Fall Back into Fitness

Fall is here. For many of you, it’s ‘back to school’ for your children, or at the very least, it’s back into a more regular routine. While summer is a great time to kick back, many of you are finding that the back to school shopping isn’t just for the kids. Your jeans must have shrunk in the dryer because they just don’t fit any more. What can you do?

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It’s time to get back into some healthy habits.

John Dryden famously said, “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”

Confucius said, “Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”

And Aristotle noticed that, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

So getting back into the skinny jeans is more about creating healthy habits than anything else and the two habits that define your physique more than anything are your eating and exercise habits. In fact, it’s most likely that everyone you know who has an enviable physique has dialed in these two habits. Good genetics only go so far. Sooner than later, bad habits, gravity and time will make the best of bodies look old and soft.

If you aren’t happy with your body, then simply adjust your eating and exercise habits. It sounds pretty easy when you put it this way, but we all know it’s not easy. If it were, everyone would have a rock star body.

So let’s figure the best way to go about changing our habits for the better. What’s the most successful way to do this?

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One helpful method is to write down a habit that you want to change, WHY you want to change the habit, the possible obstacles and a strategy to overcome the obstacle. This sounds like a long process, but it only takes a few minutes. Why not try it if it increases the likelihood of success?

Here’s an example:

  • My habit: I want to workout four times a week.
  • My reason WHY: I want to fit into my jeans to look and feel great by Thanksgiving when I’ll be seeing all my relatives.
  • My obstacles: I know I’ll run out of time in my day. I won’t feel any energy and I don’t really have an exercise plan.
  • My plan to overcome: I can overcome these obstacles by working out first thing in the morning, before work. I’ll get to bed an hour earlier by not watching TV. I’ll go online and grab a ‘done for you’ plan like ‘Female Fat Loss Over 40’ so I can workout at home without any equipment.

Another important step to commit fully to your habit is to announce it to those that will hold you accountable. Tell your spouse or a loved one that can offer their support. Go public by posting it on Facebook and you’ll be amazed at how much support your friends will offer.

You’re a smart person, you’re ten times more likely to achieve your goal when it’s front and center in your mind. Keep a journal or even just a check mark on the calendar every time you successfully implement your new habit. If you have a set back, don’t “wait until Monday” to get back to it. You know that Monday never comes. Getting back on the wagon will minimize the damage. Figure out what went wrong, fix it and make a plan so it doesn’t happen again in the future.

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Probably the MOST important piece of advice I can offer is to change ONE habit at a time. You can’t cut out sugar and wine, start exercising, and vow to have an immaculate house all at once. Choose the ONE habit that you will benefit MOST from and make a plan to change that first. Then, after about 21 days of successful implementation, choose a second habit to start to change. Set yourself up for success. Although you may want to have a total lifestyle overhaul, it’s unnatural to try to change too much too soon and you’ll fall back into your old ways.

I’m talking small habits to change. Set small goals and reward yourself along the way with each success. Don’t wait until you’ve ‘lost 30 lbs’ (or whatever your biggest goal is). Give yourself a pat on the back along the way.

Some things nutritional habits to consider may be as simple as:

  • · Not eating after 9 pm each night.
  • · Bringing your lunch to work instead of eating fast food.
  • · Only eating fruits and veggies as your afternoon snack.
  • · Cutting out or reducing coffee or what you add to it.
  • · Drinking more water.
  • · Adding a bit of protein with every meal and snack.
  • · Avoiding processed foods and excess sugar.

These are all simple habits to change ONE AT A TIME. Put them all together and it gets tough.

How about other habits such as:

  • · Inking in your workout a minimum four times a week. Make it non-negotiable.
  • · Opting for active choices like going for a walk with a friend instead of a coffee date.
  • · Choosing light activity, like going for a walk in the evenings over watching hours of TV.
  • · Getting up a little earlier in the morning to exercise if you know that your evenings get overbooked.

These small changes can truly be a game changer. It’s in your hands but I’m here to help.

Jump start your fitness here.

Changing unhealthy habits to healthy habits, one step at a time is an investment with a big pay off.