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Degree column: Keep on keepiní on

We have come to end of our 15 weeks together. When we began this journey together, we discussed that we would:
Explore new behaviors to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Identify new strategies to help you eat smart and move more.
Outline how to live mindfully, to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Help you create new, lifelong, healthy habits.
Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less is based on what works for weight loss/weight maintenance. We have discussed these strategies over the past weeks. Now your job is to keep your commitment to eat smart and move more. Remember that the goal of Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less is to plan, track and live mindfully to achieve a healthy weight.
Planning is important to continue to Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less. Continue to plan as part of your lifetime commitment to eat smart and move more. Plan meals, shopping, physical activity, snacks. Play for difficult or unexpected situations.
Keeping track of your eating, physical activity, and body weight is one of the most successful techniques to promote weight loss/weight maintenance.
You can continue to use the journal from Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less or you can create a system that works for you.
Keep your commitment to live mindfully, by paying attention to the events, activities and thoughts that make up your daily life. It means doing things on purpose, not just going through the motions of how you have always done things.
Continuing to live mindfully will help you keep your commitment to eat smart and move more.
Eating mindfully means eating with awareness of what is on your plate and also of the entire eating experience. Mindful eating is being present in the moment and enjoying every aspect of the meal you are eating.
To eat mindfully, eat without distractions ó no cell phone, TV, work, computer, newspaper, etc. Eat slowly, sitting down, and enjoy each bite. Try to make each meal last at least 20 minutes.
Find your motivation. Focus on why it is important to you to keep your commitment to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It might be fitting into a certain pair of jeans, staying strong or keeping fit to continue doing activities you enjoy.
Use positive self talk to keep your commitment. You are in control of your thoughts about what you eat and how active you are.
Focus on progress, not perfection. Focus on the positive. Occasionally, look back at your personal record to remind yourself of how much you have progressed. Eating smart and moving more is a journey not a destination.
Every day is a new day to commit to eating smart and moving more.
Celebrate your success along the way.
I have enjoyed this series of articles and have found them just as beneficial as you all. I, too, struggle with weight issues as many or you and currently am in the process of making lifelong changes myself. Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less has helped me to move to make those changes, its principles are the bases for a healthy lifestyle.
I urge you to continue to put ESMMWLís principles in action as you continue of this journey. Again, I would love to hear from those of you that have followed me for the entire fifteen weeks. Feel free to email me or drop a note in the mail.
Contact Toi N. Degree, Family & Consumer Education Agent, North Carolina Cooperative Extension ń Rowan County Center at 704-216-8970 or by e-mail at toi_degree@ncsu.edu. Mailing address 2727- A Old Concord Road, Salisbury, NC 28146.

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