On the road to weight loss, fitness, and health, you can easily become discouraged. In fact, discouragement
is what leads many people to give-up
when they may have been near a point
of significant progress and encouragement
in their program.
I’ve put together my “top 10” points of
encouragement to help keep your spirits
high on your road to weight loss,
fitness, and health..
1. It does get better – and often very
quickly! Many people that are
significantly overweight or that have
been sedentary for a long time, find any
activity, even walking a few hundred
feet, to be very difficult and
uncomfortable. Be encouraged, many
physiological changes happen very quickly
once you start moving. Walking, for
example, starts getting easier and more
comfortable within a couple of weeks.
Keep moving – every day will be a little
better! Be encouraged!
2. I love this lady’s story. It just
makes you want to cheer for her while
sitting at your computer. Margie from
Madison, Wisconsin weighed 296 pounds
when she started walking in her
neighborhood. She says she started by
walking about half a block twice a day
and that it was incredibly difficult at
After the second day she had decided to
quit but a neighbor encouraged her to
continue. Every day she walked the same
route but added a little distance each
week. She says there were many days when
she wanted to quit, but she wanted very
badly to lose weight and be healthy.
After several months the people in her
neighborhood started noticing her
consistency and her progress and started
giving her compliments and words of
encouragement. She said that after a
few months of walking, it went from
painful to enjoyable.
About ten months into her walking program,
she began her morning walk as usual, but
she noticed people out in their yards. As
she passed each yard they were clapping
and cheering for her, “go Margie”, “we’re
proud of you Margie”, “congratulations
Margie!” She said tears of happiness
flowed through her entire walk that
morning as over a hundred people cheered
her on all along her route! Be encouraged!
3. The visible signs of progress in a
weight loss program are often very slow
to come. Healthy weight loss takes time,
but that can be very discouraging. Be
encouraged to know that for each day that
you exercise and eat healthy foods in
moderate quantities, you have made
progress. It might not be measurable that
day, but you have made progress and it
will be measurable over a period of weeks
and months. Be encouraged!
4. Katherine was 43 years-old and had
been sedentary for 20 years. The scale
had not changed in those 20 years – she
still weighed 136 pounds, but she knew
she had lost muscle and gained fat. Her
waist was bigger and she couldn’t fit
into the same size clothes that she did
20 years earlier. What bothered her
most was that she was always tired and
never had energy.
She decided to start walking and weight
training but quit after a week. She said,
“it’s too uncomfortable, I can’t keep
doing this.” I encouraged her to continue
and told her that it would get better.
She “quit” three times during the next
two weeks. We talked frequently.
Six weeks later she started to notice
some muscle tone and she noticed that
her endurance and energy level had
increased dramatically. She said,
“I’m very encouraged!”
Eight months later she had gained two
pounds on the scale but lost three
inches in her waist – and she walked
a marathon! Yeeeeeeesss! Be encouraged!
5. The whole idea behind physical
training is that you push your body to
do a little more than it’s comfortable
with and it responds by making physical
and physiological changes. These changes
make you capable of doing a little more
with less discomfort. Be encouraged!
6. Gerald in New Orleans, Louisiana
lost 85 pounds after he started walking
and weight training. Once he had lost
the weight, he decided to do something
that would allow him to fully appreciate
his weight loss. For an entire day, he
carried around a sack that contained 85
pounds of metal weights.
Getting around during that day was a
struggle and very tiring. At the end of
the day he was exhausted! Life without
the weight is great! Be encouraged!
7. Keep records of your progress. Every
day write down the positive changes
you’ve noticed and also keep a record
of the exercise you do every day. Write
down what you did, how long you did it,
and any thoughts about your exercise
that day. Keep a running total of your
minutes. You can look back at what
you’ve done with a great sense of
accomplishment and you’ll be motivated
to do more. Be encouraged!
8. Daily exercise will change your life!
I believe God designed humans to be
active on a daily basis. Why? because
when you are, lots of good things happen..
– you are healthier
– you feel better and have more energy
– you are less likely to develop cancer,
heart disease, stroke, etc.
– you sleep better
– you have a better outlook on life
– your relationships with people are
– your skin looks healthier
– you are sick less often
– your immune system is stronger
– you lose fat
– you gain toned, lean muscle
– you look healthier
9. Betty Jo in Tuscaloosa, Alabama wrote
to me.. “Greg, After 24 years of being
married to a grouchy, pessimistic man
who didn’t enjoy life, I saw all that
change over a period of about a year.
Harold was the classic 70 pound
overweight couch potato when he was
scared into exercising and healthier
eating habits by the death of his 46
Harold’s doctor recommended that he
start walking every morning and after
a couple of weeks Harold told Betty Jo
that he wanted to start eating better.
Harold really took-off with this “health
thing” and lost 72 pounds and become a
new man – inside and out. In Betty Jo’s
words, “I have a new husband. He walks
for an hour every morning and he is a joy
to be around. His enthusiasm for life
makes our marriage fun.” Be encouraged!
10. Progress and improvement generate
encouragement. YOU can progress and
improve and be encouraged to do more.
Tomorrow morning, put on your walking
shoes and take a walk, even if it’s just
a few minutes. The next day, do it
again – progress and improve.