When we’re talking about making a lifestyle change… especially when it comes to health and fitness, the thought of all the CHANGE we need to go through in order to reach our goals can be very STRESSFUL… especially at the beginning.
If you’ve spent a lifetime creating bad habits, don’t you think it’s a bit crazy to expect that you’re going to suddenly be a clean eating pro and workout six days a week and LOVE it?
I chuckle at the thought. LOL
Take me for instance… when I first started my health and fitness journey, I…
- was battling an eating disorder
- loved my diet soda and diet drinks
- would over-indulge at every party or opportunity to go on an eating binge
- would MAJORLY comfort eat EVERY afternoon when the kiddos went down for a nap
- snack on salty or sugary snacks at night after the kiddos bedtime
In other words… I was a pretty good mess.
The thought of actually changing everything… giving up the comfort foods (which REALLY helped reduce my stress) having my lungs nearly explode in a workout that I really didn’t want to do…. overwhelmed me a great bit. In fact, I’m SURE I threw a some tantrums over it.
When I joined my first accountability group, it was HARD! I did okay for the first couple of weeks, but after that, it was more like a 4 days on the wagon, 1 day off cycle… sometimes more…
But HERE’S where the PROGRESS… NOT PERFECTION comes in…
I started in November, and by the next April, I really began to make better choices at gatherings and get togethers. I no longer ate until I was so stuffed I would pop. I wasn’t snacking on junk during nap time, and my wins outnumbered my losses :)
And the best part? I FINALLY conquered my eating disorder. Something I battled for years… I learned how to really take care of myself. How to live a healthy lifestyle… how to be fit and healthy… the HEALTHY way :)
Even though I was eating cleaner by April… it wasn’t until October of the following year that I had my last diet soda.
I’ll never forget that day… A friend went on a HUGE rant in our accountability group when I drank that diet soda… posted all the facts about what it does to our bodies… it was enough to give me that final push that I needed to give it up for good.
So here’s my point…
If you really want a true lifestyle change, don’t put these HUGE expectations on yourself that it’s going to happen overnight. You’re just going to stress yourself out!
Take BABY STEPS.
Yes. Create some realistic goals that include some baby steps. So… if you’re drinking 5 diet sodas a day… maybe giving it up all together at the beginning would be too much.
Start with switching to 2 a day. Then one a day. Then one every other day. One every week. One on special occasions… then NONE. Find your healthy alternative, like seltzer & lime with sweetener (in this recipe, I suggest agave… which I would now switch to coconut palm sugar).
Accept the fact that you’re going to fall.
It’s okay! Just get right back up when you do, and it won’t snowball into disaster. Besides that… you’ll be proud of yourself as you start to see those results. ;)
When you fall down, GET BACK UP. THAT, mama, is what sets YOU apart from everyone else out there who loses weight and then gains it right back.
Track your results.
Take pictures and measurements EVERY 30 days… Just be careful NOT to become addicted to your scale. We don’t want the scale deciding how we’re going to talk to ourselves that day…
By tracking your results (measurements AND pics), it’s a lot easier to see your progress. We call those first pics our GOOD-BYE pics. When you compare your newer progress pics to your good-bye pic, it’s a HUGE incentive to keep on keeping’ on :)
CELEBRATE every VICTORY!
YES! Count those wins! Every single time you go out and you make a BETTER decision than you would have BEFORE you decided to change… Girl… THAT’s a win! YES!!!
EVEN if that means you only had ONE donut when you normally eat FIVE. YES! Eating that donut is a WIN!! :)
ALWAYS celebrate those little changes. By looking for the positive in your day, even if the scale isn’t moving as fast as you want it to move, those small changes will add up, and before you know it… you’ve got the COMPOUND EFFECT.
THIS is where you see how PROGRESS makes a HUGE difference. Even if that progress happens over a year, with a ton of different baby steps… if you are continuing to push forward and CELEBRATE your wins… letting go of the failures… then you WILL see change.
No matter what… NEVER GIVE UP.
Yes…. those results will come faster for some than others. But by making those baby step changes and not getting caught up in perfection… and celebrating your wins… you’re not in that “FAILURE MODE” where you hit the… “I just can’t do this.” point.
To TRULY FAIL means that you QUIT. And you’re not a quitter, mama. Just keep taking those baby steps, focusing on progress, not perfection and celebrating your wins… and you’ll do just fine.
What are some baby steps you can take to make some progress on your journey? Talk to me!