Running To A Goal

By Jane Sylvestre, RD - 11/28/2012

October Blog 2012

Congratulations to all of you who completed the 4 mile Norwood Hospital Walk/Run.  I was so proud of all of you, many of whom are just starting out.  What a wonderful accomplishment to complete at the beginning of your journey.  I know many of you who have significantly cut your time from last year.  Think back about how far you have come from when you first started. I remember doing the trial run with a patient last year who was huffing and puffing and struggled to finish the course.  This year, after losing significant weight, she cut 11 minutes from her time and I had a hard time keeping up with her pace on training day.   I also know a few others who joined the walk this year as a way to start getting back on track.  Good for you. Sometimes, the toughest thing to do is to recognize you have fallen off track and need to make that initial move to get going in the right direction again.  It is NEVER too late to get back to healthy habits and you can certainly get back to where you have been in the past, if not even closer to your ultimate goal. 

We did much goal setting in my nutrition class these past couple weeks.  We talk about setting long term goals meaning where you want to be in 3 months from now and even a year from now.  Having these long term goals are wonderful; however in order to meet these goals you need to have smaller more attainable goals in the short term.  Make yourself some weekly goals that are a bit challenging, yet attainable.  Be as specific as you can when setting goals whether it relates to nutrition or exercise.  An example of one of our patient’s goals was to walk 3 days per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7am in the morning.  Another goal was to include a source of protein at every meal.  You also have to think about possible obstacles to reaching your goals and how you will overcome those obstacles.  What if you oversleep?  What if it is raining?  Think about what could get in the way of you meeting you goal and come up with a plan B!  Setting goals can sound so simplistic; however, they work.  If you set a small goal every week, think about how your habits will change in 6 weeks or 3 months or even a year.  That long term goal may not be as far off as you think.  You just need to take steps to get there. 

Goals can be hard to achieve without the support from those around you.  Speak with family members about supporting a healthier lifestyle and make this a family commitment.  If those around you are sabotaging your efforts you need to do something to change that.  Hopefully, a long discussion will work.  Be specific in what you want.  For example, “please do not bring ice cream into this house because I am trying to avoid eating it and I have a hard time doing so if it is around me.”  Maybe you need time away from the kids to be able to exercise.  Come up with a plan that you both get an opportunity to do something for yourselves while the other parent watches the children. I could never be a runner if it was not for the support of my husband.   If you are a single parent, be selfish for an hour a day and put the TV on while you do a workout in the house.  You could even do an activity with the kids.  Be creative!  Figure out a way to make it happen and stick to it. 

In addition to family support, take advantage of the support we offer here at our practice.  Our support groups are held twice per month from 7-8 pm and offer a great opportunity to get support from others and learn from those who have already walked in your shoes.  Join our mentor program.  Be a mentor if you are six months out from receiving a band, have had a stick and fill already.  Get a mentor no matter how far out you are from getting a band to get some extra support.  Come to one of my 6 week nutrition classes.  I am in the middle of a class right now, but I run six weeks classes over and over again in the afternoon and evening throughout the year.  We have developed an e-mail support system for the patients in each class.  They e-mail each other throughout our 6 weeks with questions and/or support as needed.  This was a patient’s idea which has worked out beautifully. 

So in the end, if you want to achieve a certain goal, you need to take small steps at a time and get the support you need from the people around you.  If you have any questions on how to get started set up an appointment by calling 508-668-4400.  You can also e-mail me at  We are all here to help you.   Jane

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