7 Ways to Make Back-to-School Into Back-to-Weight-Loss

August 9, 2010

It’s Back-to-School time, and that means another more than marking of the passage of time, more than getting the kids out of your hair.

If you’re interested in weight loss, it can be a great opportunity for getting back on track.

7 ways you can make Back-to-School into Back-to-Weight-Loss

1) Grab the opportunity for another New Start

As a kid what I loved about back-to-school was that it was a clean slate.  New teachers, new classroom, new challenges & new opportunities.  Everyone knows that the biggest “diet season” is the January new-year’s-resolution season, but did you know that Back-to-School comes in second?  Join in!  Start over.  Start big with an ambitious new program if that feels right to you.  If you’re like me, just start small.  But take the new school year as your cue to start again.

2) Get new clothes

No matter what your size, no matter how close or far your goal weight is, new clothes can be a real motivator.  If you’re hiding out in baggy clothes now, a smashing new outfit that fits can make you feel good about yourself & more aware of your body.  That awareness might push you to stand up a little straighter and put the lip gloss on one more time during the day, as you try to project your “best you” image.  It might push you to get to the gym on the day that your energy is lagging a little. Either way, it’s a good thing.

3) Use your lunch box (and other gadgets)

It might be a lunch box.

As a kid I loved picking out my lunch box each year.  Strawberry Shortcake, Scooby Doo, Wonder Woman.  Now lunch boxes have gotten more sophisticated with insulation and compartments, but they’re just as useful, and even more useful for dieters.  Bringing your lunch to work won’t just save you money, it’s the best way to make sure you make good choices at lunch (and at snacks).  Other gadgets often bought for back-to-school can help you manage your weight too – if they can market iPods as a back-to-school semi-essential, you can probably justify getting one to keep you motivated during exercise.

4) Pretend like it’s high school and pick a gym class

In my high school we had a choice of a number of gym classes.  The popular girls took dance, the jocks took weightlifting, and I tried to come up with any excuse I could.   But today, the world is your classroom and not only are schools starting up, but so are tons of adult education courses in communities everywhere.  So if belly dancing or rock climbing ever interested you, now could be a great time to sign up!

5) Stock up on school supplies

How about a new binder for your workout plans?  A new agenda to write down your daily food intake ?  A fun new pen to write down those exercise sessions?  One of the things that makes me happy is nice pens (a lot of other stationary items could qualify too).  This time of year I let myself indulge a little, it helps me keep motivated.

6) Study!

Read a book, a magazine, a blog (you can even get this one in your inbox – see upper left on the sidebar!).  In my experience, studying weight loss, and what works for people, isn’t so much about increasing your knowledge about dieting & exercise (most of us know a ton already), but it’s a huge help in keeping you focused on it, and keeping you motivated.  In coming weeks I’ll write about some of what I’ve been reading (although you won’t see a ‘diet bestseller’ among them).  (note: photo is not me, not my books!)
Diet Books

7) Go back to routines

For a lot of people, Back-to-School is Back-to-Routine.  Wake up times, dinner times, even the rhythm of the week are all linked into routines.  Routines add structure, mark time, and signal that it’s time for certain things.  Healthy breakfasts, a workout schedule that works for you, set shopping and food prep and menu planning and cooking times.  All of these routines can help control the moments of choice in the day, and to move your weight in the right direction.

What other ways do you see to make Back to School into Back to Weight Loss?

Do you have any books that are helping you get (or stay) motivated?  Gadgets you like?  How is your school year routine helpful to your weight loss efforts?

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