By Richard Bosso, Nutrition Counselor at Camp Shane FL

Weight loss is difficult. The challenge of losing weight is different for different people, yet it often requires an adjustment in diet or exercise that can seem extreme from the start. Far more than a desire to commit, it takes commitment itself, and a long time of it. What comes from this commitment is change on a physical and emotional level, a change in daily routine, a change in priority, even a change in outlook. For some of us, achieving a greater level of fitness and well-being is a process that can lead to change on an extremely fundamental and personal level.

It’s hard enough to imagine incorporating such a process into our daily lives, and it is harder still for some to think of it as a continuing process, but it is wrong to assume that the challenge of developing one’s own personal fitness is a one-time obstacle. The improvement of one’s own personal fitness is a long-term commitment that requires long-term motivation, made more daunting when one considers how personal situations and reasons can change over weeks and months and years.

Maintaining Fitness Beyond Camp Shane

For the time we spend at Camp Shane, we all operate under a regimented workout schedule, which all campers are required to participate in. We do this because it works. Coming back home, however, it is up to us to maintain the progress we have made, to continue into our normal daily lives. This might take extreme self-discipline, along with clear and open support from friends and family, for any level of fitness progress to be maintained. What we are trying to support and develop here, for all of us, is an educated willingness to commit to healthy habits for the rest of our lives.

Five Points of Advice to Keep in Mind

  1. Make sure our goals are realistic.

We must educate ourselves. Whether we are determining what weight we want to lose, what our progress in weight-training might be, or what our rate of improvement in a sport should be, we must set goals that are reasonably attainable.

  1. Look past unhealthy opportunities for instant gratification.

We must avoid giving in to unhealthy temptations. We must always remember that a commitment to a healthy life is to our crucial benefit. Skipping out on workouts and being reckless with our daily diet may only be to our detriment.

  1. Understand that weight loss is not everything.

Weight loss is not the only measurement of health. Always be mindful of other characteristics of good health, like cardiovascular fitness, muscle endurance, and mental well-being.

  1. Respect our limits.

We determine what we are capable of. We must understand, that the best which each of us can accomplish is enough, so long as we really try our best.

  1. Love ourselves.

We want the best for everybody, and we each must value who we are. Regardless of our imperfections, we are worthy of respect, and we must exercise this respect for ourselves and for others. No amount of weight, lost or gained, makes us any less worthy of a loving existence.