Before any plan will work successfully, you have to start with pure intentions. Dealing only with the symptoms of a problem might seem to work short term but it’s not sustainable. You also run the risk of getting out of balance in another way (trading one addiction for another).
Once you are ready to work a plan, set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-sensitive). Set at least one for your spiritual self, one for your physical self and one for your emotional self. Ignoring any portion of that triad will inhibit progress. Addressing all three will lead to success and long term sustainability.
Long before any change happens in my physical body, my spiritual and emotional self give me signs I’m getting off track. Emotionally, I start to feel like I can’t say “no”. I think things like: “I don’t have a choice”, “I have to do this”, “you can’t”, “you suck”, “this is too hard”…. When I’m emotionally well, I instead think things like” “I have a choice”, “do I want to do this?”, “I can by…”, “you’ll make mistakes while you’re learning”, “you have what you need to accomplish this”…. Spiritually, I start not thinking much beyond myself. I lose faith that the answer I need will appear when I need it. I start to question what I believe (not in a good way). Sometimes, in really dark periods, I think that I am unforgivable and completely unlovable.
When I’m well emotionally and spiritually because I’m taking time to nurture myself in those ways, I have energy to stay on track with food and exercise. When I’m not well, it’s ugly…. But, I have learned I can get back on track! Learn from the slip and go back to making healthy choices again.
My weight loss journey started with an experienced, licensed personal trainer who had me on a meal plan of 1300-1500 calories (60% carbs, 20% fat, 20% protein) and strength training for 45 minutes 3x a week. I could add in any cardio I wanted (like walking, biking or elliptical but I was supposed to get in those strength workouts no matter what). The strength workouts were full body routines, working large muscle groups and getting my heart rate up (they felt harder than running 3 miles does today!). Pick up any Women’s Health or Men’s Health magazine and they will have at least one of those routines inside.
Just doing cardio and eating less will help you lose pounds but without strength training, you will also lose muscle (reducing the number of calories you burn when at rest, slowing your metabolism). If being a member of a gym is not an option, there are hundreds of body weighted strength exercises you can do at home and a few small dumbbells can round out what muscle groups you work.
Seriously look at your finances. If you did not buy cigarettes, alcohol, lattes, pop, candy, chips or fast food, how much money would you save? Try it for a week. If you still don’t have money for a trainer, you’ll still end up ahead! If cutting it out all together is too much, cut spending on those things gradually over time (with a SMART goal).
Wellness is a process, a journey….small choices that add up over time, either taking you in the direction of better health and wellness or the other way. Wishing you a lifetime of health and happiness!
From my heart to yours,
Thanks for reading
Next up… Make a Plan B