As we move into the second week of our challenge, I know some of you are starting to struggle with the day in and day out of this routine. Some of you have expressed frustration with your ability to maintain a level of consistency with your workouts and/or your nutrition. Believe me, I can relate. I used to beat myself up all the time for not 'succeeding' at both of these things. It's kind of a vicious cycle that really gets us no where.
Things started to change for me when I just slowed down and decided one thing: I AM DOING THIS FOR ME. I am not on anyone else's schedule. I am doing this for the long haul. For my health, for my fitness, for my life. Once I got real clear that this was about me and only me, things started to shift. The pressure came off, and I didn't have to have my dream body by next Wednesday. I was tired of stopping and starting, beginning and quitting, and each time feeling horrible about myself and my inability to be consistent. I accepted where I was right then, knowing that I was going to get where I wanted to go, just at my own pace. So, I slowed down and I decided that even the slightest change in my habits, no matter how small, was better than beginning and quitting AGAIN. If I could put that small change into effect consistently, then it would be more likely to become a habit. And, such small changes were not as difficult than some of the massive behavior changes I had tried in the past. Massive change (like every New Year's Day when we decide we're gonna become crazy athletes who eat impeccably), is impossible to maintain. Our psyche's seem to reject it outright, and sooner or later, there we are, elbow deep in a pint of Ben & Jerry's again. And feeling bad about ourselves because of it.
So, I'm suggesting that you try to look at this month a little differently. Thirty days can seem like a long time. The workouts I'm putting out there are deliberately short, so anyone can do at least 1 set, and if you are more advanced you can tailor what you need to do. It's an easy way to think about moving your body, just for a few minutes (or more;) each and every day. It starts to reset your mind and how you think about what is possible and what your body can do.
It's the same with nutrition. When we try to completely overhaul our eating habits and restrict ourselves, our minds tend to rebel at some point. I know mine does. So, I choose to make small, manageable changes to my eating. I focus more on HOW I'm feeling after eating X,Y or Z. The better I eat, the better I feel, the more energy I have, and after a while, choosing what to eat becomes a no brainer. Don't get me wrong, I still on occasion eat cookies and cake and you name it!!! But, I go into it knowing how I'm going to feel the next day. And the next day I just get back to eating well. However, it all started with making small, incremental changes to what I was eating. One week, I worked on adding more veggies to each meal. Another week, work on cutting my sugar intake. Another week add in green smoothies. Choose more broccoli instead of a baked potato. Those kinds of changes.
When I took myself off a clock, and put myself on a lifetime view, I actually started to see progress, and maintainable progress at that. Things have been moving in the right direction ever since. No matter how slow, I'm still moving in the direction of better health and fitness. And let me tell you, the results are completely addicting!! :D I know you guys can do this. One step at a time. One day at a time.