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Challenges to Weight Loss – Mary’s Promise

Mary Kmak has turned her life around and found a path to health through the Tucson Medical Center Wellness program. In Mary’s Promise she shares tips, recipes, challenges that she has learned along the way.

Hello Readers,
December and the holidays presented some challenges to my exercise and healthy living routine. I have a family member not doing well in the hospital and I go every day to visit them. This takes time away from my daily exercises though I still managed to walk my 30 minutes every day and sometimes twice a day, but I’ve  maintained my weight; no loss no gain.

Even though I didn’t lose any weight,  I am happy with no gain, given that I’ve not been able to exercise to the same degree.

I started the New Year out right and am back to 30 minutes on the exercycle along with my 30 minute walk daily and I feel great!  In the past I would have gained the typical seven to ten pounds during the holidays, but, after making a lifestyle change I stand proud with a 102 pound loss and I’m moving forward. If this was a fad diet I would have gained weight!

The Weight loss resolution involves a lot of changes for those serious to achieving their goal. As you prepare your action plans each week try including the following in your plan:

  1. Allot time to plan and prepare your meals.

    Know ahead of time what you are going to eat and make it happen. If you don’t and you get hungry you will eat any and everything. I do my weekly menu on Sunday. I make sure for every meal I plan that I have all the correct food so I eat properly.

  2. Prioritize movement

    I stress walks because it’s easy and a good start. Even the addition of a 10 minute walk every day can help. You must start out with baby steps and work you way up from there.  Check out this information on how to start a walking program using an activity device like a Fitbit from Mayo Clinic. 

A challenging December makes me more motivated to keep going after maintaining my weight. We will always have stresses in life, but it is how we bounce back that determines the outcome. I have bounced back and made additions to my program and will be posting my first loss of the New Year next month. I hope this motivates you to never quit. Whether you maintain or gain weight just pick yourself up and get going! It’s a new year a new YOU! 🙂

Mary H Kmak

Health Warrior

Find out more about the Life Enhancement Program, Wellness Classes and TMC’s very own non-surgical individualized weight loss program New Me with TMC . Find out more about Mary Kmak’s journey to health here and don’t miss another of Mary’s installment’s on her journey to health or any of our health blog posts by signing up to receive posts via email.  

Want to get a sneak insight to a Nutritional or Fitness assessment or even win a Fitbit Charge HR wristband? Check out our New Year New You Giveaway. 

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An Action Plan for Health – New Year New You

Step one of a successful resolution?

Put it in writing!

Make out an Action Plan.

What are your New Year resolutions? Write them down, share them with friends and family who are great cheerleaders. (Along with making realistic and achievable goals -see tomorrow’s post on making resolutions that stick), going public and finding others to cheer you along as they pursue their resolutions is right up there as a component in achieving success.

Don’t worry if you don’t start January 1, set another start date. The Russians celebrate the Old New Year January 14th, the Chinese New Year is February 8th, or perhaps set a date special to you?

What should you include in your Action Plan?

Include your long-term goals, how you will measure your success in those areas, what your goal for this month is, and what actions you will take this week to achieve this short term goal.

Below are the  basic components of the action plan:

1. Long-term goals
Establish your short-term and long-term goals so that they have a tangible reward as well as the loftier health goals and write those on the top of your action plan.
 While we’re often motivated to make resolutions because of a recent medical diagnosis, like high cholesterol, the actual goals often tap into emotional and spiritual health. Consider barriers to achieving your wellness goals.

2. Make an appointment with your health and keep it.

If your plan states that you’re going to go to the gym or take the dog for a walk don’t cancel that appointment for another function because it seems less important. You have an appointment with your health, and that IS important.

The action plan asks you to identify when and how much of something you plan to do. Are you more likely to get up in the morning and walk? If you put off the exercise until the evening will it never happen?

3. Be specific about how much time and energy will go into meeting your weekly goal.

A concrete example – you set a goal to eat a more balanced diet, but then don’t actual turn that intention into action. Be very detailed in the action plan. Write into the plan a dedicated time to plan meals and snacks, to shop for fresh produce and to prepare the produce in one sitting so that you can use it for those planned healthy meals.

I think about the fruit salad in a little lemon juice my own mother always seems to have in the fridge ready to go, or my friend Trish who keeps salad fixings chopped and cleaned ready in separate clear storage containers to be tossed together at a moment’s notice for a healthy meal.

Addressing what will appeal or work for the individual is key. If those fresh veggies and fruits already prepared and ready to eat are they less likely to end up rotting in the veggie draw and then making their way to the compost?

4. Be realistic and flexible about your action plan. Allow wiggle room to be successful.

A crucial part of the action plan is reflecting on the steps you plan to take and being realistic about whether you’re going to attain that. If you know that week after week you say you’re going to track what and how much you eat, after all you know this is a successful strategy for many, yet week after week you fail- reassess!

What is your confidence level that you could track for one day out of seven on a scale of one to 10?


Good. How about two days?

An eight or nine.

What about three days of tracking?

Once your confidence level dips below a seven rethink your goals.

The emphasis is on being successful and that success breeds success. If you can be successful for three days this week maybe next week or the week after your confidence will be higher so that you can accomplish four days of tracking.

A sample action plan:

My long-term goal:  Improve my cardiovascular health
Why? To be there and be healthy for my children and see them become adults

Measurements of success

ex. Climb five flights of stairs without getting out of breath, reduce cholesterol:
1. Reduce total cholesterol level (I have one measurement from about a year ago. Time to schedule a doctor’s appointment)

2. Improve time at the Saguaro East 5K walk

3. Get stronger and more flexible. Perform squats with good form and perform basic sun salutation with ease.

4. Lose 10 pounds

Goal for the Month:

Address overeating challenge & up physical activity (After reflection I realize part of my weight gain over the past few years is due to a change in eating habits, growing portion sizes, late night snacking, and finishing my children’s food AND a reduction in physical activity)

Steps I can take to accomplish my monthly goal:

1. Address late night snacking by addressing thirst with water and tea rather than food
2. Increase number of steps by going on family walk in the evening (Family New Year’s Resolution)
3. Reduce going back for seconds by slowing down eating, increasing water intake

Week 1

This week I will: when feeling tempted after my evening meal to snack, I will drink a cup of herbal tea and/or water and if still feeling like a snack, have a piece of fruit.

Because: I will feel less guilt about my late night snacking and it’ll probably help with late night heartburn

What: Satisfy thirst with liquid not food

How often & how much: At least 5 evenings/week

When: evening

Confidence level:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10       (confidence level less than 7? Rethink!)

All month we’re providing tips, advice, recipes and inspiration to help you meet your New Year resolutions with the New Year, New You campaign.

Join our New Year New You Giveaway and you might receive even more!

Prizes include A Fitbit Charge HR Wristband, or a nutritional assessment to get you on the path to clean eating, or maybe a exercise assessment to get you on track for success, all with our expert professionals.

Check here for more information.
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