Losing Weight and Getting Fit in 2019: Slow & Steady wins the Race!
Hello there, Beautiful People!
‘Tis the season to set incredible health and fitness goals. But… are we setting goals we can stick to?
All too often we set goals that are too unattainable in comparison to our starting point. It’s easy to set them, but if they’re unrealistic, it’s like our brains get overwhelmed and we stop trying altogether. Like, say...by February?
It’s funny because last week someone inquired which field I’m in. When I told her, she laughed as she recently saw a meme on Facebook about how fitness clubs fill up like crazy at the beginning of the year then become nearly empty half-way through. But, we know this! It’s so great to become enthusiastic about losing excess weight, getting healthy, lowering cholesterol…whatever the health goal may be, but it’s important that you don’t overwhelm yourself while doing so.
I’m a firm believer that easing into a challenging goal (slow and steady) is much easier to adhere to in the long-run and become a new habit.
I’m not saying a blue-sky-thinking weight or fitness goal is not achievable - quite the contrary. I’m saying by breaking these super-goals down into smaller/more reasonable goals, we increase the likelihood of sticking to them and achieving our long-term result. And how great is that?!
So, this year give yourself a break! Try setting a little weekly goal as a starting point. Actually, a DAILY goal is even better. One day at a time.
Here are a few examples of changing the goal to make it more attainable:
-If your goal is to lose 30 pounds, focus on losing 5-10 pounds first. This is much easier to grasp.
-If you want to adopt a semi or even full-on plant based diet to reap the benefits, remember that you don’t have to go full throttle right away...especially if you’re following a diet heavy in meat and dairy products now. Try to swap just one animal-protein meal for a healthy plant-protein meal. Or if nothing else, just make it a priority to add in MORE colorful produce into your diet. Then you’re thinking about great stuff to add versus remove and likely to feel good doing so.
-If you want to start an exercise regimen, set a goal to move for 10 minutes more then what you’re doing now, a few days per week. If you keep this up, by the end of the year you’ll be surprised with your results.
And with fitness, assess what your goals are:
-Improved cardio-respiratory endurance?
-Building lean muscle?
-Improved heart health and lowered cholesterol levels?
-Chronic disease prevention, overall?
Whatever the goal is, and it may be more than one of those listed above, break it into smaller goals. If you haven’t worked out in a while, don’t set a goal to “get a six pack” off the bat. Simply start engaging in exercise that you enjoy ... dance, kickboxing, walking, or lifting weights. Then make doing this activity a habit. Repeat it until it’s ingrained in your pretty little brain. Then set another small goal. “Okay, I’m going to do a total of 25 ab exercises every other day." And try to start off with something you like…either standing or sitting abs exercises.
Remember: The message here is to not try and change everything at once, and break large goals into smaller, baby goals.
Take the edge off this process - the last thing you want to do is stress over getting healthy!
I wish you all a healthy and fulfilling 2019!
Until next time,