This week I was reminded to take a step back and stop being so hard on myself. Sometimes I get into this routine of thinking I’m not doing enough, I should be eating healthier, I should be working out more and it starts to stress me out. I get into this downward spiral of negative self talk, which then projects outwardly into my relationships, my work and my overall daily outlook on life. It’s not exactly pretty. What I have found over the years is that negative self talk contributes to my stress and emotional instability causing me to dig myself into this hole, starting to eat more, not becuase I’m hungry but becuase that’s all I can focus on In turn, I start becoming more depressed because I don’t have the energy to workout which then contributes to my stress of eating more and not working out. Do you see what I mean? It’s a downward spinning cycle and once you get sucked into the vortex it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel and regain the positivity you once had.
My point to all of this is to help people though my experience and what I have learned through trial and error, what I have learned from teaching others so therefore they are real life examples of things that people struggle with on a daily basis when trying to be healthy. You have to go into a healthy lifestyle with positive thoughts and a focus on an end goal. Is your goal focused on physical attributes or emotional? It should be a combination of both. Most people go into most things with an idea of goal and it ends up spitting out byproducts of so many more benefits than you originally intended. Take losing weight for example. If you decide you want to start eating healthy to lose weight you immediately start thinking about the physical attributes. Maybe you will think about the emotional stuff like “I want to feel better” or “I want to have more energy” but generally speaking there is an end physical goal.
Let’s go with that. Let’s say you want to lose 10 pounds in 2 months. A completely realistic and safe goal that is attainable at about 1-2lbs/week. You immediately imagine yourself at that weight to give you inspiration. We are visual people so it’s easier if we can see ourselves at that goal so we can give ourselves the inspiration we need to succeed. Now we start to think about all of the things we need to change. For instance, “I need to go to the gym 3-4 days a week and do X”, or “I need to start eating X calories a day”, or ” I need to remove all processed foods from my diet”…..the list goes on. Rather than thinking about all of things we need to change, why not embrace where we are today? By taking into account your current fitness regimen, which may be non existent, why not focus on a first step rather than taking a giant leap and committing yourself to 3-4 days a week when maybe you don’t remember the last time you were in a gym ? Why not commit to a daily, attainable goal? For example, committing to take the stairs everyday at work, or walking during lunch or just being more active? If you start out with too big of a commitment and tend to lack the motivation, this can be the ultimate reason you give up because the task at hand seems too large. For this very reason you see gym hikes by 60-80% in January and within 8-10 weeks the drop off is virtually the same as the spike. It’s astounding to see and it all comes down to setting goals based on the individual. These are small, attainable goals that eventually get you to reach your larger goal.
When people ask me what to do to lose weight, how to eat healthier, what to do at the gym I always ask the same question. Tell me where you are currently? What do you currently eat? What do you do now to stay active? What is feasible within your work/home life schedule? All of these things NEED to be taken into consideration or you are setting yourself up for failure. There is not a quick fix. It takes time, dedication, preparation and a positive attitude. Sure there will be days when we have one of but not all of these things but the important thing is to stay focused on your goal, have a plan, stick to the plan and stay positive. The rest will fall into place.