No, I didn’t get lost. Were you worried about me? 😉
I had this idea… but it was still in scattered pieces in my head and I wasn’t sure how to develop it till this morning… in the shower… it kinda came together. I know… most people sing in the shower…. more often for me it’s a time to run things through my head uninterrupted.. it’s also a place where my weakest moments are allowed out too.
The idea was talking to you about developing healthy habits, and for ALL of us, especially in the beginning it can be such a daunting, overwhelming idea that we can’t contend with… change… leaving behind or switching up everything that’s become all comfy to us. It’s not an easy task to accomplish. Dare I say we can rebel against it, even knowing those changes are for our overall good and well being ?
Then it crossed my mind while showering, how change and developing new habits and behaviors are much like marathon training. If you’ve trained for one, then you know, you know how that training carries over into other aspects of your life. It’s become natural for me to look at taking things on in my life like I do training for a 26.2 mile race.
That training involves a huge amount of discipline and sacrifice. Purposeful planning. Repetitive workouts. A willingness to invest the time in running to allow my body time to change and adapt to the demands of high mileage. A complete understanding I cannot simply wake up one morning and just take off to run that distance with no preparation (don’t…ever…do that).
No, to properly train my body for the marathon it involves slow gradual changes moving towards my ultimate goal. Smaller short weekly runs, long weekend runs becoming longer, small steps towards the bigger prize. It takes months of training to do it successfully ( I believe).
Developing new habits and behaviors are like that too. If you wake up on Monday with the determination that “Now is the time!” and you make a drastic immediate reduction of all food, hack out everything you love, and decide to go run 5 miles even though you haven’t done more than walk from the closest parking spot at the store to inside, I can guarantee Tuesday you’ll wake up starving, frustrated and having your body threatening divorce because you physically taxed it beyond what it was capable of doing and you hurt in places you didn’t know you owned.
A smarter approach is being willing to make small, gradual, and daily, changes to what you are doing. Focus on the day at hand, not the week, or months out.
Stop looking for instant gratification because weight loss and body change take consistent and dedicated time.
For me, 7 years out, I can tell you my body is vastly different today than when I started. It takes time… but hey… what else am I doing anyway? Or you? what else are you doing?
⇒ Focus on one day at a time.
⇒ Have a longer term goal in mind too.
⇒Don’t eliminate all foods and eat lettuce. Practice eating smaller portions as a start.
⇒ Consider how and what you eat. What changes do you need to make? Keep a food log to help remind and guide you.
⇒Decide on a physical activity you can start slowly with, especially if you have not doing anything in a long time.
⇒Stay away from an “all or nothing ” approach.
⇒Schedule your exercise commitments.
Consider the definition of habit : an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary:
Most of all understand that developing new habits does take time and consistency….. I’ve heard up to 3 weeks on a daily basis to form a new habit. It will require a willful choice on your part each day to do these things until it begins to feel more normal to you. That’s what a habit becomes…something that feels normal and natural in your day until it gets to the point you can’t imagine not doing it.
Note: in the beginning…. it probably will feel like work. Just press on taking those smaller measureable steps.
Following this pattern day after day will allow you to shape and define new ways of eating, exercising and making positive life changing choices 🙂