How to make the most of your weight loss opportunities

Losing weight and keeping it off isn’t as much about defeating challenges as it is taking advantages of opportunities.

You read that right. I’m an opportunist. I don’t dwell on my challenges. I know what they are and I know what they can do and they’ll never go away. Why should I waste my time thinking about what can stop me? How does that help?

It’s far more productive to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. The more I’ve shifted my thinking to looking for opportunities instead of what might go wrong, the more opportunities I find. Opportunities surround us both with our eating and our physical activity. Never miss an opportunity and you will be delighted with your results.

If the scale disappoints you as it may from time to time, keep in mind it’s just another challenge. Let go of the disappointment and look for more opportunities. Disappointments happen and they don’t move you closer to your goal, so they’re not worthy of the space they take up in your head.

There is no room in here to dwell on weight loss problems and obstacles. This brain is completely filled with opportunities.

Seize the opportunities as you find them. When you look for them, they’re easy to find.

I see opportunities every morning as soon as I open my eyes. The first one for me is what will I eat for breakfast? Is there something in the kitchen that tastes delicious, makes me happy, and keeps me energized all the way until lunch? There are eggs, whole wheat bread, steel cut oatmeal and cake in my kitchen.

I eat the cake because the opportunity has presented itself to me. Cake is a treat I don’t normally eat any other time of day than breakfast. To eat cake later in the day as a snack or a dessert usually adds too many calories to my day. The first thing in the morning, however, is the best time to eat cake. Instead of spending calories on some more traditional, “healthy” breakfast I’ll spend them on what I really want.

Layer cake or cheesecake – either are opportunities for a great breakfast that supports my weight-related plans.

It works because the cake keeps me full and satisfied longer than eggs, oatmeal or whole wheat toast or even eggs and oatmeal and whole wheat toast. See how that seizing the opportunity thing can work?

Here is another example for you to put yourself in an opportune moment. You’re invited to your friend’s house for dinner. This isn’t just any friend, this friend is the best cook you know. You don’t know what she’ll be serving, but you do know it will be incredible and there will be lots of food.

What a great opportunity for you to practice a skill that you will need to maintain your goal. What an excellent weight loss opportunity. Imagine how strong and successful it’s going to feel to know that when you’re around a lot of good food you can both enjoy and stay in control. Here is an opportunity to build your confidence in yourself when it comes to eating.

It’s not necessary to be perfect. Sometimes you may miss some opportunities and make some regrettable choices. Oh, but wait, when that happens it’s another opportunity. Now you can develop and practice your “recovery skills.

Every meal, every snack, every time you eat something – anything – it’s an opportunity to develop, strengthen, practice and indeed, master your weight management skills.

Before I leave the house for work I have at least a dozen more opportunities. The dog needs walking. I can take him just as far as he needs to go to do his business or take the opportunity to take a 2 1/2 mile walk through the cemetery and the quiet neighborhood near my house.  I have the time for the longer walk, the weather is perfect, and the scenery is beautiful.

You have lots of opportunities to move more. This simple mantra will help you find them. “I shall never sit when I can stand. I shall never stand when I can walk.” Repeat that mantra to yourself throughout the day and you will find lots of opportunities to stand and walk.

Successful weight loss isn’t about being perfect, or even overcoming your challenges; it’s about never missing an opportunity.


Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.