You’ve decided that you are going to take action on improving your health. You’ve done the 5 Whys Exercise and you are clear about why you want to do this. Great!
You created a few lists that I suggested in the last post, What do you need to do to transform your Health and Fitness? You now know your most important projects and tasks as well as the first three things you can work on to make immediate health improvements.
The next question to ask is, How? How will you achieve your health and fitness goals?
The ‘How’ connects with the “What”. While you worked on the list of “Whats”, you may have also started to get clarity on some of “Hows”. Now it’s time to build your action plan, your “How.”
Everyone has a fitness horror story.
I’ve worked with clients who told me fitness horror stories. They’ve tried juice fasts and popular diets. Some even did a workout program that hurt them. They worked with a trainer who pushed too hard and didn’t consider their unique needs. One trainer told his client she needed to eat the way he ate. But the trainer was a competitive bodybuilder! That’s sloppy and lazy dietary advice that has nothing to do with the individual client.
You, as an individual, need individual programming, and individual tailoring. The foundations of health and fitness are not that difficult. What’s difficult is doing the work, slowly, consistently, and persistently over the long-term. This is why I help clients over a 12-month period in my EatMoveBe Well 365 Coaching Program.
Sometimes you need to learn something new, another piece of the health puzzle, and practice it. Other times, you know what to do, but you’re just not doing it. That’s where I come in. I help people get unstuck and get out of their own way — PROBLEM solved! Things move more efficiently after that and with much less hassle.
Why healthy habits?
Let’s say you’re working on a habit for the next two weeks. It’s simple: you practice eating five to six servings of vegetables every day. Let’s pretend that you’re used to eating only two or three servings of vegetables per day. (What? French fries are not a vegetable?) Why is this a good practice and why does it apply to most people?
Most people are looking to lose weight and are not eating enough vegetables. In the United States alone most people eat potatoes in the form of French fries. After that it’s potato chips. As a mind and body transformation coach that’s a sad statistic. Not only are you eating a lot of unhealthy chemicals, you’re eating unhealthy, over-processed, and too many saturated fats. We are a population that consumes a lot of unnecessary calories of low nutritional value, that lead to increased body fat. Vegetables, if any, are a secondary thought for most meals and the serving size is negligible.
When you practice eating five or six servings of vegetables per day, you get many benefits.
- When you eat more vegetables (cooked in a healthy way) you’re getting excellent nutritional value (various vitamins and minerals).
- You feel more full on fewer calories consumed. Vegetables are crunchy and take time to break down with chewing. They contain a lot of fibre and when they enter the stomach the fibre expands by absorbing water. Fibre helps to move food through your digestive tract, it cleans out your system, and keeps you regular.
- Vegetables are extremely low in calories. When you eat more vegetables at a meal, you might consume fewer total calories. The time it takes to chew vegetables helps slows the production of saliva. As fibre expands in the stomach, hormones signal fullness. The result is feeling more full from eating more vegetables, but also fewer calories.
This the a major tenant of losing weight.
You’ve got to eat fewer calories if you want to lose weight.
This doesn’t mean you need to starve yourself and I’m not suggesting you need to go on a restrictive diet. Instead, in the EatMoveBe Well 365 program I coach healthy, sustainable habits. I show you one habit at a time to practice for two weeks that improve your nutrition and fitness over 12-months. These small, easy habits layer upon the next. Each previous habit reinforces the next new habit.
Let’s say you’re practicing eating your 5 or 6 servings of vegetables per day. You’ve been practicing a previous habit of committing to four exercise sessions or activity per week. The exercise helps with weight loss. Eating more vegetables helps with weight loss and improves your nutrition. After two weeks you add a new habit on top of your exercise and 5–6 servings of vegetables habits.
The Tortoise and the Hare approach.
One habit at a time, practiced for two weeks at a time. During that two-week block you learn a bit about the habit you’re practicing. It’s not a lot of work. This is the slow and steady approach.
This is the difference between “The Tortoise and the Hare.” The rabbit runs all over the place. He gets distracted by bright shiny objects and actually doesn’t complete the race. The tortoise just keeps on her very slow and steady pace. No distractions. With her eye on the prize up ahead, she does what needs to be done. She puts one foot in front of the other. Small steps, but she complete the course!
Here’s something to think about…
How long did it take you to get to this point in your life? This place where you’re struggling with your fitness? Where you’re not happy with your body weight?
Just as it takes time to lose your health, it also takes time to improve and transform it. My way is manageable and your results will last lifelong. That’s what transformation is.
You learn a new habit and you practice it. I’m here to support you along the way. If you learn something new but don’t practice it, you don’t benefit. I coach you to practice your new habit, one new habit every two weeks. After a while your habits become unconscious activities that support your health and well-being for the long-term. This is when you lose that extra weight and keep it off for the long-term. This is when you get the body you’ve always wanted from exercising consistently, week after week.
After 365 days you will have created 26 new healthy habits! Imagine the health transformation! What would that look like to you? What’s the vision you have for yourself, your health, your fitness… for you life? That’s coming up in the next post.
PS. Get my best strategies to make healthier eating choices, fit fitness into your life, and transform your well-being.
Originally published at eatmovebe.com on October 31, 2017.