The importance of creating a healthy behavior pattern cannot be overstated. I can give you facts on facts, but if we don’t start with basic and easy to implement changes…we’re not going to get anywhere. We’re in this together BalancedAmes readers 🙂
Say the New Year’s resolution bug bit you this year. You had dreams of getting back into shape before summer. You hit the gym for 2 weeks and munched on more fruits, vegetables, and lean meat…BUT, your scale didn’t budge and you didn’t feel much different. Please tell me you didn’t quit after 2 weeks?! Hopefully you kept this behavior up and you are in a much healthier place 🙂
Change is hard. This is not to discourage you, it is to be honest with you.
Change that lasts is most often SELF-MOTIVATED and created by POSITIVE THINKING. You need a PLAN and a PRACTICAL way to get there.
Change is not powered by negative energy. It is not powered by comparison. It has to be motivated from within. You have to find out what is going to motivate you to exercise or eat better. You have to understand the benefit in order to stick with it.
This is a big subject, so today we’ll just focus on two main points.
Be realistic. You are not going to develop the discipline of Carli Lloyd overnight (I hope you got that USA Women’s World Cup reference, otherwise…where have you been?!). She is a world-class athlete that fuels herself and her mind to perform at a high level. She even asked her fiance not to come to the Cup. If you are a coach potato that eats out 5x a week, you cannot expect to get there right away.
- What is more realistic? Small changes.
- Example: When Drew + I first moved in together, regular weeknight meals for him included one night of a full box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with milk on the side and another night of a full frozen pizza with sides of ranch and milk. Now, I couldn’t just come in and change everything at once. That is not realistic and it would have most likely left him feeling attacked and nagged. I focused on one meal/food item at a time starting with the frozen pizza. Instead of lecturing him about it, I made a more well balanced meals and gave suggestions on what to add to the grocery list. Although neither of us eat perfectly, there is no Kraft Mac and Cheese in the house and pizza is a once a month (for him and if that) situation. I recently helped him to reevaluate his cereal consumption, and that is gone now too 🙂 We’ve been living together for years now, so as you can see this was a slow and steady operation.
- Example: Say you eat out for EVERY single lunch. I know a lot of people that do this during their work week. It is probably not realistic to start taking a lunch 5x/week, but it is realistic to start taking a BALANCED and HEALTHY lunch from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Be specific. “Eating better” and “working out more” are way too general you guys! No, no, no.
- What is better? Specific and realistic.
- Example: Say you are currently exercising 0 times a week. Instead of saying you are going to exercise “more”, try something like this: I’m going to attend spin class on Monday and Wednesday at 6pm. This is both specific and realistic.
- How to really make it work: Check out the gym and the schedule ahead of time. Go in and PURCHASE sessions. Tell them that you are new. They should welcome you with open arms and give you a tour of the studio. They should also make you sign a waiver and ensure that you understand what the class will entail and what you need to bring. You also need a BACKUP plan. If on Wednesday something comes up at work and you absolutely cannot leave on time to get there, your butt better get there on the next day. 🙂 Don’t let a small obstacle derail you from the new goals that you just set.
- Another example: For those who have a regular routine of exercise going, you might relate to the specific goal that I set this May. To lift 3x per week. I used to be a little cardio heavy in my routine, read this blog I wrote. I had already been working out 5x a week, so I didn’t need to change my frequency…I did need to change WHAT I was doing each day. It took some planning and extra time, but I was able to stick to it and change my workout routine.
READY, SET, MAKE GOALS! Make a healthy change.Unless you are completely perfect, there is something that you can probably think of to improve your health 🙂
Realize it can take MONTHS to make that change a habit and that you might have some starting and stopping along the way. That is okay! Starting on a healthier path and pausing and starting again is much better than never starting at all.