Here we are in February already! We should be waist deep in our New Year’s goals and well on our way to the new us, right? Oh, where does the time go? I look back at a handful of years and I remember lists of unmet resolutions and countless hours spent making outrageous plans to try to reach them.
I recall having insomnia for years because I would lie in my bed and think about how I was going to lose weight and finally have the life I dreamed of. It seemed in my head that being thin would be my answer to ALL of my problems, and maybe, it would even bring world peace! Yes! Yes! I think so! The one word that summed it all up for me was EXTREME. When it came to weight loss and getting my life in order I knew BIG things needed to take place, so I decided to go from nothing to everything in one day flat. Little did I realize the mental transformation that would need to take place in order to get anything done.
I would wake up to the first day of my new life and I would start with my 8 cups of water all at once. “No more dry skin and dehydration for me! I am flushing myself clean!” Next, I would take all of my new vitamins that I just spent a small fortune on. “I don’t even know why I need these but I must be deficient in Riboflavin!” Of course I would eat some breakfast because I heard that is going to rev my metabolism. “This low carb processed protein bar that tastes like play-dough is perfect! Gotta watch those carbs ladies!” So off to the gym I went for an all out 2 hour RAGER! “Wow, if I keep this up people are not even gonna know what hit ‘em when they see this coming!”
On my way home from the gym I would start feeling dizzy, followed by nausea, hunger and a severe headache. I would get home, lay on the floor and moan by myself while the room spins and I am holding back my cookies from too many vitamins, bad protein and a surplus of water. I’m down for the count.
I am embarrassed to admit this, but “brilliant plans” like these were put into play for years. I would often cry at the end of these days because I was clearly setting myself up to fail without knowing it. I was so tired and hungry that I would end up eating way too much just to try and feel better. This ultimately made me feel like I would never be like the “have-it-all girls” I would see in magazines. I just figured they were strong and I was weak. I am going to spare you of all my other wonderful plans and hard lessons and move onto some good ones.
SLOW AND STEADY. No matter what. This allows you to stay in the race for the long run. Plan your meals and make sure they are still tasty and healthy. This will allow you to make this a way of life and enjoy being healthy instead of feeling deprived. Let Betty-Busy-Body tell you how she is doing 5 hrs of cardio while on a new cabbage soup and Cayenne pepper diet. She’ll be back in the drive-thru line next week. Can you blame her?
As for the workout, it is so important to make sure you are working out with INTENSITY no matter what you choose to do. However, you will only be able to maintain true intensity for around an hour before you burnout. Make sure your workouts are impactful and balanced. Too much of anything is not sustainable. If you need a little more cardio after strength training (or vice-versa) try breaking it up so you can put good effort into that also.
MAKE SMALL GOALS EACH WEEK. Yes, reach for the stars but let’s do it the smart way. Incorporate one new healthy goal each week. Example: This week I am packing my lunch and snacks everyday. Next week I am adding 20 more minutes on all of my cardio sessions. Third week I am finishing and adding a little more weight to all of my workouts no matter what. If you do it all at once it will eventually make you feel overwhelmed and defeated.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVITY. Easier said than done. Believe me I know. I held myself back for years asking myself “Who do you think you are to try to be (fill in the blank?)” You ARE the thoughts that you think. Even if you have negative energy all around you, you can still ultimately decide your reactions. If you find yourself in a bad environment, change your surroundings when you can, but if you can’t, you really need to fight like mad to control your thoughts. You are worth it, you are strong, and you deserve to feel happy. You have so much to share and you know it. Don’t let anyone tell you your worth. I found people will surprise you when you choose a healthy lifestyle. They either support you or they stomp their feet like babies and can’t handle your new choices. You decide which lifestyle makes you happier. If people truly care about you, they will want to see you happy and end up eventually coming around.
CONFIDENCE, HARD WORK, and POSITIVITY. Say hello to your three new best friends! Even when you are feeling none of these things, you better channel your “inner liar” and tell yourself these words define you. Fake it till you make it…Best thing you can possibly do for yourself! The most successful people just happen to be the best at hiding the fact that they were once shaking in their britches! Don’t even say it out loud. The more you think it or say it, the more you believe it, and let it control or define you.
Repeat these three key words and these will help you out in any situation.
The bottom line is no matter what your goal is, you have to start with a smart plan. Don’t go too crazy and don’t be in a race with anyone but yourself. After all, you will be your own biggest obstacle or your own biggest fan, it all comes down to you. No excuses or justifying. Find what works for you and remember that these things take time. Do your homework, learn as much as you can about what you are trying to achieve and always choose the healthy way.
Best of luck,