This time of year EVERYBODY is trying to sell you something….
Weight loss shakes, body wraps, herbs, supplements, cleanses, an intro gym membership. Want to know a little secret? All of it works. But none of it is necessary for success.
So many people search for that magic “pill”, “fitness routine” or “diet plan” that will get the ball rolling. But the plan is the simple part. The biggest struggle you will encounter is between your ears-YOUR MIND.
(I vowed to fight my way back to this fitter version of myself from a few years ago. I vowed to lose 20 pounds in 2018 and can’t wait to lose the next 20 ahead in 2019. I am digging those abs out one day at a time!)
The biggest takeaway I learned this past year was that the battle with weight really begins and ends with your thoughts. You can lose weight a hundred different ways (Paleo, Weight Watchers, Keto, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Shakes, Dairy-Free, Intermittent Fasting, etc.) but the greatest triumph you can ever achieve regarding weight loss is the MENTAL game. And since no one can really sell you that, it is not discussed nearly enough.
I truly belief the first step towards progress regarding health/fitness is about getting “sick and tired” of feeling “sick and tired”. You have to get so freakin’ fed up with your current way of life (for me it was that 90% of my closet no longer fit and I felt tired all the time!) that you are willing to do whatever it takes to create change.
CHANGE IS HARD! Our brains actually hate it. Our brains are hardwired to resist change. Our brains will default back to what they have done repeatedly (like easing into that Chick-Fil-A drive through on the way home from work or hitting the snooze to skip that early workout). When we introduce too much change too quickly, our brains will fight us every step of the way. So, you have to develop a gradual, effective game plan that teaches your brain new habits and patterns in a way it can manage.
I spent an entire year getting my life and health back on track. I speak from experience when I tell you that the face you see in the mirror will be your greatest enemy regarding change. But that same reflection also has the potential to create UNBELIEVABLE change in just one calendar year if you do it right.
I am a big believer that you should NOT do anything in the short term that you can’t sustain for the long term. I only have 2 friends (just TWO!!) who have remained Paleo or gluten-free for over one full year. I bet 50 other people I know have attempted this dietary change (for weight loss and not medical need) and given enough time, they realize it just was not sustainable for them. So let’s play the probability game that is won’t be the answer to long-term, sustainable weight loss for most people…SO WHY LOSE WEIGHT IN A MANNER YOU likely cannot sustain? That is just committing to yo-yo dieting and wasting any money you are about to spend on that aggressive cleanse, detox, 30 day plan, etc. These all-or-nothing approaches do not teach you how to create healthy long-term habit changes.
Last December, I vowed I was going to lose weight FOR THE LAST TIME, the right way and FOR GOOD. You see, I’d successfully lost weight in the past but always, always gained it back. The plans were too restrictive to be livable and/or I just couldn’t handle 15 hours/week of sweating at the gym to be a size 2! This time, I was going to do things differently. I’ve lost 22 pounds this year and I have eaten every food imaginable (with occasional wine nights too). It’s about planning ahead and sticking to that plan (even when that drive through looks super tempting!). It’s also about creating margin for celebration foods (birthdays, holidays) with a working plan on how to work off those extra calories the very next day. Getting right back on track is the key to long term success!
So, let’s go ahead and tackle the road blocks you will encounter mentally. You can buy all the shakes and pills in the world but if you can’t tackle the situations below, it really won’t matter.
- When will you workout? What exact time of day and when? For how long? With what program? YOU MUST BE SPECIFIC HERE! I did not want to work out at a gym. I was overweight, self-conscious and so out of shape this time last year. I knew the only way I’d be willing to sweat was in private. So, I joined Beachbody On Demand (no, I do not make one penny from promoting this. I just LOVE this program!). It costs $99 for full year subscription. Then, you can just log in and choose from hundreds of home-based workouts anytime you would like. They have EVERYTHING from weight lifting, cardio, HIIT, line dancing, yoga, pilates, etc. Some workouts are only 10 minutes and others are up to 90 minutes. There is something for everyone. I started with Piyo. It’s a combination pilates/yoga workout that….wait for it….didn’t even require me to put on a sports bra! I seriously picked these workouts because I could do them in my pajamas. THE STRUGGLE WAS REAL to get this body in motion!! Then after 2-3 weeks of Piyo, I committed to 21 Day Fix. This program did require me to purchase a few exercise bands and I bought a 5 pound set of weights and 8 pound set of weights from Target. That program DID require a sports bra toobut I was up for the challenge by then. Plus, I committed to doing these at 7:00 a.m. every day before taking the kids to school. I just couldn’t commit to afternoons (when my motivation was at its lowest!!) and my mornings never changed. So that is when I did those workouts. I put it on my to-do list and NO MATTER WHAT EXCUSES MY BRAIN DREAMED UP, I did it. My motto was alway “just press play” and then you are done before you know it. I did all these workouts in about a 3 feet x 5 feet space in front of my TV in my living room. I kept my weights in a bench with storage in that same room. Nothing fancy….just a designated space, at a designated time in the privacy of my home that I could commit to. So….get specific!!! Where will you work out? What program will you do? If you need help, I’ll gladly respond. Just type in your questions below!
- What can you do the night before to set your mornings up for success? This might sound super picky but I believe your mornings hinge on your organization the night before. For me, after dinner, I have to clean all of my kitchen countertops, start the dishwasher, make sure the kitchen table is clean and the coffee pot is pre-set. Then, when my alarm goes off super early, I know there is a hot pot of coffee waiting for me in a clutter-free kitchen. Then, I sit at my table, read my Bible/devotional/journal/book and get my mind ready for the day ahead. I also highly encourage you to make sure your living room (or wherever you plan to sweat!) is clutter-free too because having to clean up kids’ legos, a pile of shoes, an assortment of mail/catalogs, a mountain of unfolded laundry MIGHT be all it would take to stop you from pressing play on that computer/phone/TV. SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS THE NIGHT BEFORE!!! Heck, I’d even sleep in my workout clothes to make myself get up and do that dang thing! Seriously, get rid of as many excuses your mind might come up with by being organized in advanced.
- How will you stay accountable for your success even when others aren’t supportive? This journey is yours alone. Even if your entire family chooses to eat cheesecake for breakfast and straight gravy for lunch, YOU are accountable for your own actions. Even if your co-workers insist on a dozen hot and fresh Kristy Kremes every Friday, that does NOT mean you have to eat them. Every time you put anything in your mouth it is your decision…will it be healthy/on plan or something that leads you farther away from your goals? Don’t wait around for your best friend to decide to join you in your weight loss journey. NOW is the time to become fully responsible and accountable for the actions it will take to become the best version of you. Even if no one around you chooses to make one single change in the New Year, you can still be successful. It begins with owning your own decisions and consequences. You. No one else.
Take a minute and answer the questions above. Write them in your journal. Scribble them on a piece of paper. The exercise is more about preparing your mind for changes in January. Small, gradual and SUSTAINABLE change is possible but you MUST plan ahead.
Tomorrow we will talk more about writing out your 24 hour plan every single day. It matters. And the magic of self-confidence comes from keeping promises TO YOURSELF one day at a time. I can’t wait to show you how!