DEAR HARRIETTE: I was told by my doctor three months ago that I need to lose weight. I was doing a good job of going to the gym and working out, but recently I have slipped. The cold weather and a lack of motivation have gotten me into a funk. Instead of losing weight, I feel certain I have gained. I am supposed to go back to the doctor for a checkup soon, and I want to cancel. I am embarrassed by my lack of progress. What should I do? -- Off the Wagon
DEAR OFF THE WAGON: Developing healthy eating and exercise habits can be challenging for people who are not disciplined in those areas. Indeed, that’s probably why you are in the predicament where you are under doctor’s orders. Rather than ducking your doctor out of embarrassment, face up to her and admit your struggles. Ask her to help you devise a plan that is actionable on your part. Figure out small steps that you can take toward improving your health.
I know one thing that many people do that works is to think about the future and what it means to you. If you have children, consider how much they will need you to be healthy in years to come. If you have elderly parents, how will you be able to support them if you are unwell? What goals do you have for your life? Write out a vision for your life and how you want to live it. Based on that vision, what do you need to do to get there? By defining goals, you may be able to increase your motivation to succeed. Good luck.