As we approach the end of the year, and begin to reflect on what 2013 has looked like for us…what we accomplished…what we didn't…and what we still want to achieve, let's revisit one of my first blogs. This was written last January, but I think the information so important that I wanted to republish it (in an edited and updated format of course).
With regards to your body, I want to ask you a very important question: "When you walk past a mirror NAKED, how do you feel about what you see?"
My guess is that if you're like about 90% of the rest of the world, you'd rather speak in public than look at yourself naked in a mirror. Why? Let me guess…you are carrying a "few extra pounds?"…"you just need to hit the gym more?"…"you need to say 'no' to unhealthy food choices that find their way to your waistline?"
Are these the same exact issues that plagued you on January 1st of this year? Did you have a New Year's resolution to change? …to get fit? …to lose weight? …to stop smoking? …to get into a smaller size? Well…you've had almost a full 12 months to achieve it…what's kept you from reaching your dreams? I think the #1 reason that people finish up 2013 in the same boat that they began it in, is that they never truly managed to grasp the concept of making a lifestyle change. Their intentions were good…they may have even started strong, but life got in the way, they got busy, stress complicated everything, and their good intentions only lasted until about February 18th. …sound familiar? Well, let's talk about what it takes to make a lifestyle change.
First let's look at what a lifestyle change is: it is modifying or eliminating long-held habits of eating or physical activity and maintaining the new habits over months and years. Since many of us have tried, and failed numerous times before to bring about healthy changes in our lives, this can be an intimidating journey to begin. I think the most crucial element is simply that you begin. Success lies in taking small, sustainable steps toward lasting, doable changes for the betterment of your health. There are several things to consider for the successful implementation of the changes that you want to make...let's look at them:
Identify your priorities and commitments
Write down exactly what it is that you want to do/change. Remember that the things that you spend the most time on, are the things that are the most important to you. If you want to make exercise a consistent part of your life, then schedule it into your day...make an appointment with yourself...in other words, make it a priority.
Make sure that the change is something that YOU want
This is all about YOU, and for YOU...no one else. Why do you want to make the change(s)? What is your motivation? Really think about that, and then mentally hold on to that reason/motivation...this is what will help you to keep going when you feel like quitting. I call this, "knowing your why".
Make sure that you feel good about the changes that you're making
If this is going to be sustainable, you need to embrace it, and be passionate about it. If you decide that you want to eat healthier, then clean out your fridge and pantry and eliminate foods that aren't healthy...celebrate that decision...play fun music while you're doing it...dance...play "shoot the hoop" with the unhealthy food into the garbage can...make it as fun and enjoyable as possible.
Make small, progressively changing goals
I don't want you to change everything overnight...that would be almost impossible to stick to for the long haul. I recommend that when you are identifying your priorities, that you then break each item down into smaller "bite sized" changes. For example: "I want to eat healthier." Okay, start by cleaning out the unhealthy food items from your kitchen (if it's not there...you can't eat it). The next step (week two) might be, eliminating all products with artificial sweeteners and sugar. You might then progress to cutting out all processed foods (week three). See where I'm going with this? Make your changes progressive...that will make your lifestyle change easier to adhere to.
Finally, don't beat yourself up if you have a day where you slip back into your old habits...the key is to get back into your new lifestyle as quickly as possible. Once you begin to feel how good it feels to feel good, you won't want to go back to the "old you". Your body will reward your changes with more energy, feeling better...lighter...healthier. Friends will comment on how amazing you look...it takes time, but trust me, people will notice. YOU CAN DO THIS...and you'll be happy that you did!
If you need a more structure approach, I am an ACE certified Personal Trainer and an ACE certified Health Coach. I train my clients in one of two ways: face-to-face or online. Face-to-face sessions work well for those who live in the Jacksonville area. My Online Personal Trainer is something that I'm very proud of. I searched long and hard for a web-based platform that would do all the things that I wanted it to do. I found one that is available to you, both on your laptop, and your tablet and smart phone. I personally filmed each and every exercise that you might be assigned. I personally create each and every workout that you will do, and I personally progress those workouts as you gain strength, endurance, and confidence. I personally Skype with each of my clients twice a month to discuss successes, challenges, and food journals. …and I am personally available to answer unlimited questions that you might have via email. You will receive an email every day, telling you what your workout is for the day, and I receive one letting me know if you completed it…so there is a level of accountability. My Online Personal Trainer is available through the end of the year for only $59/month, and I also have end-of-year specials for my face-to-face training sessions. For more information, please feel free to check out my website www.fitinyourpants.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org