I was at the gym the other day standing outside of the group exercise room waiting for my class to start. I happened to overhear 2 ladies talking about getting the weight off that they had put on the previous year. One of them was saying she was going on some fancy diet and spending 2 hours a day at the gym every day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve overheard similar conversations. Especially in January when all of the newbies show up thinking they will stick to it this time. I’d say most of them are gone by March. It’s sad. I wanted to turn around and tell this lady that she was setting herself up for failure in a big way. First of all, fancy diets are temporary and nobody except elite athletes spend that much time at the gym consistently. Her plans were not sustainable solutions. She will most likely be back next January, making excuses, complaining about gaining weight, and talking about how she was planning on getting rid of it this time.
Temporary solutions only get you temporary results.
Know yourself and embrace the truth. I happen to know that my weakness is wine and salty snacks. The more wine I drink, the more likely I am to start snacking on something salty. Occasionally I give in to it but most of the time I keep it in check. But for goodness sake, you aren’t fooling any body by saying you are never going to eat ____________ (you fill in the blank) again and spend 2 hours in the gym everyday for the rest of your life. You and we know it isn’t going to happen so just don’t go there. You will fail.
One of the biggest issues that I see in people is their idea of what a single portion actually looks like. Educate yourself! Measure it out a few times and get familiar with what it looks like. You can make a choice to eat 1 portion or more but at least know what you are doing and quit lying to yourself about only eating “one” when the “one” is actually 2 – 3 servings. Who are you trying to fool? Make wise choices about how to eat.
Here are some simple truths to remember: anything God made is good in it’s natural form; man made, not so much; grilled is so much healthier than fried; anything loaded with cheese is a bad choice; yes, whole grain pasta is better than regular but not if you eat 4 servings; drink water or unsweetened tea with your meals; when dining at a place that puts bread or chips on the table and has unlimited refills, put a reasonable sized portion on the small plate they bring you and eat those, then STOP; be aware of how much food is actually going into your body, look at it, whether it’s 1 roll or 6, quit being in denial about it. The truth is going to show up on your body anyway.
“Mindset is your best asset, or your worst!” Ronald Earl Wilsher
Unfortunately, the real problem is almost never addressed. Many people lack the proper mindset to stay fit. They start exercising and go on a diet. After they lose the weight, they go back to the way they ate before and stop exercising. They don’t make permanent changes because they have it in their mind that they’ll just go on another diet and do it all again if they need to. Their mindset isn’t right. It is a lifetime commitment. They go into it claiming they’ll just eat salad for the rest of their life, workout every day and never eat cake again. However, in their mind, they know that isn’t true. That’s not a reasonable expectation. As soon as you say you are NEVER going to do something again, that’s when you really start to crave it.
I’m one of those people that can be served a huge piece of chocolate cake and am happy with just having a few bites and stopping. I know this doesn’t work for every body. You have to know your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to food. Some people embrace the “cheat day” where they eat really well for 6 days a week and then have a cheat day where they eat whatever they want. I don’t necessarily think this is a great idea but it works for a lot of people. Find what works for you! Start by making small changes and allow for the things that you know you will never give up. Find a way to fit exercise into your life a little at a time.
If you can afford it, hire a personal trainer who can help educate you and get you started on the right track. If you can’t afford to do that there is still no excuse. There is no reason to not be educated about life changing solutions to your health. Information is literally at your fingertips. “There’s an app for that!” It’s easier than ever before to get information on nutrition and exercise without having to pay for it. There are tons of fitness blogs out there with other people’s personal journeys into getting healthy that are filled with great recipes, workout tips and motivating quotes. Read them! Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that there is a shake or vitamin that will magically work to get you in the best shape of your life. Permanent changes must take place and it will take work. Being healthy is a lifelong journey and you are in control of which path you choose. Be honest with yourself about your commitment. It’s not going to happen without your effort. If you make healthy changes, I guarantee you will feel the difference and your body will thank you!