I hear this question (and sometimes ask myself) over and over again! There are women and men just like you all over the world trying to figure out the mystery. Don’t fret! There are a few simple reasons that may apply to you. Read through them, relax, and reset your goals. You can do it! I have listed the top reasons here that I find with my personal clients. Can you relate to any of them?
1. You have not identified your “Why” yet – Now listen, it is perfectly okay to want to look better in a bikini or fit back into your jeans from highschool. We all do! But, in order to make a lasting change, you have to identify why you want it. Do you want to be healthier in order to spend more time playing with your kids? Participate in a mission trip or family excursions? Have a healthier relationship with your spouse? Find your “Why” and it will give you a leaning post on those days when you simply don’t feel like doing the work.
When MOTIVATION is eluding you, use your WHY to get yourself moving.
2. You set final dates – There is no finish line! If you truly aim to live a healthy lifestyle, and not just to get skinny, you will be on a journey that will have ups and downs but is always moving in a positive healthy direction. Certainly there are times we give a little extra effort to losing a couple pounds or tightening up for an event. That’s okay. What I am talking about here is “going on a diet.” Once you learn to eat clean and healthy on a regular basis, you will never need to “diet” again! And, those treats and cheats will be so much more satisfying.
“Fit” is not a destination. It is a journey.
3. You try to overhaul everything at once – I always tell my clients to take baby steps. You didn’t become unhealthy overnight and you will not get healthy and fit overnight either. On week one, plan dinners and walk. Week two, plan dinners and lunches, and add in an exercise routine at home or join an exercise club. Make one good decision at a time. Water over soda. Nuts over potato chips. Crock pot meal over the drive-thru. Each decision will compound itself over time and lead to big results. Make the good choices, one at a time, and avoid getting burned-out.
You don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the first step.
4. You exercise but don’t change your diet – This is pretty self-explanatory. You absolutely, positively cannot out exercise a bad diet. Have you heard the saying about abs being made in the kitchen? It is true! If you are putting in the work at the gym or with a home-fitness program, you will never see the full results with a layer of ice cream and potato chips sitting on top of the muscle you’ve built. Don’t undo all of your hard work in the kitchen. It’s not worth it after you have put in so many reps!
This deserves repeating: You cannot out-exercise a bad diet.
5. You count calories but not chemicals – Reading ingredient labels is so much more important than checking the calories per serving. If you cannot pronounce or identify an ingredient, you should not be eating it! There is a trend right now called “Clean Eating” that aims to remove the chemicals from your diet. Your great-grandparents just called it “eating.” Shop the perimeter of the store and buy foods that don’t have a label. In other words, buy “food” and not “food-like products.” When you’re on the inside aisles of the store, skip canned when you can get fresh or frozen, and stick to products with 5 or less ingredients. And always, drink your water plain.
Eating the foods that don’t come with an ingredient label makes for easy shopping.
6. You keep quitting – STOP IT! When you quit (again) you lose your momentum. Remember that I said each small action and good decision leads to another and they compound upon themselves? When you feel like stopping, quitting, or cheating, remember all of the good things you have done for yourself!
If you are tired of starting over, stop quitting.
Those are the basics. Know why you want to be healthy. Make it a lifestyle change. Take baby steps. Move more, and, eat right by removing the chemicals from your diet. And one more thing, you have the God-given power to set new patterns and change your life. So just remove the barriers and excuses and then don’t quit on yourself!