Supporting Positive Change

How many times have we all attempted a major life change only to slip back, consciously or not, into our old behaviors and patterns? Lose weight, quit smoking, start exercising, whatever is is. When failure is on the horizon people tend to fall into a pattern of self sabotage, ultimately losing the goal and spiraling into a state of learned helplessness.

Truth is, it’s just easier to keep on moving along with a business as usual attitude than to be conscious of ourselves and our actions. Auto pilot is easy. But where are you headed?

It’s tough making that first step toward change and even tougher to keep going. There are so many things bombarding us sometime we just don’t know if we are headed in the right direction. So here are a few thoughts I’d like to share. Hopefully they can help get or keep you going.

COMMITMENT:

Goes without saying. One thing you can do is to right it down for yourself and keep it where you can see it. At your desk, taped to your dashboard, your fridge, where ever you will see it daily. Share it with others and see if someone will hold you accountable. This way excuses are a little more difficult to make. If you’ve you have had trouble in the past or you don’t have someone willing to not let excuses fly, this is where a personal trainer comes in handy, otherwise someone who you trust will do just fine.

SUPPORT:

You need support! Your spouse, children, friends, etc. This is one of the reasons programs like Weight Watchers are so successful for some people. You are surrounded with and motivated by people just like you. By sharing your fears, strategies and success with people, you raise your chances of succeeding. So if you choose to join a gym, see if your spouse or friend will join with you. Same goes for running, yoga, anything! Many times, trainers will have special pricing for groups. Paramount to your success is having support for your nutritional changes as well. This element is often overlooked and probably the most important. Your family will have to be on board. Your just not going to win if your running into problems with junk food junkies hanging around! Just remember: misery loves company.

In addition there are some really great apps and websites out there that help you connect with others in anything from exercise to what meals you are eating and calorie counting. I just love the apps!

TRIGGERS:

Recognize your triggers! For some it may be stress at the office, for others perhaps an argument with a spouse, for others it may be that best friend who loves to go out for a high calorie appetizer and drinks. For me its Wednesday night programing on ABC, I love it and I want to drown in a bowl ice cream and watch all 2 hours. So there’s my trigger, comedy! What I do and what I suggest is finding substitutions. Mine is low fat chocolate pudding (I’ll have the recipe up soon, if not already!). There are plenty of substitutions out there, just have them around for when the mood strikes.

REMINDERS AND CUES:

Notes, alarms, and visual reminders such as pictures or just keeping your gym bag out where you can see it are all ways of reminding yourself to do what it is you’ve made the commitment to do. This is a great place for that support system of yours to shine.

REWARDS:

Getting yourself motivated to get fit is hard, make it more enjoyable by rewarding yourself when you reach a milestone. Maybe its a spa activity, a trip to an amusement park, whatever it is as long as its not a double bacon cheeseburger, extra large fries and a milkshake. BUT..with that said….

INDULGE A LITTLE!!:

As they say, you only live once. Let’s try to do it the best we can but what is life without birthday cake, buttery mashed potatoes or hashbrowns. One of my biggest pet peeves is reading articles around the holidays telling people how to avoid the high calorie, high fat food and make due with some sad and tasteless replacement. I don’t go for that and I just don’t think anyone should. Life is for living and as long as your not making a habit of eating this way go ahead and treat yourself. Big deal! Make your own rules as to how the indulging goes down but if you don’t do it every once in a while you just won’t be happy. Guess what. Every once in a while I DO drown in a bowl of ice cream on Wednesday night and I love every minute!

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