You just want the secret to better health and getting rid of that extra weight for good. It could be a simple as ABC!
A is for Attitude
With a capital A. This is less about whether you have a positive or a negative attitude and more about how you are in the world.
Do you face the world each day with the attitude that you are someone who struggles to lose weight and hates to exercise? Or as someone who embraces health and loves to move your body, whatever that means for you.
There’s an obvious difference between the two states of being, isn’t there?
(And don’t worry if you are more in the ‘struggling to lose weight’ camp at the moment!).
Just for a moment visualize what it would be like for you to be someone who embraces health and loves to exercise. How does that feel? It probably feels a bit foreign, like trying on a new coat for size.
My bet is that in that state of mind, better, healthier choices are easier to make. Not restrictive at all, they are more like something that you just ‘do’. Effortless, even.
This is a little like ‘fake it til you make it’, but at a deeper level. It even sounds a bit ‘out there’, but I invite you to have a play with it. Try it on for size and see how you go.
First thing in the morning and throughout your day, visualize yourself as someone who is brimming with health and energy who loves to exercise and nourish your body with healthy food. Then take some action to follow through with the healthy, new you.
B is for Barriers
If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
Too often we DO let obstacles stop us in our tracks from making the healthy choices we know we need to make. We often don’t even give it a lot of thought. Suddenly we have just …. stopped.
It’s time to take a closer look at what is coming up to get in the way of the healthy new you. As Michael Jordan puts it so beautifully, we then need to work out how to ‘climb it, go through it or work around’ our barriers.
Get into the habit of looking at why you haven’t taken the action you said you’d take. Like any new habit, this takes practice. But it is so much kinder than beating up on yourself because you haven’t achieved your goal. And so much more effective.
Examples of barriers that come up for many of my clients include:
- It’s too hot
- It’s too cold
- It’s winter and the days are too short
- I don’t have time
- I am active enough in my job so I don’t need to exercise
- Healthy food is too expensive
- I travel a lot & it is too hard to eat healthily when on the road
- I need to have cake in the house for the visitors or the grandkids
- I eat out a lot for work
- I hate to exercise
I could go on, but I think you probably get the drift – and could probably add some more of your own!
If you who know my story, you’ll know that my limiting belief that I hated to exercise was one that I needed to overcome in order to move forward with my goal of regular exercise. Lack of time to exercise and prepare healthy food is also a biggie for me and one that I need to continually check whether my strategies are working or whether they need tweaking.
The best way to overcome your barriers is to look at what is currently stopping you from achieving your goals and to put into place a number of strategies to keep going despite them.
Let’s take my example of not enough time as a barrier. I‘ve put in place the following strategies so that I will follow through and take action despite this obstacle.
Plan my week ahead. This includes putting my exercise sessions in my diary for the week and also planning meals ahead of time including a shopping list so that I have all ingredients to hand.
Look at ways that I can be creative with my time. On some days I’ll walk for ten minutes in my lunch break, so that I can do a shorter exercise session either later in the day or first thing in the morning.
On those days when I’m particularly busy, I’ll plan quicker, easier meals.
I use a timer and turn off social media sites when I’m on the computer writing blog posts etc so that I don’t become distracted by the newsfeed on Facebook or Twitter. (Sometimes I think that I have the attention span of a mosquito!). I get more done in less time, freeing up some time for exercise.
Your list of strategies will most likely look VERY different to mine and that’s OK. This is a continual process of trial and error. Just between you and me, these strategies don’t work 100% of the time for me either. It is a continual process of refining and implementing.
Take the time to look at the barriers that are coming up in your life and plan some strategies around them.
C is for comfort zone
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone Neale Donald Walsch
We all have comfort zones – a little bit like a thermostat that is set to a particular temperature. Any attempt to do something different in our lives will have us bumping up against them big time! They may not even be particularly comfortable. But they ARE familiar. And they feel safe.
We need to expect to feel uncomfortable when we are making healthy changes in our lives. Welcome it even! This means that you are in the process of creating a whole new comfort zone for yourself at a higher level. This is the time to keep on taking action. Bring it on!
Easier said than done, though, at times. This is where a good coach can help to keep you on track with your goals and gently or not so gently nudge you in the right direction.
Setting up some accountability can also keep you taking action when it would be oh so easy to stop. Family and friends can be your greatest allies in supporting us to make healthier choices. Technology has also made accountability super easy even if your accountability partner is on the other side of the world. I discussed a number of Apps that provide great accountability in Want to Get Healthy? 3 must have Apps that make it easy and fun and Get Healthy! 3 More Apps that Make It Easy And Fun.
So there you have it. Master your ABC’s and move closer to living your dream of great health and looking and feeling incredible.
I’d love for you to let me know in the comments below one strategy that has been super effective for you and one thing you’re going to focus a little more on.