I have a friend on facebook who I think is the bomb. She decided to really make a change in her life and document it on a public blog. THAT is dedication and a serious way to stay motivated AND accountable. When you’re talking about something as intimate as your weight, your daily food and beverage intake and all the other personal things that get wrapped into lifestyle changes, it can be scary to share. And to do this publicly and all over Facebook I think is amazing and takes some serious courage. SO to show my support I commented on her blog and broke down MY personal top ten picks as far as what to focus on when making serious lifestyle changes. Here they are:
1-Forgive. When you mess up/cheat/make a mistake, let it go, forgive yourself, move on, and try harder the next day. Keep in mind that you are trying to learn from your mistakes without punishing yourself. This will keep you from backsliding A LOT when you mess up.
2-Baby steps. Changing habits you’ve taken a lifetime to make, will take a long time to change.
3-Celebrate all the small things! Ask yourself at the end of every day & every week “What did I do differently that I wasn’t doing before?” And it can be as small as taking the stairs, passing on that 3rd drink, increasing your water intake etc.
4-Don’t fixate on your SCALE! Your weight is complicated and you may be losing fat mass & gaining lean mass & not seeing anything change (or even an increase) on the scale. So, I’d keep your weight goal, but also have a clothes size goal. I’m going to use myself as a quick example. I’ve been working out more & more and my muscle mass is pretty substantial. Once upon a time I weighed about 120, now I weigh 150 and am the EXACT SAME SIZE. Something to think about.
5-When it comes to fitness weight training, cardio & stretching are all equally as important for health, weight loss, energy, stamina etc.
6-Start with frequency. Say your goal is to get to 4 days a week of exercising. Start with 4 days @ 5 min each. We all can find 5 min. Getting the frequency down is the hard part, then you can slowly increase the time. You’ll be better off working out for 20 min 4x/week than once for 60 min.
7-Love yourself & celebrate who you are and your body now. Appreciate it and then respectfully acknowledge you’d like to make some healthy changes because of x, y, & z.
8-Discover your true motivation. Your incentives are great. I’m not poo-pooing them at all! But dig down deep & find your motivation & make it a daily cell phone reminder or make posters to hang up. Like “I’m a beautiful, talented, loving person & I want to be healthy & energized for my entire life so I can continue to love & do what makes me happy for as long as possible.” Or just simply “I am an incredible person who deserves to live a long, happy & healthy life.” Or get specific. “Traveling makes me happy & I deserve to be happy. I want to be able to go to any destination I want and be physically capable to do EVERYTHING I want while I am there.” Etc.
9-Try new things. Keep your fitness routine fun & exciting. Find something you LOVE that is fun & not so much of a chore. I teach Zumba and believe me when I say I thought cardio was a chore. Me + a treadmill = hell on earth. When I found Zumba I couldn’t believe how intense of cardio I could do for an entire HOUR. And I keep coming back for more!
10-Love yourself again. You are amazing already and taking on this challenge makes you THAT much more of an incredible human being who is taking the time to self-reflect and make changes. Change is scary & you my dear, are looking it square in the eyes!