For many of us, weight has been a struggle for a good portion of our lives. No matter what we try it seems to creep back up on us. How can we possibly be successful at reaching and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle?
Before you do anything, the first change you make needs to be in your head. Paradigms need to shift.
A common way of thinking, especially among those who struggle with weight is: If I could just get to this weight, I’ll be happy. Or, I’ll just jump-start my weight loss with this extreme diet. Or, I’ll workout hard for X amount of time and by then I should be at my goal.
If any of these thoughts have bounced around in your head listen, and listen closely. Exercise needs to be a daily part of your life no matter what size you are.
The idea that “skinny people” don’t need to exercise is very false. The idea that you can stop exercising or eating healthy once you achieve a certain weight is also a dangerous thought that will undoubtedly lead you right back to where you started.
Like brushing your teeth, exercise needs to become a daily part of your routine. You don’t think, “Hmmmm, should I brush my teeth today?” (and if you do, yikes!) Likewise you should not wonder if you should exercise today. It is something you do for at least 30 minutes, five to six days a week.
There are no shortcuts, no quick-fixes, no free rides to a healthy life. It is up to you to create a healthy life. The good news is you have all the keys to do that inside of you and RaceDay Training to help you find them. You are stronger than you think.
Yes you are.
You should know that as you start this 90-Day Challenge, as with anything you start that is worth it, there will be a lot of emotional phases you go through. I find that if people know what they are fighting against they will be a lot more likely to succeed, so let me sound the warning now. There are five stages you will likely go through, physically and emotionally, so be aware of them and recognize them for what they are—stages that will pass.
1. 1. The Honeymoon—during this stage you will be excited. You’ve started something, you’re actually doing it and you feel good about that. You're probably here now. For some people this may last for a few days or weeks, for others it may only last one day, but before long, no matter who you are, you will come to the next stage…
2. 2. Disenchantment—during this stage you will tell yourself maybe it isn’t quite worth all the hard work you are putting in. You don’t really want to reach your goals that much. You may tell yourself things like, “I don’t really care that much.” Or, “This doesn’t matter as much to me anymore, I know I can do it.” Lies and deception! Never believe the voice in your head that tries to promote failure. Since you did some exercise during the Honeymoon phase or have been in shape before we try to convince ourselves that it proved we can do it and that we’re okay with knowing we can. Don’t be fooled by this. The only way to prove you can do it is to do it. Your goals do still matter, that’s why you set them. If they were easy to achieve they wouldn’t be worth achieving. This is a hard stage to fight through, but fight through you must. You can make it last as long or as short as you’d like…it’s all up to how you choose to think. Which may take you to the next stage….
3. 3. Hostility or Anger—during this stage you may be angry that you have to keep exercising. Maybe you’re angry that you’ve let yourself go so that you have to work so hard to get back in shape. Maybe you are angry that exercise exists at all. Perhaps the most common frustration during this period is that you haven’t gotten the results you want. You haven’t lost as much weight, gotten as strong, feel as good, etc. as you think you should by this point. So again that voice might say, “This isn’t worth it. It’s not even working.” Maybe you're even afraid that all this work will amount to nothing. You may continue to push through the workouts begrudgingly, which is fine, but the sooner you let go of the anger (and the fear) the better. It is working and as you continue on you will make it to the next stage which is….
4. 4. Understanding—during this stage you will come to realize that exercise actually makes you feel really good. You’ll start to realize why it should be part of your every day life and that thinking you can do it and actually doing it are two very different things. You will realize there are many other ways to measure progress and success besides weight loss. Before long you will be onto the final stage…
5. 5. Acceptance—during this stage you will realize that exercise is just a part of life. You will be grateful for it and you will stop questioning whether or not you are going to do it. This is a great place to be.
Just because you know about all the stages now doesn't mean that you can skip them or logic your way around them. They will come. You will feel them emotionally, and that is okay. Just fight when you need to fight and know that it is one of the stages you are fighting against.
The different stages can cycle back into your life if you aren’t careful. When you have a hard day training or you feel like you’ve taken a backwards step you can suddenly feel disenchanted again or angry. Just remember that exercise and training is a process. There is an ebb and flow to it that is very natural. All you need to do is just keep going. Be consistent. Your main job is to fight against that voice in your head that tells you to stop. As long as you’ve got that down, you’ll amaze yourself and everyone around you.
Do this 90-Day Challenge all the way.
It does matter and you know it.
Dixie Dixon is the founder of RaceDay Training, an online training community that provides daily workouts and community support to help you realize what you can acheive. She believes that we are all happier when we are active and healthy but understands that sometimes it's hard to know where to start or how to find the motivation. She has developed RaceDay Training for this very reason. To find out more visit her website at www.RaceDayTraining.com and sign up for your free 10 day trial today.