Health, Fitness And Not Giving Up

people give up

Hello world! Are you still out there? I know I’ve been gone for some days, but if you remember from a previous post, I had a son get married this past week and I gained a new daughter in law.

To say my four day weekend was a little busy is an understatement. However, the wedding happened, it looked beautiful, and they are now married. The most important part, right?

To say I was proud watching my oldest get married, to see his petite bride taking his arm with a smiling face and eyes only for him, yeah ok I was proud.

So now here I am, a week later trying to sit myself down and share something with you so you know I’m still alive and kicking.

So, on to todays program! As many of my posts are, they get generated through conversations with people, or sometimes a quote I see, or whatever current hype I want to address.

I recently saw a post on social media about “getting started again”. There was discouragement this person had gotten off track with their fitness goals and were attempting to get back heading the right direction again.

It really is so easy to do, to get discouraged and throw in the towel.

We forget it takes some time and perseverance to make progress!  We tend not to chart our progress when we gain weight or skip workouts ( who wants to remind themselves they aren’t working out or eating right?)

Yet when we are wanting to lose weight or get more physically fit, we get frustrated with ourselves. We want quick results and almost instant change. We look in the mirror for visible results. We put clothes on expecting them to be magically bigger.

When it doesn’t happen, we just quit.  Maybe we quit because for awhile, our old habits are just easy to fall back into. Like our fav pair of jeans or sloppy shoes.

It feels comfortable to us.

Those new changes feel uncomfortable and when we don’t get quick results it’s easy to think “why bother”?

We may look at the scale and see numbers that are seemingly so far away and getting to that goal feels overwhelming.

Maybe it’s lab results at the doctor that give a more in depth look of your health and those numbers aren’t so good.

Perhaps that walk you took off on has reminded you that, yeah, your cardio health, it’s as out of shape as the outside body you can see.

It’s not comfortable to move into a zone of “discomfort”.  And yeah, there is a certain level of discomfort that comes from moving ourselves into new habits and behaviors.

Change just won’t come unless we’re willing to accept and embrace it.

Our focus needs adjusted…

When we focus on how far we need to go to get to whatever goals we’ve set for ourselves it really hinders our progress. Not only that, it’s just not fair to yourself.

If you’re working daily to make changes ( even if you might not feel you always nail them) you aren’t being fair to yourself to consider all the work you’ve invested into the process of a lifestyle change.

I think, talking with people, this has to be one of the single most important thing to consider and remember.  I try and remind them of where they’ve come from, Whether it’s a new mentality about food, learning to listen to their bodies more about how to eat and when to eat, learning to exercise,or thinking in more positive ways about themselves. Maybe they had a better report at the doctor or they have been able to do more physically with greater ease.

A lifestyle change is a slow, daily, determined process. Don’t believe that those small changes don’t matter, they do! And in time those small things will lead to that greater weight loss you want or being able to take on a physical activity you previously thought you couldn’t.

I’m no different. True, my goals and perspectives have changed for myself since I started my health journey. I’m no longer focused on weight or trying to lose it.  But I still feel that way when I’m pushing myself to get faster on the bike, running, or lifting something heavier.

I remind myself how far I’ve come and that this is indeed, a daily journey and I need to keep my focus on how far I’ve come and not the road in front of me I’m still traveling.

Same for you. It’s much more enjoyable when you focus on what you’ve accomplished than what you still need to do.

Celebrate your victories, don’t be to harsh on yourself if a day doesn’t go as planned, and learn to enjoy your journey and all you will learn about yourself.

Are you in a place of discouragement or have you quit again? Have you done it before but now are on the right track again? What has helped you stick with it?

 

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Committed Or Just Interested ?

commitment

 

Habits.

I talk a lot about habits mainly because in the context of successful weight loss and making a lifestyle change, developing new ones to replace negative ones are key to a permanent change.

Habits are often ingrained in us from a life time, whether they are good or bad. When it comes to our eating behaviors and exercise  a firm hand often has to be taken to those habits if we want to move into more positive choices.

WHY is it so hard? That topic comes up often with people I talk with and most recently with my client.

In discussing her week and some of the difficulties she had her response was “I know what to do in my head, why do I go back and do what I know I shouldn’t do?”

Oh indeed. Why do any of us ? Why are we pulled back into a poor choice when we ( intellectually) know better and have even been doing better with more positive habits, yet, in a moment, we seemingly skip right back to what we know.

Why? Because it’s comfortable and familiar to us. Because it’s easy, it requires no effort to bounce back to the old and familiar. And once there, it can almost be a sandpit to crawl out of again and begin our forward progress. The key thing is to crawl out and keep moving forward, not give up and allow ourselves to be sucked back into the negative habits we seek to change.

I can say that because there are times I can still do the same things.  I understand what that’s like. I do get those struggles.

To change negative habits requires a willingness to commit to the journey. To own it. To allow ourselves not to make excuses to go back to old ways. Yeah, we will slip, but there must be a determination and ownership to want that change and not stay where we are.

I read this today and it’s just so true. I’ve never thought of it quite like this, but it’s true.

  Are you “interested” in a healthy lifestyle? Or “committed” to having a healthy lifestyle ?

Yeah. Just think about that for a moment.

When you’re interested in doing something you only do it when it’s convenient.

When you’re committed to something you accept no excuses, only results. You follow your established rules and get it done.

The difference between interested and committed is a big jump to permanent success.

If you approach weight loss and your health journey in the light of when it’s comfortably convenient, you can see where you will encounter constant setbacks.

You must make a commitment that takes you beyond just being “interested.”

Committed means being willing to be honest with yourself, where you are and addressing what needs to be done.

It means not justifying reasons why you allow yourself to keep eating or drinking things that don’t contribute or lead to your goals

It means not finding other things that are “more important” to do than purposeful exercise. Or coming up with reasons to not do it.

I’m NOT saying you’re going to take it and get it immediately. You won’t.

Habits take time to change. If you have a lifetime of doing the same things, they won’t change over night.  It will require a consistent commitment to making it happen. That means in good days and bad days you keep going with the intention of improvement.

Those habits you’ve developed of going through a drive thru for fast food? or buying coke and candy at a gas station? Or eating seconds even when you aren’t hungry? Or procrastinating on getting some exercise in? Or watching tv with a bag of chips or whatever treat ? Spending that hour or more in front of the tv or computer?

You’ve trained yourself to do those things and you can train yourself to do new things. Really.

I recently went on a road trip. It’s about 4 hours of driving. I usually take a little bag with a few healthy snacks and some bottled water. As I was grabbing the water I saw a carton of blackberries that I decided to toss in too.

A couple hours down the road I was nibbling those and washing them down with water. This isn’t how I used to do trips. I might make a run in to a convenience store for some chips or candy. It’s been a work in progress that my thinking is different now… I made a commitment to wanting to live healthier and that has carried through in lots of areas of my life.

I just don’t want to do that anymore. I feel better about myself making good choices.

This has taken time.. and a reshaping of negative habits for improved ones…. and a commitment to being the strongest and healthiest I can be.

If you get with it and stay with it each day you will make progress. Understand tough times will come and you will feel discouraged. Hang in there and stay strong.

Commit to the process, don’t just be interested in it.

COMMITMENT-MEANS-STAYING-LOYAL-TO-WHAT-2

Have you truly committed to wanting to live a healthier lifestyle through activity and good nutrition? Or are you interested in the idea of it ?

 

 

 

Lean Habits For Weight Loss Book Review

When it comes to health and fitness, you know I’m pretty vocal on some subjects.

For instance, I have no use for any of the over hyped current trending “health/nutrition/weight loss” products that abound right now. I think these big multi level marketing companies prey on people who are needy and often are willing to grab onto anything that might be the “magic fix” to help them lose weight and get fit/healthy.

For the tremendous amount of money it costs, I think, it would be better spent on good food, but hey that’s just me.

I’ve read various books on health and fitness. I take from them what I find useful and move on. Again, there are lots of books on the market, everything from diets and dieting to crazy trends.

Again you know, I’m not into crazy fad or trendy diets. They just don’t flippin’ work.

What has worked for me is changing how I do things in my life. How I do things, day in, and day out. Eventually, I built some new habits and in the process of doing  that, I lost weight. I was out moving more. My body started changing. I was living my life and enjoying it and not feeling deprived or left out ’cause I had to “diet”. I wasn’t the poor victim at the family BBQ sucking down celery sticks and feeling miserable. I had occasional treats when I reallllyyy needed something.

Playing by my own rules worked for me.  I just plodded along letting the weight almost effortlessly come off in a slow, steady, and sane fashion. I didn’t push it. I wasn’t on a plan to get if off in “just a few weeks”. I think these tactics have worked for me…..

Now imagine my interested delight when I stumbled across a book that had shown up in my Facebook newsfeed via a fitness page I followed.

lean habit

As I read previews on it I was struck with the thought… “oh my gosh. THIS is what I’ve been doing the past 8 years. I’ve built habits and have changed my life and in doing so that’s allowed me to lose weight and keep it off. Someone wrote a book on it. A very GOOD book that helps you practice new habits for successful weight loss.”

I bought the book and well, devoured it. 😉

It is based on learning and practicing 4 “core” habits….

  1. Eat 3-4 meals a day without snacking
  2. Master your hunger
  3. Eating just enough
  4. Eat mostly whole foods

it follows with 12 supporting habits ( I’m not gonna tell you those ’cause you’re gonna want to scamper out and get this book and learn them yourself)

Well, maybe I’ll share a couple I liked. She addresses dealing with emotional eating (hello?? who on plant earth hasn’t dealt with that ??)  and  another…being 100% aware of treats you eat.. I think that’s a huge area of struggle for many people.

The premise is you will read and get familiar with one habit at a time, practice it, and move on to the next one. Georgie does a great job laying out ways to track your habits and be accountable with practicing them.

I also loved the approach that “perfection” isn’t what is expected, but a steady forward movement of practicing these habits until they become, well, habitual 😉 thus forming a way you are living your life… easily losing weight and getting healthy and strong.

It’s making your own routine that becomes natural and comfortable to you.

No diets or trendy angles on food.

No calorie counting or restrictive diets.

Not being told what you can or cannot have and avoiding or cutting out your favorite foods.

Not being restrictive and building new habits leads to permanent and sustainable weight loss.

Another term I related to because it’s how I refer to my personal change is.….it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. You will begin a lifestyle of freedom.

As you move through this book learning about building habits you will understand your relationship with food and the how’s and why’s of interacting with it.

This is a book I can get behind. I guess because I relate to so much of what is written and I know these principles can and do work.

Please hear me…. this book… it’s worth your time reading…what I like best about it is that it’s practical and doable for anyone.. and I mean anyone.

Therefore, since I’ve already stated how I feel about various health/weight loss/ diet things and I’m very particular about what I endorse and suggest to others….and you know I only hold out sane and reasonable ways to get fit and lose weight….

I really highly recommend you trot on over to Amazon and pick up a copy. It’s an easy read and the information it contains is invaluable. Get it here…. http://www.amazon.com/Lean-Habits-Lifelong-Weight-Loss/dp/1624141129/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1444257014&sr=8-1&keywords=georgie+fear

Not only that it’s wayyyyyy cheaper than even a single month of a “health/weight loss product” 😉

Oh, and yes, the author does look amazing. Yes, for me, those abs are a reminder to continue my personal work in progress. For you, as I’ve mentioned before, you might have different goals of what you want to achieve… don’t worry about what others set for themselves.  Yours could be improved lab work, more energy, strength, confidence, better health and overall wellness etc…

Your goals. Your life. Your success.

Forget diets. Forget dieting. Learn about developing your own lean habits for permanent weight loss and a new lifestyle change =)