Thursday, January 10, 2013
I wanted to post a blog entry discussing the "all or nothing" attitude I've encountered on Spark reading blog entries, from newbies and regulars alike. Why am I taking the time to discuss this? Because I think its important to understand the difference between dedication and setting yourself up for failure.
I know with New Year's Resolutions in full swing people have lots of motivation to get healthy. Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing! However, jumping head first into a healthy lifestyle and barreling forward can lead to failure in the end.
I am a HUGE fan of everything in moderation. It's part of learning to lead a long-term healthy lifestyle without feeling deprived. While giving up fast food, soda, sweets, carbs, etc cold turkey sounds like the right thing to do, it can actually be detrimental to you in the long run. Denying yourself things that you like, but aren't necessarily good for you, can lead to binging! And I don't have to tell you how bad that is. Learning portion control is a valuable skill in reaching your goal weight and eating what you want, without feeling deprived. Get in the habit of checking serving sizes since foods, especially snack type foods often have several servings in a package. You can still enjoy your favorite foods and still lose weight if you control your portions and count calories.
Even though eating habits contribute to 70% of weight loss, exercise is just as important. It can increase energy, help you sleep better, and make you feel better in general. Running head first into exercise can lead to injury and/or burnout. If you haven't exercised in quite some time, always consult your doctor first before starting a new regimine. Remember to start off slow and build up. I know that 10 minutes of cardio doesn't sound like a lot, but every little bit counts and if you've been inactive for quite some time 10 minutes could feel like 30 minutes. It's normal to feel outside your comfort zone when you first start, but if you experience severe pain STOP. Don't take the expression "no pain, no gain" literally. Don't forget to incorporate strength training into your routine. This is something that women tend to avoid for fear of bulking up, but that's virtually impossible without the use of steroids. Don't forget to stretch, warm up, and cool down...every time. This will help avoid injury!
Today, Not Tomorrow
Should you "fall off the wagon," don't use that as an excuse to take a day off under the guise you'll start over tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow is a new day, but why wait till tomorrow to get back on track? A slip up at lunch does not have to set the tone for the rest of your day. You are the master of your own journey. Tell yourself you're only human and try again. NO negative self talk, it only leads to over-eating and a negative mental state which can hinder weight loss. We are all human, we all stumble, we just need to remember to be kind to ourselves. We wouldn't say these negative things to a friend, so why should we be allowed to say them to ourselves?
If you're just starting your journey, I hope this helps you stick with your plan and reach your goals. If you've been on your journey for a while, view this as a friendly reminder. Best of luck to each and every one of you as we all travel the path to a healthy lifestyle.