Have you ever woke up one day, usually a Monday, and told yourself that this was the day you were going to start living a healthier lifestyle. You’re going to eat all the right foods and go to the gym loyally. You are feeling highly motivated and you’re ready to roll! How long did it last? Was it a month or two, a week or two, a day? You are not alone!
This is a very common problem, people don’t live up to their own expectations and then they dismiss it, usually by saying ‘I don’t have any will power’. So that’s it, you tell yourself you don’t have any will power and you let that excuse you from what you need to do to get it. The beginning stages of any exercise program are always the toughest. This is when people have the greatest fall off rate. Why? There are a few reasons. The biggest reason is that people do too much too soon. If one day you’re eating pizza and ice cream and sitting on the couch and the next day you’re eating bean sprouts and working out for an hour and a half, a red flag should be going up. This is not going to last! These are examples of two extremes and going to the extreme in either direction is not healthy and not necessary.
I cannot emphasize enough how important small lifestyle changes can be. With diet, that may mean adding more fruits and vegetables instead of fatty snacks, avoiding red meat and fried food, avoid nighttime eating, if you eat because you are bored, do something so that you are not bored, just to name a few. With exercise, that may mean going for a walk after dinner or at lunch, exercising 3-5 days a week for 30 minutes, actively playing with the kids, finding an exercise class that you enjoy, just to name a few.
Another top reason that people give up on themselves is impatience. When people start eating better and exercising they tend to think that the results should come very fast. There is a lot wrong with this way of thinking. First of all, it is very unhealthy to lose weight fast. In order to do that you must deprive your body of many calories and therefore vital nutrients as well. This also slows down your metabolism so you will have a greater tendency to gain the weight back. Secondly, you did not get out of shape overnight, it is wrong to expect it come right back to you overnight as well.
On average, a weight loss of two pounds a week is considered healthy. The key is to enjoy the process and all the great things that happen along the way to your goal. You will have more energy and that feels good, you will be in better spirits as well. You may start to feel more confident and strong. These important changes come a lot faster than the final goal, so savor them. Let them act as motivation to keep you going. Remind yourself that when you were eating junk and not exercising that you felt lethargic, out of control, possibly even depressed.
Everyone hits bumps in the road to health and fitness. When you hit one of these inevitable bumps, you have two choices. You can either persevere and continue on your journey or take yourself back to where you started. Obviously, you were not happy at your starting point or else you never would have started at all. We all want to feel good, be healthy and active, have more energy, and be strong and confident. So, the next time you come to a fork in the road, remember this, tell yourself you are worth the effort, and choose the right way, the way towards health and happiness.
Barry Lovelace is creator of Exercise4 Every Body circuit training DVD's. co-owner of FitQuest Fitness in Allentown, Pa. . a personal trainer, speaker and all around fitness enthusiast. Visit Barry's website: http://www.fitquestlv.com Email Barry at: firstname.lastname@example.org