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Are You Wired to Relapse?

February is the month that most people revert to their pre-New-Year's-Resolution habits. Have you given up on your fitness goals yet?
"If you are looking for an excuse to fall off the wagon, the universe will provide one."

That was the lesson that Oprah shared in her confession about her ongoing struggle with weight. Oprah knows how it feels to fall off the fitness wagon; in a January issue of The Oprah Magazine she described her recent 40 pound weight gain.

Her testimony was filled with valuable insights for anyone else prone to relapse. There was a hidden cycle that I found in her story - one that exposes the process of falling off the wagon.

1) You Fall

Your fall off the wagon could take place in a single moment, or it could be the result of a drawn out process. Oprah described her fall as one that happened slowly as a result of health problems. These health problems became her reason for not exercising.

Illness, vacation, holidays, changes at work or any other change in your schedule are all things that'll get you off the wagon. Once you're off the real damage begins.

2) You Surrender

There comes a point after you fall off the wagon that you simply throw your hands up in the air and give in. For Oprah this was a dramatic moment. "I started eating whatever I wanted - and that's never good. My drug of choice is food. I use food for the same reasons an addict uses drugs: to comfort, to soothe, to ease stress."

This is the most destructive part of the cycle. You remove all expectations from yourself and as a result you plummet into an unhealthy realm. The progress that you've made toward your goals is lost and even more weight is gained.

3) You Hit Bottom

Inevitably there comes the moment when you hit bottom. Your body shows the new weight gain and you feel awful about it. For Oprah it was a sobering moment. "I felt completely defeated. I thought, I give up. I give up. Fat wins." She went so far as to say, "I felt like a fat cow. I wanted to disappear."

While hitting bottom is never a fun experience, it is a necessary one. The pain must become great enough for you to turn it around and take the control back.

4) You Take Control

Now comes the good part. When you hit bottom you were out of control, now you're ready to once again grab the reigns. Oprah says that "These days I've put myself back on my own priority list."

She plans to get an hour of exercise five or six days a week, as well as eating healthfully and reordering her life to include time to replenish her energy. Her new goal is to be strong and healthy and fit.

Have you fallen off your priority list, like Oprah fell off hers?

The time has come to put yourself back on that priority list. The time has come to decide that you are worth it.
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