Yes, you intend to become healthy and active, especially after the holidays, but why do you find it so hard to start?
Most people are still controlled by their old beliefs when it comes to staying healthy. Our thoughts and feelings manipulate our actions, but we all have the power to restructure negative thoughts into positive thoughts so we can move forward and be the best that we can be.
These are the most common mind-sets of people I have encountered in my profession—thoughts that may keep a person from reaching his or her full potential. Here’s how we can restructure these thoughts to get past wellness roadblocks.
Diet first, exercise later
“Considering my situation now, I might not be able to fully commit to exercise, so maybe I’ll just wait until I’m ready, I’ll just diet first and lose weight before I start exercising.”
After the holidays, it is so tempting to just detox and let go of exercise. Well, yes, you can lose body weight (water, fat and muscle) from dieting only, but are you willing to let go of the opportunity to improve your metabolism and get stronger and fitter while managing your food intake and weight?
A sustainable weight-loss strategy does not restrict a person from getting enough energy to function well during the day, while burning excess body fat.
The fear of committing to an active lifestyle comes from having a perfectionist’s attitude. Most people expect too much from themselves and are afraid of lapses and failures.
You don’t have to work out like a triathlete or a body builder so you can lose weight from exercise. A moderate amount of formal exercise targeting all components of fitness can last from 20 to 60 minutes. Recent studies even show that 10-15 minutes of exercise can already produce significant health benefits.
But what matters when it comes to burning calories is the total amount of movement during the rest of your waking hours. Initially, start with short formal workouts like 15-20 minutes of weightlifting or brisk walking.
In addition, you can stay more active by constant fidgeting and/or walking and standing more instead of sitting all day long, so these extras can be part of your total calorie burn.
“I am an extremely busy person, and right now it is impossible to work out and prepare healthy meals, so if I can’t diet and exercise, then I can never be healthy.”
We all know that we need to work hard to advance in our careers and earn money to survive and provide for our loved ones. But being a survivor, being at our best and being the best provider will always require a healthy mind, heart and body.
If you can give more time to work and other people, then think about prioritizing your health so you can always be at your best, live longer and give more of yourself to your loved ones.
If some “busy” people can give two hours of their time to sedentary activities like social media, television, movies or other hobbies, then at least 20-30 minutes of daily movement like walking or a basic fitness routine is not impossible at all.
You can start your healthy journey now with small lifestyle changes like drinking more water, eating more vegetables, getting more than six hours of sleep or walking at least 30 minutes a day. You don’t have to shed weight right away to consider yourself healthy.
Focus on the process of lifestyle change and on being a better, happier person and health improvements and weight loss will follow.
“I need to find an event or a happening like a beach outing so I can be more motivated to change my lifestyle.”
Finding a reason or a reward to lose weight is an extrinsic example of motivation. It is common to look for an additional motivation so you can get started right away. However, you can’t rely on this type of motivation forever.
If you want to stay fit and healthy the whole year and each year, then find out what’s important to you, like core values, and incorporating them into your goal-setting for a more lasting lifestyle change.
Reflect on why you want a healthy lifestyle. Let us say, for example, you want to get fit and healthy because you need security and more freedom. If these are the main reasons, then always focus on these rather than short-term goals like a beach event or wedding. Another example of a deeper value would be finding inner peace and living life more fully.
So the moment you experience another lazy day contemplating whether or not you should attend your morning workout session, you can motivate yourself by saying, “I need to exercise now so I can feel better, so I will feel stronger and more secure in my life and health. I can have the freedom to do more things, especially when I’m at my best.”
E-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @mitchfelipe.