It’s 10pm. You had a long day at work, the children are asleep and it’s finally your time to yourself. All you want to do is quietly enjoy that pint of ice cream you’ve been stashing in the freezer but DARN, you remember you’re on a diet... *cue violin music* After 40 seconds of debating with yourself, you give in to the excuse that sounds best and you’re in Rocky Road heaven. We’ve all done it! As a holistic nutritionist, I hear loads of stories from my clients about how hard it is to stay disciplined when committing to a new lifestyle.
Here's What I Have To Say About This:
1. You Must Get Real With Yourself before you begin ANY new plan whether it’s diet, exercise, or a new wardrobe. Just like I tell those who are looking for love; it starts with the love you have for yourself first. If there is no self-love; the love you experience with others will be lacking and your relationships will suffer. The same goes for self-care in the form of nutrition. You must fall in love with yourself so that you care about this new plan and what it can do for you. The best type of motivation is the motivation that comes from within. Know that if you’re on any sort of weight loss program, you may lose weight, but you will never look like the woman in the magazine or Instagram page that got you doing this in the first place. You can only look like the best version of YOU and that is what you should always aim for.
2. Baby Steps Are The Key To Consistency. Even Buddha said that a jug gets filled drop by drop. It is not in your best interest to commit to being a raw vegan overnight if you eat a standard American diet of fast and/or cooked food with animal products included. Take it slow. Start by omitting the foods that you know are the least beneficial to your body i.e. sugary drinks, fried foods, and heavily processed, microwaveable junk. Maybe the first week, you start with only the sugary drinks! Move at your own pace. The same goes for exercise. Committing to daily 20 minute walks will do much more for your health than attempting to run a mile your first week in the gym.
3. Don’t Depend On Your Mind to keep you accountable and up to date on your progress. Use helpful tracking tools like a food journal, photographs and measurements. Important note: The scale is not a good progress tracker at all! You could look amazing but the scale stays the same because you’ve lost fat but also gained muscle (which weighs more than fat). Don’t depend on that number to tell you how you’re doing. Photographs and measurements are great for anyone looking to change their body composition in any way. Write down your intentions with this new lifestyle, and track how you eat, move and feel every day. It’s as simple as jotting down a few sentences before you lay down to sleep and keeping it handy throughout your program will keep you motivated and inspired to keep going. Especially when you start seeing results! Which brings me to my next tip....
4. Patience! It is KEY, right next to consistency. I know you’ve heard this before but there’s a reason why every trainer and coach harps on it; they know it firsthand. Whoever you’re using for your “health goals” motivation did not get there overnight, nor did they get there in 3 weeks. They worked for months and months and years to get where they are. Do not let where you are discourage you from continuing. Remember Buddha said; every day is another drop towards getting a full jug.
5. I am a lover of all things health and even I get bored with the same routines; so I make it a priority to Switch Things Up Quite Often. If I’m tired of going to the gym every week, I’ll engage in my favorite at home Youtube workouts for awhile. Once I get bored with those, I take up a yoga class or Zumba class (my favorite). I could even try boxing, or join a running club! There are so many ways to break a sweat. The same goes with food. I love the idea of meal prepping, especially with my busy lifestyle, but I know myself and if it’s the fourth night of rice and broccoli, I will leave it in the fridge and order takeout. If you’re reading this right now, it means you have access to the internet which gives you access to THOUSANDS, of free recipes that generous chefs, foodies and even nutritionists have provided to you for FREE. Use that privilege to keep things diverse!
6. FORGIVE YOURSELF. This is 100% the most important tip I have to offer you. When you do slip up and binge on that pint of rocky road at 10pm while the children are asleep; smile, laugh, giggle, and then say “tomorrow will be better.” There is absolutely no use in talking yourself down about the something that already happened. Can you reverse time and un-eat the ice cream? No. Stay present. The only time is now. Self-forgiveness is the only way to keep your self-love tank full while trying something new. You are enough and you are worthy of unconditional love from others and most importantly, yourself.