The holidays and festivities are over. The decorations have been put away. The new year is in full swing. You might be wondering, “The excitement is over and reality has set in. How am I going to do this?!”
Part of the secret to success is to change your perception. If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always got. Realize that you have the rest of your life to do this. You didn’t get here overnight. It doesn’t have to, and generally can’t, be done overnight.
Count Burpees, Not Sheep
The importance of restful sleep can’t be emphasized enough. If you wake up exhausted, you drink too much caffeine and/or sugar, which eventually makes you crash … you reach for more (and don’t eat properly) … then you rebound and are up all night. The next day, you’re too tired and frustrated to work out … and the cycle continues.
Research has shown that each night, you should hit 5 consecutive REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycles, which occur approximately every 90 minutes. Develop and commit to a sleep hygiene routine, and guard it like a jealous lover!
Food is Fuel, Not a Reward
When you truly realize this, your relationship with food will change. You’re not at the mercy of your thoughts and emotions. When you experience negative thoughts, train yourself to quickly pivot to positive ones. The only time food is a “reward” is pre-/intra-/post-workout – because you need it!
Slow and Steady Wins This Race
One of the biggest mistakes is to go from the proverbial 0-100 mph in 60 seconds – and maintain that blistering pace, especially when committing to a new lifestyle.
You join a gym or buy a DVD, do it every day for a few weeks, then come screeching to a halt. You bit off more than you could “chew.” Instead, try committing to working out one hour each week – without fail. Continue until you have comfortably incorporated that one hour into your weekly routine. Add an ARD (Active Recovery Day) – an activity that doesn’t exert enough energy to interfere with your previous workout’s recovery. A great example is walking. Park your car farther away than usual and walk to your destination. Instead of taking the elevator, walk some (or all) of the flights. Walk your dog, if you have one.
The same applies to nutrition. Try to make one easy change. For example, if you’re drinking a lot of your calories, start by diluting them with water, or mixing half sweetened and unsweetened. The less sugar you consume, the less you’ll crave. Then, make another change. Consistency is key!
Be Your Own Hero
We all have heroes and role models. Close your eyes and imagine yours. What is their nutrition and exercise program like? How do they take care of themselves? How do they live their lives? Every day is a new chance to be who you want to be!