Wednesday, August 10, 2011

To infinity....and beyond! (the quickest way to lose heart!)

I distinctly remember the moment when I realized that if I always wanted to maintain my fitness I would need to keep working out....forever.  Depressing.  Especially since I was just finishing a difficult workout and instead of feeling successful I felt exhausted.  At that point, the prospect of future fitness stretched ahead of me like an uncrossable abyss. (It was dismal, I tell ya!)

I hear the same kind of experiences from clients as it relates to their weight management.  Dieting is something that eventually comes to an end.  Weight management is something we all do (for better or for worse) until the end of our days.

What helped me refocus most, after looking at the workouts stretching far into my future (and that was if I was lucky enough to be able to experience those workouts) was to refocus my gaze to the near term.  Setting goals for the next week or the next month seem more do-able than committing to a whole lifetime.  Even workouts for the next month only means 12 or 15 with some interesting bits of activity thrown in as a bonus. 

12 or 15 doesn't sound as intimidating as ....well, infinity.

Same goes for weight management.  If I ever wanted a client to freeze like a deer in headlights -- all I would have to do is encourage them to dwell (even for just a few seconds) and the days, weeks, years, and holidays they are going to have to muddle through to successfully manage their weight.  I'm all for acknowledging reality -- but geesh!  No need to be a glutton for punishment!

Instead, I encourage my clients (and by extension, am encouraging you) to refocus on this next week.  (make it a game if you can!)  How many positive eating decisions would you like to make today?  Pick a number and then keep score.  If you only set your goal at 4 and you make 5 -- double gold star for you!

And the next step -- set a new goal tomorrow.

It's not about getting to perfect -- I will never plan on working out 30 days in one month.  And a person averages 250 eating decisions per day.  250 positive decisions might be a stretch but 5 might be do-able.

The key is to break it down so you can wrap your head around what you're trying to do.  AND THEN DO IT!

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