Let me begin by saying that a lot of times we set ourselves up for failure when we start a “diet”. Sure it may sound good at the time, you think you’ll do it for a little while and it will be effective. Which may be true, but also while people who tend to “diet” end up quitting because it wasn’t a suitable or sustainable lifestyle change.
Decide that the changes that you are about to make are permanent. Not just ” I’m going to eat salads for two months” in hopes to loose weight quickly. That sounds great, but it will ultimately bring you back to your old habits once you’ve exhausted yourself with not getting what your body needs. Luckily for me I didn’t have a soda habit to kick, but if you do have one, consider that one of the first things to consider changing. For me it was that late night bowl of sugary cereal, or chips, ice cream, oooooh and COOKIES (preferably chocolate chip).
The first change in my eating habits I made was to start “clean” eating. If it came from a box or a can it usually meant processed and full of unnecessary fats and calories. I quit using recipes that called for cream soups (and that was tough being from MN where everything in a “hotdish” had some sort of creamed soup). I also started to do away with or highly limit foods like pasta, breads (including donuts, cresent rolls, buns ect.), white rice, and white potatoes. I was surprised how easy it was to limit myself from these things considering there were so MANY healthier options that I liked. Of course I’m sure that it has become pretty well known to shop the outside isles of your grocery store. But, in doing so you will avoid the processed foods that usually have quite a few preservetives as well.
Now the difference between a diet and a lifestlye change are different in the sorts that a lifestyle change is something that you plan to continue indefinitely. A diet is seen as sort of a quick fix to get you going, but usually ends at some point and usually sending you further away from your goals. Decide for yourself that the changes you make are ones that you will be able to sustain and be persistent with. Now, keep in mind you don’t have to make a TON of changes all at once. Make small goals that are easy to obtain so you don’t get defeated and so you can continue to make additional changes without feeling like you’ve sacrificed everything at once.
Same thing applies to exercise. Everyone will start with something suitable to them. Maybe it’s starting to go for a walk everyday, maybe a run, a dvd workout, or going to the gym. Whatever it is you decide to do, commit to doing it. Give yourself a schedule so that you can easily set that time aside just for YOU! Idealy you should be exercising 3-5 times a week. If you haven’t been active in a while start small, give yourself time to grow and improve. You can’t expect to just get up and run a 5K, or hit some big numbers on the weights in the gym, even if you’ve done so in the past. Ease into getting your body moving again. But, don’t forget to push yourself just a little! Not every day is going to feel like a great day to work out. You may not have the best preformance every day, and that is OK! Being consistent is crucial to any lifestyle changes!
How do you plan to stay motivated? What will get you moving on those days you just don’t feel like it? A good place to start is having a positive mental attitude. There is not one single person out there who is going to do this for you. If you need to give yourself a pep talk, do it. Make a goal board. Have a photo of that body you want to see in 3, 6, 9 months. Add some inspirational quotes, photos of things you’d like to do with your future self, new sneakers or gym clothes as a reward, maybe a vacation! Even though you are the one in control of what you are setting out to do it is great to have everyone close to you on board with your new goals. Friends and family who are supportive are great motivators and help keep you accountable. I know when I started working out with the Insanity program my girls would always ask if I had worked out today. And the fun thing is they’d join me! After a little while into my program I even started taking selfies every time I completed a workout. Facebook and Instagram friends were now able to join in on keeping me accountable, keeping me motivated, and were able to join in on my fitness/health journey.
So, I challenge you to decide…to COMMIT…to CHANGE…to PERSEVERE…to GROW…
“You don’t have to be great to start, you just have to start to be great”.
You’ve got this!!
Take Care of Yourself!
Here are some of the photos I took when I started Insanity to keep myself accountable and track my progression. (The first photo is day 1 of starting Insanity. The last photo is the before starting Insanity and the after finishing the program in August 2013.)
It really is amazing to look back on how far you’ve come so I encourage you to take photos! Use them for motivation, accountability and encouragement!