You want to take the first steps towards a healthier, happier you? You know what it is you need to be doing – eat more of what’s good for you and less of what isn’t, and get moving. It all sounds so simple, yet we all know how hard it can be! Back up a second. Even though changing to a healthier life might sound like a tough overhaul, you’ve already done one of the most important things you need to do, in order to succeed.
You’ve said to yourself – that you want to change.
Simply by making a key decision – that you want to do this – and you want it to work – you’ve already made one of the hardest steps forward. Whether you’ve got a goal on the calendar to get into shape by, or you just want to enjoy a more active and happy life with your friends and family, it all starts with how you think about it, and having the right mindset to approach it. Skip past all the myths, rumours and horror stories; forget about what might have worked for someone else or the latest celeb fad diets in the magazines. The first place you’re going to work on to get to a healthier life is not in any gym, fitness centre or health food shop – it’s right here, right now – with you.
If your mind set changes you can achieve anything.
What’s your motivation?
Before you set out on your journey to healthy living – first take a look at why you want to do it. Because there’s something there, that made you stop in your tracks and decide to change the channel. What’s motivating you to change your life? It could a special event that’s coming up on the horizon – a wedding, a prom or a special party – where you really want to look your best. Or maybe you’ve realised that not being at your healthiest could mean you are missing out on the fun with the people you love. Whatever it is – focus on that. Make sure you’re doing it for you – and not to please someone else. And remember this motivation further down the line – when things get tough, and when things get better – you’ll be so chuffed that you made that dream a reality.
Contrary to what TV adverts and celeb diets might promise – weight loss is not something that will happen overnight. Your body didn’t get to where it is today in 24 hours, so naturally, it will take some time to get it into the shape you want, too. But that’s ok. Just because you won’t see the pounds melt away in days, doesn’t mean that it’s not possible, or that you can’t do it. Weight loss does take patience, dedication and time – but it’s also about being kind to yourself and approaching each day positively. Changing to a healthier life is not about finding a short-term fix, but making a long term change that you can stick to for years, not just for a few months. So don’t be too hard on yourself in the hope that you’ll see bigger changes – take it slow, and relish in the rewards. You might want to take a look at my journey – My Weight Loss Diary While on The Paleo Diet
Breaking the myths
The weight loss industry is rife with myths and rumours. Don’t eat this – eat that; don’t eat before 10am, don’t eat after 10pm, do this exercise and get instant abs… You get the picture. You know you need to get active and move around more but with all that information being thrown at you, how do you know where to start? The good news is, losing weight is really not that difficult. Sure, it takes time, but you certainly don’t a celeb personal trainer or a pricey gym membership to do it. In fact, you might not believe it, but you could be getting fit right in the comfort and privacy of your own home! Have a look at our Crossfit at Home: The Ultimate Home Gym Blueprint for a start!
The Gym Myth
Sounds too good to believe? Worried you won’t be able to stick to a fitness plan if you’re not sweating it out with a dozen other people? Here are some reasons why breaking the gym myth can actually help you succeed in changing your life for good: No costly membership: Gym fees can be pretty pricy, and the majority of people who sign up don’t go half as often as they planned! Cutting out on the monthly direct debit can help you save towards spending more on the things you enjoy in life instead – how about that dream holiday to reward you when you meet your target? No awkward encounters: gyms can be pretty nerve-wracking places for most of us, and being surrounded by heavy-hitting pros who make running miles on the treadmill look like a total breeze can be daunting to a beginner. That doesn’t help your motivation either –working out in an environment where you do feel comfortable and happy (and you don’t have to worry about what someone else might think of you) means you can focus on getting active. Focus on what you want to improve on: while gyms will often have racks of high tech equipment, you can’t always get to work on the things you wanted to do. Sometimes they may not have what you need, or if they do – peak times can see you waiting in huge queues, just to have a chance to use it! At home, you can build – and change – your very own tailor made programme, and take things at a pace that suits you, without any pressure. Those are just a few reasons why working out from home can actually help you achieve the results you want. By cutting out the social worries, anxiety and distractions – you can concentrate on you – and you’ll see the improvements sooner than you think!
Do you really need to work out?
One of the most important things to consider when you’re changing your lifestyle is what you eat. So it might be tempting to think that you could just cut down your portions, and skip the exercise routine. After all, you’re probably not looking to start running a marathon or enter a body building competition, right? But while food and nutrition are vital building blocks to a healthier life, getting active is just as necessary. In fact, studies show that exercise can have far more wide-reaching benefits than just helping you to sculpt the perfect gym-bunny body. Once you start moving more you’ll find that:
- it boosts your mood – getting active can help your body produce endorphins, that can elevate your mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. And as you start getting fitter, it also helps you feel better about yourself as you beat new goals!
- It increases energy – regularly working out will help you feel more energetic and engaged – not just on the exercise mat, but off it too! Don’t be surprised if you suddenly find yourself tackling all those tedious chores at rocket speed – and still have time and energy to spare.
- it helps you sleep better – if you’ve struggled to get to sleep at night, working out regularly could help sleep come to you much easier. Working out 5-6 hours before bed time can help you enjoy a more restful and refreshing night’s sleep.
Weight loss and Flow
So far, so good. There are lots of benefits from making the switch to a healthier and active life – from boosting your bank balance, to helping at bedtime! But one of the most important benefits is something we often tend to underestimate entirely – and that’s our sense of flow and concentration. Flow describes the time you spend doing something that keeps you entirely focused and engaged. When we’re busy multitasking with a million and one tasks, flow is one the things that gets left behind – and it’s often the reason why we can’t stick to goals and aspirations, because no matter how good our intentions are, something more “important” always comes along! To get an idea of flow, think back to when you were just a kid, at playtime, doing the thing you loved most. The one thing you could do for hours and hours – and that someone would have to interrupt you to come down for dinner! It might have been painting, reading a book, or playing with your favourite toys. Whatever it was – you had the perfect “flow” – immersed completely in that moment, with no distractions to take you away from it. Definitely something we could use more of in our adult lives. So how can weight loss help to restore your flow? There are eight key characteristics of flow – and the process of setting your goals and focusing on your tasks in order to achieve your weight loss, are key to your success. Steps to achieving flow:
- Clear defined goals, for each step
- Feedback, measuring how you are doing so you can see when you’re doing well
- Finding a balance between a skill and a challenge.
- Action and awareness
- No fear of failing
- No feeling self conscience
- Sense of time not important
- The emphasis concentrates on the experience, not the result. (I.e. the result will come)
Once you’ve applied them in one area – and proved to yourself that you can do it – there’s no reason why you can’t take it even further! Why not tackle other ambitions in your life – from switching career, to working on your relationships?
Changing your mindset really can help you transform your life – from getting fitter, to pursuing your life’s ambitions. It’s not as scary, tough or complicating as you might think. It doesn’t matter what trainers you’re wearing, or what time you eat. Once you get the past the distracting white noise of ‘diets’, daunting gyms and tedious calorie counting, you are well on your way to a healthy, happy and active life – and ready to share it with the people you love!
Get ready to embrace the new you – and become as awesome as you know you really are.
Will you change your mindset?