We all undergo different stages of lifestyle management, and our response and survival rate is affected by our maturity, priorities, diet and exercise strategies, mental and emotional state, and environmental and social factors. Thus, every journey towards a healthier lifestyle goes through different stages.
You are already aware of the benefits of embracing a healthy lifestyle, either by reading or hearing about it.
Motivation: Not enough to act, but you can be encouraged by a friend, family, or doctor.
Feelings: You may still be comfortable with your health and appearance, and you feel no need to change yet, so you still believe there’s nothing wrong with drinking more bottles of beer or remaining sedentary.
Survival: You can get past this stage once you’ve decided to do something and go out of your way to eat better and/or exercise.
You openly communicate with your doctor, fitness coach, or loved ones regarding your plan to improve your health. You may even incorporate physical activity in your calendar, buy wellness books, or enroll in a gym.
Motivation: It’s higher and more solid because you’ve made a decision.
Feelings: You are excited, but you do not set high expectations for yourself to avoid getting discouraged too easily.
Survival: You can jump to the next action stage once you’ve realized that there are no hindrances to your healthy lifestyle journey.
You are trying the most suitable exercise and eating program for you. Fitness coaches and lifestyle instruments like heart rate monitors and lifestyle journals provide feedback on your progress.
Motivation: You can prove to yourself that you can do what others are doing, you can control your eating, you can you can run faster, and you can lose weight. You can exercise for more than an hour, and love the taste of low-fat and low-sodium food because you are loving everything about your new lifestyle.
Feelings: You can be enthusiastic, but can also be confused by different strategies that can fail due to slow results.
Survival: You can progress to the next stage once you’ve learned lifestyle management and gotten significant lifestyle, health, and weight and fitness results.
4. Results or success story
You have already achieved tremendous weight loss and/or lifestyle results, and the people around you are noticing your transformation. You can effectively inspire people.
Motivation: It reaches its peak, because you can now influence others and have proven to yourself that you can do it.
Feelings: You feel happy, but are somehow tired because of your long journey. You feel the need to reward yourself with something like a vacation, a makeover, or an exercise break.
Survival: You tend to leave this stage once you feel the need to rest, or feel
confident that you can maintain your new lifestyle.
5. “Give me a break!”
You are now confident that you can transform, so to avoid burnout, you give yourself some time to rest, delay your formal exercise, and eat some of the favorite foods you’ve missed. But this stage can make you susceptible to weight gain, and if you do not manage this well, you might regress to the earlier stages.
Motivation: You may intentionally slow down, but your commitment to a healthy lifestyle still remains.
Feelings: You feel relaxed and contented, so you can think well and may renew your goals and focus on unmanaged areas of your life, like lost time with your friends.
Survival: You can move on to the next stage after effectively renewing your lifestyle goals and getting the break you needed.
6. Fresh start
This is a more mature stage in lifestyle management, when you are willing to live life in moderation. Now you are more careful in choosing the most sustainable eating plan for you, and more realistic about the exercise you can do.
Motivation: It’s high again, but you are more intrinsically motivated now because you are no longer affected by events and other people.
Feelings: You sense the need to be more realistic to avoid stress and burnout. You accept reality, and even tell yourself that being too lean and eating too healthy might not be sustainable.
Survival: You move on to the next stage if your goal now is moderation, and not perfection.
7. Automatic or maintenance
You are still making an effort to improve your lifestyle by always striving for moderation and balance, but it has become more automatic now than ever. Now, the physical and lifestyle results are bonuses.
Motivation: Your motivation has reached maturity, because you always find ways to renew it.
Feelings: You feel more capable now to share your journey, and think of ways to preach wellness to others. This is now more about sharing the “new you” and helping others make their own success stories.
Survival: You still make an effort day by day to survive the journey as you explore other areas of wellness like the emotional, mental, and spiritual.