Set attainable goals. Senior Editor of Lifeline products, Tammy Schultz, said it best, "...this process is like climbing a gradual mountain. Though you can see the summit, the only way to get there is to take one step at a time. Keeping your focus on the next step and not the summit is the key to staying motivated and enjoying each small success along the way."
Step 1: FOOD...mmm
- Clean out the pantry and fridge. Many studies have shown people consuming food based on what is available to them.
- Recording food in a diary, or calorie tracking site helps just to even see what you're putting in your body. So you won't wonder why those pounds aren't coming off. Seeing it listed out really throws you into reality.
- Make changes in small steps ultimately for a lifestyle change. Not a quick fix. Don't get health conscious in one big step, otherwise you will relapse. Food fuels your body, so make sure it's quality food otherwise your body will not have efficient use of it.
- Digestion does not start in your mouth, it starts at what you decide to put in it.
Step 2: MUV!
Oh yea, THAT! I saw a comic strip at a gym a few weeks ago and it showed a doctor talking to his patient. The doctor asked, "Would you rather exercise one hour a day or be dead 24 hours a day?" Loved it.
- Exercise reduces stress and maintains every system in your body to perform optimally. That means performing athletically or just enjoying everyday without pain and discomfort. Except for the times when you're working out with me of course.
- Add general activity to your day. I'm sure you have heard this before. Take the stairs. Park further away. Ride a bike to commute in this awesome cold weather we will be having. Seriously, how hard is it to take the stairs? Late for something? Run up the stairs! Besides, who really wants to be in that awkward silence? Social dynamics in elevators are so weird. The times I do take the elevator, I love talking to people just to see how surprised and uncomfortable they act. "Gosh someone is talking to me! Can't wait to tweet about this!" (saving that for another blog)
Step 3: The Third Step
Once you consistently find yourself sweating and doing pushups on the Jungle Gym and finding that your diet is beginning to consist of tons of vegetables and NuGo bars, take it to the next step. Join a sports league. Take a dance or martial arts class. Do some yoga. Make activity a solid part of your daily schedule. Ultimately you want to live the rest of your life being active and challenging yourself to attain new skills. In order to do that, you must fuel your body with the proper food. Otherwise you will find yourself in a constant drunken food coma. Can you do a pullup yet? Can you crawl for 100yds with your feet strapped into a power wheel? Can you even do a proper squat based on your current range of motion?
Another concept I like to incorporate with attaining fitness goals is Jim Collins' flywheel. Jim is the author of Good to Great which is pretty good and great. Its primary focus is on improving a business utilizing the flywheel concept.
"Now picture a huge, heavy flywheel. It’s a massive, metal disk mounted horizontally on an axle. It's about 100 feet in diameter, 10 feet thick, and it weighs about 25 tons. That flywheel is your company. Your job is to get that flywheel to move as fast as possible, because momentum—mass times velocity—is what will generate superior economic results over time."
So in essence, a consistent push toward a goal will reap exponential results as you gain momentum. If you workout for two weeks and eat right then stop for a month, nothing is going to happen. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people experience results then think that they made it, but haven't fully reached the ultimate goal. The article Jim wrote on his website serves as a great analogy to getting fit. Check it out here.