Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I had a friend who recently emailed me that he was reading my emails about losing weight and getting fit each day and it was inspiring him to learn of my progress but depressing him that he was unable to get his program started and start making progress as well. He said that each day he would read my emails and vow to start getting fit that day but each night after work he'd stop and get a pizza or a burger and say "I'm going to start on that first thing tomorrow".
Then he would get home and begin watching tv and start getting depressed about yet another day had gone by and he was 387 pounds and still hadn't started. And in fact was getting fatter each day. Then the next day he'd get my email and think the same thinga and repeat the process. He said this had been going on for a couple of months and he wanted my advice on how to break out of the cycle.
So here is my email back to him:
1. Tell yourself if you want pizza then you can have it, BUT you have to make it yourself. This will require time and more effort but allow yourself the guilty pleasure if you do have to have it. The goal is to change some things at a small pace. If you want a cheeseburger, stop at the store, buy the ingredients and cook it. When you start cooking for yourself you will be able to eat MUCH healthier and still enjoy some of the foods which aren't as healthy for you (which maybe later on you'll eat more sparingly).
And although this may not sound like that big of a deal it can be huge. A burger from a fast food place can have 800 calories and 75 grams of fat whereas one you fix at home may have 250 calories and 20 grams of fat. HUGE difference. So try to promise yourself that you can still eat less than healthy for now so long as you cook it yourself. This is a big start toward eating healthier.
2. Instead of telling yourself you'll work out tomorrow, thinking in your mind you're going to start biking for 30 minutes or whatever tomorrow..just decide to do it today but in no big way. So for example when you get home you go out and take a 15 minute leisurely walk. The trick is to just get into the habit of doing something. It doesn't matter if you walk fast or not. The biggest hurdle is to not think of working out as doing this big, planned event. Just say, ok this week I will walk outside 3 times for 15 minutes. And when you've done it you will feel like you accomplished something. In other words, don't worry about the workout, worry about simply doing the habit of something physically healthy. And after you've done 3 walks @ 15 minutes each for a week or two maybe up it to 20 minutes. Or change it to 4 walks @ 15 minutes each. Just commit to a little more each week.
The bottom line for this exercise is twofold, to quit thinking about doing big things and just do something. Then make that something a habit. The end result of that will be you will lose the depression. You will quit dwelling on your failure and you will start getting a sense of accomplishment.
And lastly, and this may sound cliched, think about your life as being today. We don't know if tomorrow will exist for any of us. This is your life today, start living or get to dying. Find something to motivate you to just do these above two simple steps and you will begin to feel better about yourself and start seeing some progress.