Program offers a variety of behavior change programs. HIP offers individual and group support. One-on-one counseling sessions and 5- or 10-week coaching programs are available for individuals. A weight management/lifestyle change group program is offered quarterly. STAP/EA funds are accepted.
Why should I believe it will be different this time?
Because this time you are not alone. With the professional guidance of Wellness Coaches, you will learn better goal setting, how to use a setback as a learning experience, how to change your "all or nothing" mindset, and how to replace your negative inner critic with a compassionate inner cheerleader. Most importantly, you will get the support you need to prioritize your health.
Any important takeaways?
Your well-being is your most important asset. Many people don't think twice about seeking the counsel of a financial advisor, physical trainer or therapist. Why should behavior change be any different? Meeting with an experienced wellness professional can give you the skills you need to finally make a change.
The Health Improvement Program offers a variety of behavior change programs. Learn more at http://hip.stanford.edu/classes/behavior-change.html.