In the past 6 hours I’ve made some pretty great choices regarding my nutrition so you’ll understand why I was naturally surprised when I peeked in the mirror as I changed my clothes this afternoon and found myself looking strikingly similar to they way I looked 6 hours ago!!! I know, hard to believe right?!! This led me to immediately doubt whether making good healthy choices is really worth it.
I felt a sinking feeling as I began to worry that I am destined to be in this period of post holiday chub forever. I thought about how obviously, making good choices is not enough, and how clearly I will have to make more painful changes! You know the kind of changes that will make you hate your life; like giving up all your favorite foods and never having another cocktail. I began to doubt that it was even possible given the clear lack of willpower I have demonstrated over the past three weeks, to ever have a body like my preholiday body again.
I hope you’re reading this thinking that I sound a bit crazy! I also know that some of you are reading this and thinking, “Yeah, I’ve been there.” Maybe you’re sitting at home today feeling compelled to make a healthful New Year’s Resolution. Maybe you have 10 pounds to lose or maybe it’s 60 but regardless of the number it feels downright daunting. You’ve probably made some good choices in the past and if you’re like me you stepped on the scale the next day or the day after that or looked in the mirror and nothing had happened. Maybe the scale even went up!
So what’s a girl or guy to do? Well, one could certainly latch onto the new trend of not setting a New Year’s Resolution. You could settle for the way things are, confident that what you want is clearly beyond reach or involves too much suffering. On the other hand, you could go “all in”, make a resolution to lose x amount of weight in x amount of time and decide to give up everything you love to get there. You could “cleanse” and diet, run endlessly on the treadmill, and stop socializing because it makes it harder to stick to your plan. You could adopt the mindset that you should embrace the pain because you clearly earned it with your past indiscretions. Of course, if neither of these is appealing to you right now read on…
After I noticed the feelings I was experiencing this afternoon as I looked in the mirror something pretty cool happened. This something has been happening to me off and on for the past three years. I was able to see that I was falling into the trap of being caught up in an all or none mindset; into the trap of old unproductive thinking. Four years ago I would not have been able to do this but since then I’ve completed a 12-month Precision Nutrition (PN) Program with a coach. It’s the same program that I currently use to coach nutrition clients at Ocean Blue Fitness. Since completing this program, I’ve been armed with some pretty cool tools that have made me far more aware of these traps as well as able to make great decisions about my nutrition and exercise that actually work.
Today was a good example of how even someone whose been doing this for a while can fall down. Fortunately, I used this pretty cool tool from the PN program called “Notice and Name” to get back up. I noticed how I was feeling and I named those feelings; anxiety, fear, and maybe even a bit helpless and hopeless. As soon as I did this, those emotions lost their power and the ridiculous story that I was telling myself about how change, can and should happen immediately, became clear. I feel fortunate to have gone through a program that not only helped me get the body I wanted without deprivation and misery but also gave me tools that, despite some minor ups and downs (including my current up), have helped me to sustain my healthier lifestyle.
So, if you were hoping for another option with regard to setting that New Year’s Resolution, I suggest that you:
1. Resolve to pursue your goal of better health and nutrition with self-compassion.
2. Resolve to take the road less traveled and not do anything that makes you miserable.
3. Resolve to start living your life today the way you would X pounds lighter and embrace the magic that happens when you do this.
4. Resolve to love yourself before the weight is gone.
5. Resolve to give yourself permission to take the time to do this right.
Most people lose their way on their health and fitness journey, not because they aren’t making some of the right choices, but rather because they do too much too soon and are too ready to believe that misery during the process is inevitable. Like me today in my closet, they expect instant gratification and end up not staying the course. Having an expert in fitness and nutrition as your coach can make all the difference.
The kindest thing I have ever done for myself is to admit that I needed a coach for my nutrition. My coach helped me learn sustainable habits as well as how to stick with those habits even when the scale didn’t budge. She held my virtual hand for a year and acted as a guide to this new way of living. It was life changing. If you are looking for someone to guide you through this process in 2017 I would be honored to hold your hand. It is my deepest desire to help others appreciate the joys of a healthy lifestyle. Here’s to making smarter and kinder health and fitness resolutions in 2017!