Among the many things we think about when it comes to wanting to drop a few pounds, selfishness isn’t one of them—but it should be. We tend to think of selfishness as a bad word but in essence, it sums up the main principle that will guide you to weight loss success: putting yourself first.

Almost like clockwork, as soon as you decide to get serious about losing weight, social obligations and requests for your time will pour in. Suddenly everyone wants you at their happy hour or barbeque or needs a favor from you that might take up your entire day, and if you’re going to stick to your goal, sometimes you’re just going to have to say no. Unless you’re OK sipping a glass of water while everyone throws back sugar-filled cocktails or you have enough willpower to turn down the delicious odor of hot dogs, burgers, and ribs on the grill, some of these events are diet traps waiting to happen. More than that, you might get into the habit of believing you don’t have enough time to work out while trying to make it to a particular function, and again your weight loss goals get put on the back burner.

An easy way around this trap is to establish a set schedule for workouts and anything that conflicts with that time (that’s not a major or necessary obligation) gets nixed. Let your friends and family know what you’re working toward so they don’t just think you’re dissing them—this will also cut down on the number of tempting offers they hit you with which is another major plus.

Also, if you live with roommates or a significant other, don’t be ashamed to ask them not to bring certain snacks in the house or to keep them out of your line of view. Access to food that will pack on the pounds in no time is another easy pitfall to succumb to, and by asking those around you to be conscious of what they throw in your face you’re also making them aware that what their chomping down on isn’t so great for them either.

If you’re used to being a “yes” person that’s always there whenever someone needs you or who’s the first person to show up at an event, it will be difficult to start responding with regrets or “nos” when people reach out to you. Just remember why you’re being selfish and don’t look at the s-word as a bad one, all you’re doing is putting yourself and your health first and no one should have a problem with that.

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  1. Great piece and such a great reminder!!!

  2. What a wonderful sentiment. It’s hard to be selfish about my needs when so many people depend on me. Every time I try to just do me, I am my worst critic. I beat myself up for just wanting to be nice to me, feeling as if I am harming my family and friends with my selfishness. The word self has so many different, deeper connotations, not all are negative.

  3. Oh great ideas and yes I need to get selfish like this.

  4. wow! Great tips over there

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