Thursday, September 13, 2012

Consistency Becomes Habit

Now comes the time to put it all together, implement your plan and carry it out!  In the 100 Year Lifestyle we talk about 3 life-changing principles:

1. Change is easy but thinking about change is hard
2. Change happens once choice at a time.  Think progress, not perfection
3. Approach change with your ideal 100 year Lifestyle in mind.

For me, it is easier to think about change than actually implementing change.  If I make one small change at a time, the task does not seem so monumental.  I also notice that as I begin to make conscious food choices and go to the gym regularly, it gets easier each day and a new habit is formed.  This doesn't mean I am on target everyday.  Actually, more often than not I miss my intended goal for the day but what I now know is that tomorrow is a new day and a time to start over!  At the same time, if I had a cookie for mid-morning snack I don't say, "Well forget eating good the rest of the day!" I try to balance it out or cut calories some where else.  As humans, we want instant gratification and give up easily instead of moving forward with the task ahead.

The key is to add things and not concentrate on what you take away; water, movement, vegetables and strength.   Keeping a diary to track your daily food intake is also a real wake up call.  Sometimes, when we "think" we are eating well, we see that we really are not or that we are consuming more than our recommended daily calories.  The reason for my own weight gain was that I had decreased my training, but ate like I was still training for a marathon.  I forgot that if my workouts got reduced to half the time, my food consumption should probably too!  There are numerous places on the internet (and apps for you phone) where you can calculate and track your calories.  If you decide to keep a food diary, also track how hungry you are when you eat and what your mood is at the time.  This allows you to see if you are actually hungry or bored, upset or even happy when you eat.

A friend of mine posted on her Facebook that she had begun to exercise because of her family's health history and if she lost weight doing it, that would be a benefit!  Talk about having the right attitude!  Always have health improvement as your goal and don't look at the scale so much.  When you see the numbers it is easy to get obsessed about wanting that number to go down.  When the number stops going down, or even starts to go back up, it is tempting to give up and forget the new routine.  Learn to have fun with whatever activity you choose.  Try new foods and find new recipes to put variety into your diet.  If you need a break, take it, but get back to your routine sooner than later or it will be lost.  Just don't give up!

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