We hear about it everyday, “I was doing so good, but then had a weekend away and ate like crap and now I cant get back on my healthy meal plan.” Or how about this… “I’ve been going to the gym 6 days a week for over a month and now I’ve lost all my motivation, I’ll never reach my goal.” We all fall of the wagon of living a healthy lifestyle, its what our society is trained to do at this point. Go crazy for a quick fix and give up when it’s too hard. Spoiler alert, those programs are meant to make you fail. If everyone reached their goals with one program how would this industry make any money?
We need to change our mindsets. We need to love ourselves and not beat ourselves up over a missed workout or a pint of ice cream. We need to be realistic of about what we want to accomplish and how it plays into the life we are already living.
We all fall off and have to start over, but it shouldn’t be the demoralizing, self doubt creating thing that it has become. We are human, our tendencies change and we lose and gain focus within a single day. So what do you do if you’re sick of falling off and getting back on the healthy lifestyle wagon? You change. In part one of this two part blog I will show you the steps you need to take to finally change and create a healthier, happier and much more driven lifestyle.
The first step is figuring out what derailed you in the first place.
Family should always come first and because of that we sometimes give up the much needed “me” time to take care of those people we love most. The new mindset we need to create is how can I help myself to better help my family. When we are tired, overweight and sick we are not able to provide for our families in the best way possible. We are exhausted and can’t thinking straight.
How are we supposed to give any energy or love to others when we have none for ourselves?
Taking one hour a day away to do something for yourself and creating healthier habits will instill more self-confidence and therefore rub off on your family. Your children will see health as a priority if you make it one, and will be more likely to incorporate it into their daily lives once they are off on their own. Not only will you inspire the rest of your family, the time you do have to spend with them will be of much higher quality.
Working to make money is critical on all levels but what we are seeing nowadays is an extreme. People are working so much they have no time for their health, family and social lives. The hardest thing to do is change your work habits but redirecting some of that energy to your health could launch your production into a whole new level.
The most successful people in the world understand that exercise and healthy eating habits are part of what makes them successful.
When you spend the small amount of time to take care of yourself your production during a workday will rise regardless of the sacrifice of a few hours.
Being overwhelmed by your emotions can be one of the most derailing things of all. Whether we are depressed by the crazy situations life throws at us or holed up in our house because of severe bouts of anxiety, our mental health is compromised.
The hardest thing for someone having mental health issues that have held them back from creating a healthy lifestyle is just starting. Creating a personal goal that truly motivates you needs to be the first step.
It can’t be a vanity goal of losing 5 pounds or looking like someone in a magazine. It needs to be a truly personal goal that makes you get out of bed every day even when you feel like you can’t. These types of goals take a lot of thought and shouldn’t be rushed. Find your “why” and focus on that everyday. Exercise and healthy eating have been shown to reverse depression and anxiety and make you happier.
The “I can’t afford to live a healthy lifestyle” mentality. This should be the “I can’t afford to be sick” mentality instead. When you look at the overall lifetime cost of a healthy lifestyle versus an unhealthy one the difference is astronomical. Medical bills far outweigh the cost of eating fruits and vegetables and there are plenty of ways to eat healthy on a budget. When it comes to fitness, a gym membership is not even necessary. You can workout in your home or outdoors for free and follow plans that trainers post online. There is a way to do anything on a budget, you just have to want to do it bad enough.
The next step is setting a goal for yourself that actually means something. A goal that motivates and drives you and gets you excited to work towards it day in and day out. The problem is that most of the time we set goals for ourselves that sabotage us from day one.
Figuring out a goal that truly motivates you is hard enough, now try to reach that goal with no plan of attack and you’ll most likely fail. Start by setting a “SMART” goal. This means your goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Yes it’s a process to set a goal and you have to want it bad enough to sit down and figure this all out.
What do you actually want? You want to lose 30 pounds? Why? If you say to look good, you’ll probably fall off the wagon in your second week. If you tell yourself I want to lose 30 pounds to ward off type 2 diabetes and live a healthy life for my family then you’ve got something more motivating.
When it comes to losing 30 pounds for your health, you can track this weekly and see how your efforts are working. With any goal, you need to be able to measure your progress so you see a change and stay motivated.
Ask yourself if this goal is so outlandish that you’ll never reach it. 30 pounds is achievable if you have the weight to lose, but it’s not attainable in a month. If you are losing weight this quickly it wont be sustainable weight loss and your body will most likely rebound and gain it all back.
Are the steps you’ve created to reach your goal realistic for your lifestyle, family obligations and work schedule? Creating a plan that fits who you truly are and doesn’t interfere with the things you enjoy in your life will help make your goal a reality.
You need to set a date on all your goals or you’ll continue to make excuses and push them back. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds and you know that sustainable weight loss is 2 pounds per week set a goal to lose the weight in 15 weeks and focus on that amount of time. Write the date on a calendar and work backwards setting mini goals along the way.
You may have a goal in mind, but you’ve already failed at it so many times. So how you do you stop self doubt?
Step one is stop comparing your-self to others. No person is the same, so how can you expect to get the same or even similar results as someone doing a similar program as you? You cant. We are tricked by the magazines and social media platforms such as Instagram to expect quick results without batting an eye lash. How many times have we heard, “follow this meal plan” or “do this routine and get six pack abs.” Where is the disclaimer that says you’re going to feel awful while your body over exercises and depletes all its nutrients, and you’re going to lose your mind and devour a pint of Ben and Jerrys? It should be there, but its not. Always remind yourself when looking to these messages for motivation that someone somewhere is hiding the real life story from you.
Instead of finding inspiration from the half-naked bodies on Instagram, follow people who have a real message to send. Find people and companies that embody the morals that you feel are important in your life and you’ll have a much better mindset about the lifestyle you want to live.
Setting a goal that gives you purpose and makes you proud of yourself throughout the journey and once its accomplished, is the first step to getting back into a healthy lifestyle and workout program. This as well is the hardest step. Take the time to sit down and write out what it is you truly stand for in your life and how living a healthier lifestyle will help you in your pursuit. You need a mission and a reason to take that extra hour to go for a run or cook a meal rather than ordering out. You need a reason to be excited to get out of bed each day.
This is only part one of this blog. Check back next week when I go over the action steps to actually start to incorporate healthy eating, an exercise routine to meet your goals and how to create a long term habit rather than a quick fix. Your homework in the next week though is to set some serious life changing goals for yourself. It’s not easy to change your routine and unless you do some soul searching for what truly drives you, you’ll continue to fall of the wagon over and over again.
Until next week,