In class last week Brooklyn, my new dietitian, talked about the stages of change. Although I’ve been through the 16 UAMS classes several times each, I saw this week’s lesson through different eyes. We discussed the stages of change.
In pre-contemplation, you’re either unaware that there is a problem or you’re in denial about it. For me, this was the first couple decades of my life.
Next comes contemplation. You’re aware of the problem, and you’re weighing your options. “I really need to exercise. Oh! Look! House of Cards!”
I contemplated for a while before joining the UAMS weight loss program in 2011. I looked at diet pills, fad diets, weight loss surgery, and other options, including “doing nothing.” I ultimately decided to try UAMS. This point of decision-making is the determination phase.
In the action phase, you do the things necessary to achieve the change you want. For me, it was eating a low calorie diet and exercising, which established a calorie deficit and effected weight loss. In 2011, 2012, and early 2013, I “action’ed” my butt off. Literally.
I reached my goal in 2013, and transitioned to maintenance. In this stage, you take the actions necessary to maintain the change. For me, it was making informed food choices, continuing exercise, and monitoring my weight. I maintained for about a year.
Relapse. That’s the killer. It’s when you slip into your old ways. We’ll just call that one School Year 2014-2015. As viewed through the lens of my Discover Card statement, here’s what relapse looks like for me
The beauty of change, I am told, is that you can jump back into it at any time. Today, I feel that I’m in the action stage. I’m reliably eating within my calorie budget, I’m exercising regularly, and I’m determined to reach a weight where I’ll be healthy and happy.