What is your inspiration for keeping moving, or aligning your daily meal choices with food that nourishes and fuels your body? How do you stay motivated? Some would say, “I don’t.” Jumping the hurdle of STARTING a healthier lifestyle is often the most daunting hurdle of all.
Life gets us stuck in a routine, and unfortunately sometimes it is one that will drive us to our graves a few years early – whether it be stress, not eating right, not getting enough sleep, or denying yourself at least a good 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity cardio. It’s HARD to break out of routine! We humans love security and sameness, and by the laws of nature we often take the easiest route to success. However a lot of the “quick and easy” routines we fall into are actually setbacks to our true potential.
If you are one who jumps on and off the fitness and healthy food wagon, let’s take a closer look at why. How many times have you said “I’m going to start eating healthier” or “I need to start exercising more”? I’m not asking you to feel guilty about not continuing these habits once you’ve started them, but to be aware that many of us feel that we need to start over from square one each time we don’t live up to our own expectations. But why should you have to start over? Your progress doesn’t look like a straight line mixed with a few plateaus. It goes this way and that, backwards and forwards, up and down, loops around a few times. Then eventually with some self-awareness, support and guidance, you will recognize you’re better off than when you started.
My advice? LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS. A lot. It is an honorable thing to set specific time-oriented goals, but let’s be real that more often than not, we do not get there on time. Take the time you expect to achieve a specific goal, and multiply it by two or three. Life is messy, and it gets in the way of your best efforts to be healthy. The fact of the matter is, even once you DO attain the goals that make your body and mind healthier, the journey does not end there. You will still be working to maintain your health and physique. Expect that your fitness, nutrition, and overall wellness will be a continuous journey to the end of your days on Earth. Harmony and balance is what I encourage my clients to look for – not so much the success. On the road to a healthier lifestyle, of course we will hit (and speed right by) your goals. Ultimately, my wish for you is total body functionality into your 90’s, a social and vibrant life that allows you do thrive in whatever activity or setting you find yourself in, and a mind that has been so well trained in nourishing its body 7 days a week that it will accept birthday cake with GRATITUDE instead of GUILT.
The most awesome thing for me to encounter, and the thing that makes me love my work, is people that WANT to change their health for the better. I’m pleased to give them the tools and education, and then if I am able to follow them for a period of time, I light the fire under their glutes. If I may take a minute to praise my own clients… I have been fortunate enough to be a witness to radical changes in thought and action surrounding healthy eating and fitness.
“I don’t wanna be fit!” says a favourite client of mine during “Superman burpees”, with a smile. “--Yes, yes you do. Let’s do the last 10 together!”