So You Hate Exercise

hate exercise

 

I’ve heard it all now at this point. The exercise jokes. The good natured teasing. The “hey can you do this?” as friends share crazy exercise stunts with me. My son calls me when he needs muscles for a project. If I mention needing something from the store I’m told “well, run and go get it” Recently with the Pokémon Go games going on my sons are asking me if I want to walk 5/10K’s  to “help them out” …..

Ah yes… and you know what? I love it.

Exercise has made me strong and fit and able to do things in the rest of my life when I’m not exercising. When I’m jokingly told to run to the store for something, I honestly know I could do it. When I’m asked to help lift heavy things, I know my body has been trained and I can respond and do the task at hand.

I haven’t always embraced the workouts or been excited for the new  adventure for the day.

Oh no.

I grumbled. I  whined to myself. I found excuses. I pondered ways to wiggle out of doing it. I hated how hard it was.  I didn’t like how my heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest or my legs felt like rubber.

No, I wasn’t a huge fan of working out.

And from what I’ve gathered, a lot of you aren’t either. You cite many of the same reasons.

I’ve talked to so many people, trying to encourage them, that if they just start, just take the steps to do something every day they will be on their way.

It isn’t easy. I won’t lie. You have to intentionally get your body dressed, up and out for whatever fun activity you have planned.

exercise motivation

You have to determine that your workout is just as important as the breakfast your going to eat, or the job you will go to, or the grocery shopping you will do or anything else.

That, is a very intentional move my friends.

I talked to a young friend recently whom I hadn’t chatted with in awhile. He told me he had gotten into a routine, going to the gym, and that weeks on vacation had derailed him. But, as he was eager to tell me, “I could hardly wait to get back to it. I know you always told me I could get to that point  ( of wanting to do it) but I had to get started to understand that”

He was a former ” I hate exercise” person.

I know others who were in that club and who have come to the other side 😉

I think, there are some common threads that the former “I hate exercise” club members have in common ( I included myself in this club too)

  • There is a desire, a wish, to improve and be better.
  • The individual learns to ( daily) power through any excuses and go get the job done.
  • They are realistic and start with small goals and gradually increase their activity.
  • They select something they enjoy doing, want to do, and look forward to doing.
  • They understand they are in a competition with no one but themselves.
  • Set backs can happen and you just get right back at it again.
  • Strength isn’t built in a day and you learn to appreciate your body for the amazing machine it is as it adapts to the demands you put on it.
  • You recognize that giving your body purposeful movement isn’t to be viewed as a negative, but rather, a way to show love to it.
  • You begin to love the changes and all the energy you get from your exercise.

Perhaps even now, you are still in that club, but you have the desire to change.  Awesome!

Consider these things as you make that move:

Be patient with yourself.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Commit to the process. Make no excuses. None. ( unless you are honestly ill or injured )

Pick an activity you WANT to do. Heck, pick a couple. I think variety is what keeps you from getting bored. Not only that, multiple activities work all of your body.

Buy the right gear or equipment for your new activity. Even now nothing makes me more excited to get to my activity than knowing I have something new to wear 😉

Focus on the day you are in and just do that day.

Celebrate yourself when you are done. It’s ok to tell yourself “good job!” I mean, honestly, when I come flying back in from a run or miles on my bike, I have no one standing there cheerleading my efforts. It’s ok to be proud of yourself for getting out and getting it done.

Share your accomplishments on social media. Not only do you have accountability, whether you realize it or not, you will be an encouragement to someone else.

Finally, learn to view exercise as a way to love your body and to celebrate all the amazing things it can do.

What motivated you to start exercising? Has it been easy to stay with it?

exercise benefits

What Shape Is Your Diet?

2_10_16-Food-Pyramid

 

“So, what do you eat?”  It’s one of a few common questions I get sometimes. What the seeking person wants to know or might be asking is “tell me how to eat. Give me a plan/structure ’cause what you’re doing, it seems to work for you.”

First, I personally abhor structured diets that tell me what I have to eat, how much and when. This is probably why I tossed all that nonsense 8 years ago when I started my crazy adventure.

Even when I work with people I don’t make a meal plan for them. Why? They need to learn how to eat and how to make their own plan work. I want them to know and understand their body and how to listen to it.

Second, how I eat is what works for me. My nutritional needs will be different on several levels. My natural daily metabolic needs as well as what I need athletically will influence my daily diet.

Therefore, I can’t just give someone a blanket “this is what I eat” and expect it will work for them too.

There are some things I do that I think are applicable to anyone and can lead to personal success.

  1. I eat healthy 90% of the time. Meaning, I try to eat real foods as close to their natural form as I can. Of course, I leave wiggle room for those treats that make life fun or don’t make me feel restricted and deprived. This approach has worked for me and I believe has kept me successful.
  2. I drink lots of water. It’s my primary drink ( followed by coffee of course;) I don’t drink alcohol or sugary drinks of any kind. Well, only Gatorade after intense endurance workouts, but that’s a bit different.
  3. I eat when I’m hungry and I eat enough to satisfy my hunger but not make myself feel to full.
  4. Veggies or fruit take up lots of space on my plate at all my meals.
  5. I get 3 meals in and depending on my athletic load that day, healthy snacks as needed.
  6. Protein is a major thing for me at all meals and snacks to support muscle growth and maintenance as well as it doing a fine job keeping me feeling satisfied and not hungry.

And depending on my training schedule and what type of workouts I’m facing for the day, will determine what my nutritional needs are. Obviously, some days, I will require more calories than others.

See how I can’t just make a blanket statement to someone telling them what to eat?

The first step ( I believe) for anyone, is knowing yourself. Be the best student of your body you can. Know what foods make you feel good and healthy. Know what your activities are and how you need to nutritionally support them. Learn to listen to your body and it’s natural signals for hunger and when it’s satisfied. I’ve learned what foods make me feel energetic, satisfied, help me athletically and help me build a strong body. It’s been a learning work in progress.

Make it your goal to eat real, whole foods and allow opportunities for the little treats in life you love ( in moderation)

How else can you make a winning eating plan for yourself that will lead to long term success and sustainability?

* Learn to eat three kinds of foods at meals. Obviously, the bigger variety of foods you eat, the more vitamins, minerals and nutrients you consume. Learn to experiment with different foods at each meal. Include plenty of veggies and fruit.

* Choose foods in their most natural states. Foods in their natural state or lightly processed have more nutritional value and less sodium, trans fats, and other non-healthy ingredients.

* Think moderation. Make a strong foundation of healthy foods, but don’t deprive yourself of things that are enjoyable to you too. Stop thinking of foods as good or bad. Think of moderation and if you enjoy something ( like an occasional coke or whatever your poison is) it can fit into an overall nutritionally strong daily diet. You may be surprised though, that in time, when you start eating good food, you can lose the taste for certain foods you once found appealing.

Teach yourself to not just eat, but to learn to eat better. Look at a stronger, daily nutritional plan as a way to love and respect your body.

Making small daily changes will get you on the road to healthy, balanced and successful eating and living an overall healthier lifestyle.

Tell me, have you learned about yourself? How to feed your body in a way that supports your life and daily activities? What tips or tricks can you share?

 

Salad Bar Strategies

salad-bar

 

I heard a news story come on the other day that caught my attention. The announcer was rattling off “come back and see how salad bars can be diet sabotage.”

My first thought was… “Seriously? everyone knows what a nutritional trap those are” but then it was followed by the thought that, no, not everyone who is in the world is aware that salad bars can be the total downfall for their nutritional goals.

People with the best of intentions wanting to make better nutritional choices fall into a quagmire at the salad bar.

But first, let us also establish this. Straight up… not all salad bars are created equal. If all you’re offering me is iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, shaved carrots, some mushy looking tomatoes, with dessert offerings of bland chocolate and vanilla pudding, I’m totally passing it by.

You know what I’m talking about… you’ve seen those too 😉

I remember a couple years ago being with my husband at a popular deli restaurant which also happened to have an amazing salad bar. At this point in my health and fitness journey I had already figured out what to leave behind and what to load on my plate. A woman walked by our table with, I think? a salad, I couldn’t be sure it was covered in a sea of creamy white dressing . I could see no visible vegetables.

I wanted to jump up and yell “Salad intervention!!” so very bad but my husbands restraining hand kept me in my chair. ( Nah, not really. I can honestly behave when I have to 😉

I did want to tell her… “do you know how many calories and fat you have on that plate in just dressing alone??” or that you could’ve made a much better choice having a sandwich with lean meats and veggies, and probably even some chips for less calories?

First lesson in salad bar strategies: Watching out for those dressings. Ranch which is one of the most popular has  73 calories per tablespoon with 94% of those calories being fat calories.

Let that breathe over you for a second….

1 tablespoon. Have you measured out 1 tablespoon? it’s nothing.  Yet most people use far more than that . All those calories for dressing.

ranch
Each bowl containing 1 tablespoon

 

And not just Ranch, dressings in general are a nightmare. Opt for light vinaigrette, oil and vinegar or even dressings that might be more reduced fat ( although I think those are gross and would rather do without) if you really want Ranch, portion into a small container and dip your fork in the dressing before you grab some salad.

Second Lesson: Avoid all those pre-made salads. You know, the kinds made with mayo  or unidentifiable oils? This loads up the calories.

Third Lesson:  Beware of toppings. Croutons, bacon bits ( which most of the time aren’t even real bacon),  and other assorted items people pile on, again, not realizing  a tablespoon or two is a lot of calories.

Fourth Lesson: Beware hidden sugars.  Fruit served on salad bars is often served in heavy sugary syrup. Also watch for dried fruits which although not overall bad pack lots of calories. Always look for fruit served in it’s more natural form.

So you’re reading this thinking… “Well, super awesome! What exactly CAN I have??”

I’ll tell you. Let’s build it from the bottom up so that your salad bar trip really is good for you.

Grab your plate and layer it with lettuce. And by that I mean, the dark green leafy kind. If you know anything about me then you might know I have little use for Iceberg lettuce. It’s just so…boring… and has virtually no nutritional value compared to the darker kinds.

However, if that’s all that’s offered then you don’t have a choice. Even better? If they have fresh spinach, mix some of that with your lettuce. For me now days, spinach has become my lettuce for salads.

So once you get your lettuce/spinach in place, feel free to add any colorful veggies onto your plate. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, radishes, mushrooms, broccoli… you get it. Whatever fresh colorful veggies are offered, take them.

Veggies are your friend 😉

Once you get that built, you want to consider whatever lean protein is available. Select enough that is roughly the size of a deck of  cards. Hard boiled eggs can also be included with meat.

Then you look for “healthy” fats… avocado, nuts, cheese, olives etc. Select these sparingly, like golf ball size amount.

If you want a few “extras” on top, croutons or seeds or whatever floats your boat, do it mindfully.

Finally, when you have your colorful, fresh looking salad prepared, if you want some type of dressing, assess that carefully. As mentioned earlier, a single tablespoon full can pack a whopping amount of calories and fat to your healthy built salad.

Consider servings of dressings in marble sizes. Meaning, go sparingly.

Following a few simple tricks, and knowing what to avoid, will let you have a healthy, satisfying and nutrient dense meal without piling on tons of empty calories 🙂

Tell me, do you have any healthy tricks or tips you use at the salad bar?

Go Big Or Go Home

go-big-or-go-home-red-bull-king

 

Go big or go home. It’s an expression the speaker says to the listener to encourage the listener to be extravagant, to go all the way, and do whatever you are doing to its fullest – and not flake out. 

It’s an expression used on many different occasions. Sometimes, it’s in a funny context, other times, it’s thrown down as the challenge it’s meant to be.

I’m kinda wired in that way. If you give dangle the carrot in front of me… I will be going after it.

Example, when I was in a yoga class ( my first to be exact) she neatly showed several ways for a move all designed to be modified for the individuals level of ability.

Then, the final move, was the hardest way to do it. Yeah, you know which one I went for.

Or the fact my first race was a half marathon. I found out later…most people… just start with a 5K.

Go big or go home.

As a competitive person I don’t find this bad. It challenges me, motivates me, makes me not be content sitting where I’m currently at knowing there’s always room to improve, grow, get stronger.

There’s one area that I don’t think it works well. Weight loss.

Yet, it seems to be how people often take it on.

Do or die. I’m gonna lose weight. All or nothing.

Go big or go home. No. Just…. no.

This isn’t a time to apply this approach.

Why? Because I know of no one who dives into altering their food/nutrition and turns into an athletic junky overnight.

Or, if they decided to go all out, they burn out within a week, maybe two.

Unfortunately, what is fed to us today are quick fixes and schemes to convince the average person they can be fit and strong in 12 weeks and all their problems are fixed.

It’s just not true. Well, I mean if you’re working out for 12 weeks I know you’re gonna be stronger, heck you might even be feeling a bit fierce about yourself. But it’s gonna take some time to get to where you’re going. It takes time to build new habits and behaviors in your life.

Slow and steady becomes the game plan that works. I firmly believe doing small things, every day, leads to bigger things.

I know… it’s not glamorous or instant gratification like so many programs offer… but I tell you it will be way more sustainable for you.

Here’s what I mean. People don’t want to be told or hear that small things add up. We are to used to the modern day hocus pocus on weight loss. We’re told small isn’t enough…doesn’t matter or have as much benefit for us.

But what if you began a practice of parking further out at the store to walk a bit more? or taking the stairs instead of elevator? standing more and sitting less? being active outside? Cleaning house or doing more of your own yard work? What if you just looked for ways to move your body more?

Then what if you added in some sensible and sane eating? Practicing moderation and balance while learning to eat healthy and more nutritious foods?

What if each day you slowly, and steadily lived a life that was active, balanced and powered by mostly wholesome foods ( hey, I still like chocolate cake too!)

Because of the huge weight loss industry we are (sadly) wired to think if we don’t have a go big or go home mentality we might as well give up before we start.

Beginning in a slow steady way, allowing your body to lose 1-2 pounds a week is a healthy and long term approach to being successful. It also allows you to build your confidence as you move from day to day being successful in your achievements.

There will be good days, and there will be not so good days.

The point is …pay attention to this boys and girls… continuous forward movement.

As you gain confidence and see that you have everything in you to be successful, you might begin to look at more specific goals for yourself. That’s when you might have to consider what physical activities you need to add to your plate as well as how  your nutrition might need to be balanced towards that as well.

On my own health and fitness journey, it has been a constant, forward movement. Sometimes I’ve felt like I’ve taken a huge step all at once, other times, I feel like I’m in a holding pattern.

Right now, I’m excited to be in a new activity that’s pushing me more out of my comfort zone and definitely making me take new and bigger steps. But you see, all of this fits into my personal goals. None of what I’ve done has been accomplished quickly.

It has been small steps, small goals, that quickly became fueled by loftier goals. My athletic goals challenged my nutrition ( it is really hard to be a good athlete and eat garbage) see how it all kind of fits together?

You may have some big goals for yourself athletically. Or you may have big goals for yourself to lose 20 pounds. Maybe it’s to be able to walk up stairs without being winded or chase your kids around without feeling like you’re dying.

No matter what your personal vision is, remember slow and steady is the name of the game.

Save the go big or go home ideal for those crazy things that kinda scare you 😉

Tell me.. have you ever taken the idea of go big or go home with weight loss or fitness? Did that work for you? What thing helped you be most successful?

 

 

 

The All Or Nothing Approach

all_or_nothing_logo_design_by_dannygdesigns-d527xic

So as I eagerly shared with you in my last post, I have jumped more into the world of cycling with the purchase of my first professional cycling bike ( I wanted to sleep with it after I brought it home. Put it outside?? haha)

In the week that I’ve had it we’ve been getting acquainted with one another. I have to take a little time to do that.

Being on a new bike is like buying a new car.

You simply have to spend some time with it to see how it responds, and how it handles under you. You learn how much you can push it and how fast you can stop when you do push it. You learn how fast you can go on curves 😉

Actually, I’m being good and haven’t really pushed the speed a lot yet.

There is also time for your body to adjust to the differences as well. Being on a bike that is sized and adjusted to my body, obviously positions me very differently from my other bike that I had adjusted as much as possible for my arms and legs.

Therefore, I’m feeling it in different ways after a ride. As much as I’ve wanted to take off and go ….for miles…. in this week I’ve kept the rides short… usually between 8-10 miles.  It gives me enough time to settle in and adjust but not so much that I’m uncomfortable later.

It’s hard mentally knowing what I can do, but keeping it in check to allow myself time to adapt to the changes with the new bike. If I jumped in and took off on my usual route which hits somewhere between 20-25 miles…. I might not be feeling so great the next day and left feeling like I wanted to do nothing because I hurt.

I cannot take an all or nothing approach to conditioning myself for new athletic adventures.

To continue strong  in my training means being practical to my approach in training if I want to make consistent progress.

Yet… so often when I’m talking with people about health and weight loss there is an “all or nothing” approach to it.

I must give up everything to be successful. No fun. Nothing good.  Lots of exercise.  Rice cakes and celery sticks, here I come.

OR

I will just eat whatever. Exercise doesn’t matter so much. I’m ok the way I am. I’ll get to it…someday… maybe… I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do it.

An all or nothing approach to weight loss and fitness never works either.

In fact, it’s designed to fail.

For instance, things that make me cringe. You’ve seen those “30 Day Challenges”?  You know, something like get up to 3,000 squats by the end of the month or a zillion pushups?

Ok, I might be slightly exaggerating but the effects would be the same.  If you crawled off the sofa and just started pushing your body hard with activities it wasn’t used to, well, most likely by day 2 you’re gonna be so sore you’ll be using that challenge chart to start a fire.

Maybe you just decide you’re going to go start running and try a few miles.. and you haven’t even done walking miles yet. It could be anything.

When you just throw yourself into it with no preparation, your body will let you know it’s not happy about it.

You had that crazy moment of going after it “all” approach… and now you are paying for it… which is when you decide the “nothing” approach is probably better.

What a vicious cycle!  No wonder so many give up frustrated and discouraged with the process and quit.

What if, you built a plan, that was gradual, consistent and sustainable?   A plan that allowed your body to adapt to the changes you were putting it through?

Much like I cannot just get up and run a marathon without months of training or do a really long ride on a brand new bike without some adjustment, you cannot just jump in to extremes and expect long term success.

Beginning with a few days a week, alternating days with low intensity exercise will allow your body to adapt and prevent extreme soreness with will sideline you. Each week you can add a little more to what you do.

Learning to slowly make daily dietary changes will keep you from feeling deprived and then later binging because you’ve restricted yourself so much.   A slow steady approach adding in new healthier choices, cutting back on not so healthy choices, learning to eat enough to satisfy your appetite, but not to much, as well as learning to eat when you’re truly hungry are all positive habits to building nutritional success.

Implementing these things gradually and consistently will take away the “all or nothing” approach, which will lead you to permanent and long term success.

Tell me… have you done that in your quest to lose weight or develop an exercise regime? Have you taken on an all or nothing approach? Did that work?

 

Snacks, Treats, And Weight Loss

snacks[1]

Peanut M&M’s. French fries. Homemade chocolate cake. BBQ potato chips. Homemade sugar cookies with powdered sugar frosting. Apple pie. Sweettarts.

Kinda sounds like a menu for PMS, doesn’t it ?

Actually, those are some of my most favorite treats.

I remember sharing in a Facebook post one time about my craving and subsequent consumption of some Peanut M&M’s and someone commented they were so happy I was “normal” and that I had shared that. Meaning I didn’t live off of a steady diet of nothing but veggies and nuts 😉

Yes, I’m a fit woman, and yes, I still enjoy treats.

I think that’s one of the things that’s really important when you start working on losing weight and getting into a healthier lifestyle… that you don’t set yourself up for deprivation and serious restriction from all things you love.

Now hold on… I’m not saying  freely indulge in treats whenever…it’s about learning  balance.

I think that’s what allowed me to be successful in my weight loss journey. Well, there’s a few things but this specific one we’re talking about today is treats.. things we love… and things by darn, we wanna have when the mood hits us.

As I developed my own plan to successfully lose weight one thing I mentally determined was that nothing was “forbidden”, “bad” or “off limits”.

Now you might be thinking… “whoa… like then you’d go off the deep end and eat everything!”

No. ‘Cause I’m not dumb.

But it did remove ( for me) all power of food. If nothing was forbidden, it had no tempting power. It knew all food was available (IF) I wanted something.

It was important to me that I could still enjoy celebrations and those things that make life…enjoyable. I wasn’t going to be one of those poor people at a family gathering looking miserable in a corner not having what everyone else was because I was “dieting”.

No way.

So I began my slow journey. Some nights, I desperately wanted something chocolate. I found a few Hershey Kisses, savored, met that need but didn’t sink the work of my day.

If there was a birthday party I allowed myself a small piece of cake. If I didn’t want the cake, I took some ice cream. Sometimes, a little of both.

If I wanted a burger and fries, I had them.

Mind you, this wasn’t often, but when I did want it I had it.

My mental mantra looking at foods, especially treats, was “does this support my health and fitness goals?”

I learned to find balance on my journey to get leaner.

I also learned to be super selective about what I would put in my mouth. As in… “Do I REALLY love this? Or is something that doesn’t do so much for me?”

Learning to really assess what’s important to you is a huge step to controlling the random “treats” you might consume.

For me it works like this…

Things I can pass up and/or don’t tempt me:

Store bought sheet cakes with that greasy frosting.

Pretty much any store bought cookie.

Cakes made with a mix.

Cokes.

Almost anything sold in a gas station.

Things that are totally worthy of eating:

My homemade three layer chocolate cake

Ice cream with nuts.

Amazing sugar cookies I make during the holidays that have  butter and cream cheese in the dough.

Homemade cinnamon rolls.

French fries.

Obviously, there are other things on both lists. What I want you to begin to do is really think about your own list of “things not worth eating” and “things worth eating”. When you begin to get really selective about what matters to you, and what doesn’t, you are making forward progress.

Not everything out there needs consumption. And really, if you totally don’t love it, why eat it ?  Don’t mindless shove whatever is around in your mouth… especially if it’s something not so important.

Those treats, whether they are things we eat or drink can wreak havoc on our attempts to lose weight.  Being aware is crucial to your success. It’s entirely easy to go through a day and think you really don’t have that many “extras”. But if you’re having trouble making the scale move, a serious assessment of those other foods will help see where the weak places are in your day and week.

Writing down all extra snacks and food will give a look at your snacking habits. This isn’t to beat you up or make you feel bad, but to help you gain awareness of where extra calories come in that are hindering your weight loss progress.

Have a handful of chips? Write it down. Glass of wine? Yep, write it down. A couple Reeses Peanut Butter cups? Creamer in your coffee? Sugar?

Write everything.

You’ve got it. No matter how big or small, write it down. Do it for 2 weeks. Be honest. This is all about awareness.

At the end you might be able to see habits or patterns you need to work on. Then, you can begin to also have your list of “worthy to eat snacks” and ” not so worthy to eat snacks”

Doing this, and getting real with yourself in this area will have positive long term benefits for your health and fitness journey.

And you’ll find you really can have your cake and eat it too 😉

Have you made intentional choices on being picky with your favorite snacks or treats? How has that effected your weight loss?

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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 ?