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Why we make it harder than it has to be?

13:16:51I was on Facebook recently, researching my next exercise article (yes, 'poking' my friends is a kind of exercise, isn't it?) when I came across an interesting quote on a colleague's Facebook page: "Being fat is hard. Losing weight is hard. Pick your hard."

It's true that both of those things are hard in different ways, but it's often easier to stay with the hard thing we're more comfortable, even if it makes us miserable. We may step out of that comfort zone sometimes, try a new diet or start a new exercise program but, when things get too uncomfortable, we often go right back to our comfortable, miserable place.

There's no doubt losing weight can be hard, but we often making it even harder on ourselves without realizing it. Some of the most common mistakes:

- We try to change everything at once: We don't just want to lose weight, we want to lose it right now. We eat like starved birds, workout like we're training for the Olympics and then? We go insane. All that deprivation starts to accumulate until we must eat the Oreos or die.

However, we're much more successful when we make small, not-as-scary changes - A simple 20-minute walk each day or trying a new cereal with more fiber and less sugar. The weight loss is slower, of course, but we make sustainable changes. More importantly, we stay sane while doing it.

- Focusing Too Much on Weight Loss: It sounds counterintuitive, but the more we try to lose weight, the harder it is. That scale we step on every day grows horns and fangs and carries a pitchfork. The salad we have for lunch every day starts to taste more and more like dried leaves and old sawdust. We start to think: "I have to do this every single day...for the rest of my life?" At which point, your mind may declare, "That's it! I simply cannot do this. I'm getting the cheeseburger and let the chips fall where they may."

It's important to remember that you don't have to have the energy to do this for the rest of your life. You only need enough for today and, even better, you don't have to be perfect. Try implementing the 80/20 rule: Being healthy 80% of the time and having some indulgences 20% of the time. That gives you some wiggle room for those days when you just don't have enough energy to deal with healthy choices.

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