There seems to be two main times in the run of a year when people think they need to start being active and healthy. The first one is in January and most people make resolutions to go to the gym at least three times a week and they will give up junk food. They are only going to eat “clean”. Then in the spring as the nice weather starts to arrive (unless you live in Nova Scotia) they want to start getting “sexy” for summer because they soon have to put that bathing suit on. It doesn’t matter if your a man or a woman because we all think that but why do we have to start being active at the beginning of a new year or just before bathing suit season?
I have had conversations lately with friends about how they want to start being active. They have been inspired by what they have seen others achieve and they want to do something similar or they mention that summer is coming and they want to look good. They tell me they struggle to work towards this though because they lack the motivation and time to do so. I listen to them tell me all the reasons why they don’t do something.
Being the person that I am and I always want to see people succeed I suggest ways they can be active and healthy. I tell them to make baby goals and then explain what I mean after I am given a funny look. I suggest starting with something that is obtainable to them. They can’t start too big and it has to be realistic for it to work. I find people try and change too many factors at once when they want something to change about their current lifestyle. If they try to change their eating habits and add exercise into their life all at the same time it can be overwhelming. Then one day, a week or two into their “new lifestyle” they eat something they feel they shouldn’t have or they miss a workout and to them they they have failed. They give up!
So, let’s see if I can give some suggestions so that people don’t give up and can succeed.
Reason # 1 ~ I don’t know where to make changes in my eating because I already eat well.
If the baby goal is to change eating habits write down what you eat and then evaluate it after a week. See if there are some things that you could cut out but don’t cut everything “bad” out at once. One thing someone could start with is how much cream is put in each coffee. Change the cream to 2% milk and then eventually skim milk or none at all. Then look at the amount of sugar put in each coffee once the change of creamer has been adjusted. If pop is the drink of choice start by lowering how many glasses are had and then eventually remove it. If you like juice maybe water it down so you are getting less sugar in each glass. Change your portion size of each meal and have more salad or vegetables on your plate.
Reason # 2 ~ I can’t get up early in the morning.
Reason # 3 ~ I am tired in the evening.
Reason # 4 ~ I have plans most evenings after work.
Reason # 5 ~ I don’t have time. (This is the biggest one!)
If your baby goal is to fit activity into the day than use lunch breaks effectively. If there is a gym close by sign up and if you don’t know where to start hire a trainer. Trainers don’t just work with people who already know what they are doing. Those people had to start some where and some continue to use trainers to improve or change as their goals change. If you don’t have the option of a gym meet a friend for a walk or a run, or go alone. You could even just do a little workout outside.
If you are tired in the evening and don’t want to workout after work try setting your alarm even ten minutes earlier each day. Each week add another two to five minutes to the alarm. After awhile your body will adjust to getting up earlier. Going to bed earlier will help as well. I have learned this and wasn’t always an early bird but now I love it. The quietness of the morning and the beauty it holds is amazing to me. I set an alarm but it is very rare that I wake to it. I am always up before it.
If you are someone who has an active social calendar set one night a week as yours. Book it in your calendar like you would a meeting for work and if you have to make plans for that particular day than block off another evening and make it yours. You can do that and we all deserve our “me time”.
Reason # 5 I’m a parent and I have to take my kids to their activities.
Yes, you do. So, drop your kids off at soccer or their dance class and go for a run or a walk while they are being active. Or go to the park next to the soccer field and use the playground equipment and do your own mini workout. You can find different park workouts on Pinterest. Or if your kids aren’t in sports take them to do the park and do these workouts with them. They can be adapted to anyone of any height or size.
Find the one thing that you want to do and do it for a month. Then add something else that you want to achieve. If you have a moment where you eat something you think you shouldn’t it IS ok. Nothing bad will happen to you and tomorrow is a new day. I enjoy my sweet things but I am now choosy with the things that I eat. It has to be something that I think will taste REALLY good to me or I am craving it. I don’t give in to all cravings but do enjoy the treat when I have them.
I find typically though most people know what they need to do but they just have to take the first step to doing it. I can give all the advice and support to someone but at the end of the day they need to be the one to set their goal and do the work. Being active and leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t something that comes and goes like the seasons. It needs to be a lifestyle change and it is one that you constantly have to work at. It does become a habit and if you have found your passion than most days it won’t feel so much like a chore but something you crave to do.
So, ask yourself what is the baby goal that you want to do? Is it going to the pool one day a week or only have one serving of peanut butter a day?
Let me know and good luck!