Listen to The Perfect Scam Podcast and Nominate It for a People’s Choice Podcast Award! Find Out More
by Carole Carson, AARP, October 27, 2008|Comments: 0
I spent years trying unsuccessfully to lose weight. I tried fad diets (remember the cabbage soup diet?). I also used questionable over-the-counter products. Even though I kept gaining weight (my 5-foot, 1-inch frame eventually carried 183 pounds), I didn't give up. Through trial and error, I eventually succeeded in losing more than 60 pounds (see the book excerpt).
From my own experience and from conversations I’ve had with individuals, I've found three common mistakes that keep us from realizing our fitness goals.
Solution: Find foods to eat that are enjoyable and pleasurable but that don't add pounds. Enjoy your food. Replacing a bowl of ice cream with a serving of fresh fruit is easier than giving up all desserts forever. Find an exercise that is so much fun you would you engage in it even if there was no physiological benefit. Instead of grimness and determination, make your commitment to fitness one that is fun and light-hearted.
Solution: Accept that there is no magic, one-size-fits-all solution. Whatever our age or genetic inheritance, each of us must take sole responsibility for the care of our bodies. Every body is unique. Design your own eating and exercise regimen to achieve fitness. Let weight loss be a by-product of living healthfully. Try different kinds of foods. Cook in new ways to reduce calories. I even experimented with different kinds of exercise—from race-walking to yoga, from weight training to kickboxing. There's a whole world of adventure waiting to be explored! In designing your own program, you and a professional can find one that is appropriate for you—a program that you can sustain for the rest of your life.
Solution: Form a fitness community and undertake your efforts by letting others know about your plans. By forming our own mini-community, we can help each other reach our goals. When we encounter unexpected obstacles in our fitness pursuits, our support group can help us pick up and get back on course.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Enter address, city, state, or ZIP code.
Driver Safety (0)
Tax Aide (0)
Entertainment & Dining (0)
Healthcare & Insurance (0)
Financial Services & Insurance (0)
Member Local Offers (0)
Visit the AARP state page for information about events, news and resources near you.
Members save on eye exams and eyewear at participating locations.
Members earn points on select Walgreens brand health and wellness products.
Free telephone-administered confidential hearing test for AARP members.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at