When you think about reaching your fitness or weight loss goals, you might have an overwhelming feeling of the changes you have to make, everything you have to give up and how difficult it will be, and the truth is, you DO need to make some sacrifices. With any type of change, you must be willing and committed to step outside your comfort zone, make better choices for yourself and move through resistance, without giving up. But, you shouldn’t feel miserable! The quality of your life should not be affected negatively when you’re making positive lifestyle changes and if you feel this way, you are going about it the wrong way.
In order to become more fit….
You don’t need to follow strict rules in order to reach your goals.
You don’t have to cut out food groups and go to bed not feeling satisfied.
You don’t have to do extra cardio, because you’re going out to dinner.
You don’t have to ignore your body cues when you need more rest.
You don’t have to feel anxious around food.
You don’t have to feel moody, hungry and resentful.
If you feel like crap every day as you’re trying to obtain a fit physique, no longer enjoying life, then honestly… what is the point?
Here are some helpful guidelines to follow as you prepare to set out on a journey to better health:
Follow a plan with Flexibility
We all know restrictive diets don’t work, at least long term. For sustainable lifestyle change, you must follow a plan with flexibility. Strict plans are not the best for your body. You’ll be left feeling deprived and resentful with increased food cravings and swings in mood.
The Good should Outweigh the Bad
Since resistance is a normal part of change, and you will have to make some small sacrifices, the benefits you are receiving from making positive lifestyle changes should outweigh them. Maybe you have to wake up earlier to get in your workout, so you adjust your bedtime. Maybe you skip out on the free cake at work and choose to eat the healthy snack you packed instead. In time, you’ll start to reap the benefits of your choices and positive changes. So when resistance hits, think about how amazing it feels now that you have more energy, you’re less bloated, your jeans are fitting better and you feel more confident. This great feeling will keep you going! It’s all worth it once you start feeling the benefits and seeing the impact these positive changes are having on you!
Find a Work/Life Balance
By “work” I don’t mean your career, I mean the work you must put in, in order to reach your goals. You need to set aside time for exercise and meal prep, but you also need to make sure you keep a good balance. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice going out to dinner with your family, or skipping out on memories, because it’s “not part of your plan”. If you plan accordingly, with room for flexibility, you can enjoy these special moments and still stay on track with your goals.
Let Go of “All-or-Nothing” Thinking
Going “ALL IN” and having black and white thinking, will do more harm than good. When it comes to all-or-nothing thinking, you are either a success or a failure. You label foods as good or bad. You either eat perfectly and according to plan, or you have a few extra bites of something and are a “fuck up”. With this type of mindset you’ll be more likely to fall back to old habits. With the strict rules you’ve set for yourself, trying to be “perfect”, there’s no room for moderation. You must let go of rigidity. Of course, there are foods that are better for you than others and although I am a huge fan of eating whole foods, I believe enjoying ice cream and pizza is just as important, without feeling guilty or mad at yourself that you “ruined” everything. This is why following a plan with some flexibility is key to sustainability and important for your sanity.
Getting fit, becoming healthier, and making positive lifestyle changes should not make you feel miserable or deprived and feel like punishment. With the right plan and the right mindet, you can reach your goals and enjoy your life too!