Good grief. It’s that time of year again. Many of us like the idea of starting over, starting fresh, and finally getting a grip on a least a few things. It can even be a compelling urge.
Bravo I say. Making a few changes for the better, no matter what area it is in, is a wonderful thing.
Of course, I am going to zero in on diet and exercise. That’s what I do.
So here we go…
In keeping with the title of this blog, I would like to talk about 5 common things that people do when deciding to “finally get in shape” or “fix the diet” once and for all. This even applies if you have already been doing pretty well, but want to tighten things up a bit. As you will see, some of these things are not necessarily going to help you reach your goals.
Want to start a new diet? Sign up for an exercise class? Kick it up a notch and find a boot camp class? Whoa!
Before taking action, I have a few (5) things you could consider.
1. Take an assessment of what you are bringing to the table, as it were. If you are like most people, you may have some of the following going on:
- Resistance to change
- Resistance or even sabotage from those around you
- Some eating habits that are on “auto-pilot” (a.k.a., mindless eating)
- Emotional eating habits and cravings
- Relying on willpower and deprivation to lose weight and get more exercise
2. Ask yourself if you are willing to learn some new stuff. That would include:
- What nutrition is best for your body
- How to change your relationship with food…permanently
- Savvy shopping and food preparation skills that match your goals
- Discovering what exercise will work best for you
- Finding time to exercise and getting used to a new schedule
3. Are you willing to go beyond the “just tell me what to do” approach? While your willingness to be led can be praiseworthy, there are a few things that can back-fire:
- Say you make appointments with a trainer or a fitness buddy so that you feel obligated to follow through. Relying on guilt may work for a while, but ultimately this will not keep you coming back.
- You still need to make the time for whatever it is and adjust your schedule.
- If your class gets cancelled, your buddy quits, or you can’t afford a trainer all the time, then what?
4. Beware if you are setting out to “fix your body.” Many times, people have an idea of what they want to look like. After all, make-overs abound on TV and elsewhere! Here’s some of the problems with that:
- Some can decide their body needs to be knocked into shape. Boot camps follow. Ouch! This may not be the best way for you.
- So, you think your body needs fixing? Try a little kindness. Treat yourself to finding out what would be a realistic way to gradually become healthier, feeling better, and being more energetic.
- Thinking you need to fix your body is something that starts with a negative trend and leads to thinking you need a bunch of willpower to get through. What if instead you gave your body credit for being able to get trimmer and more fit if you learn the right way to do it.
5. Last but not least, there’s buying large exercise equipment. This can be a great idea IF you have made extensive plans for when you are going to use it, for how long, and what for. Relying on it to motivate you is not going to happen. Sad, but true.
What am I getting at here?
THERE IS A LOT MORE TO CHANGING YOUR DIET AND/OR EXERCISE HABITS THAN YOU MIGHT THINK.
That is why I wrote my book Lose Weight? Exercise More? I
Don’t Think So!
This book explains why making changes for your health (or appearance) can be fraught with difficulties. Becoming aware of this can do two fantastic things:
- Stop you from feeling like a failure or racked with guilt if your efforts don’t pan out.
- Give you a whole new perspective on what it takes, and using that information to find a kinder, gentler, approach that actually works.
I invite you to take a gander, as well as to recommend it to any of your friends or family who have struggled with diet and exercise. It’s an uplifting new take on the whole mess, I promise!
All the best,
© 2020 Kristen Carter. All rights reserved.