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“I know what I’m supposed to do….

But for some reason I just can’t get myself to do it consistently.”

We know that we should be exercising and we know what foods we should be eating, but for some reason it is sometimes hard to make ourselves do it!

AH! Not logical! But we do tell ourselves that sometimes!

Why is there sometimes a gap between what we know we should be doing and what we actually make ourselves do? And how do we close that gap?

I think we can have issues making ourselves stick to a healthy diet or workout program for numerous reasons.

Self-control, stress, schedule, support and resources all influence how easily we transition to a new lifestyle and maintain it.

Honestly, you can name a thousand reasons as to why we don’t eat the way we know we should or workout as much as we should. You can even claim you don’t truly know what is healthy because of all misinformation out there about health and fitness.

But if you truly want something, only you can make it happen. No matter how many excuses you can come up with, only you can CHOOSE to commit to a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some tips to help you transition to a new healthy lifestyle and STAY COMMITTED:

  • First determine which works better – slowly eliminating bad foods or going cold turkey. Don’t go cold turkey if you know that it will make you feel so deprived that you feel the need to cheat in only a couple of days. For some, it works better to do a looser version of a diet and slowly become more strict. For instance start eating whole natural foods, but keep in rice and potatoes while you eliminate grains if you eat lots of carbs currently. Then maybe slowly lessen the amount of each that you eat. OR if you are a sweets person, don’t cut out all treats. Maybe just allow yourself only “healthy” treats like dark chocolate or berries or the Man Bicep whipped cream! If however, you are the type of person that just needs to go cold turkey, don’t tease yourself with little treats…GO COLD TURKEY!
  • Write up a plan. It’s easy to cheat on some vague idea, but when you have a solid plan written down, it is a lot harder to cheat on it. Outline what foods you want to eat or what workouts you want to do on certain days. Also plan out how long your program or diet will run. If you set an end date, you can REWARD yourself when you succeed. Treat yourself to something when you accomplish your goal (preferably not food related!). I found it motivating to know that I would get a treat like a massage or shopping spree if I stuck to my plan! And yes, we are striving for a lifestyle change, but if you make up a plan for three months and stick to it, you will find that after that you’ve made it enough of a habit to go it on your own!
  • Display your plan and let others know what you are doing. If only you know about your plan, you are much more likely to cheat…especially if you hide it away in a drawer. Display your plan on your door or in your kitchen on the fridge. If you can see it every day, you are a lot less likely to cheat. And if you tell others about your plan, they will help keep you in line. Both their support and just the fact that others know will make you want to succeed so that you don’t let them down!
  • Don’t DEPRIVE yourself! When you feel deprived, you are most likely to cheat. So don’t starve yourself! Eat till you are satisfied…not stuffed just content. Also, allow yourself days to indulge a bit more. For one, it will help you stay committed. For two, calorie cycling can help you lose that last little bit of fat since your metabolism won’t slow from constant calorie restriction! For me having one day each week where I eat as much as I want of “healthy cheats” allows me to recharge. Also planning in full cheat days helps me remain committed because I know that even if I feel deprived, it won’t be for long! Remember, the 80/20 rule. Eat well 80% of the time and indulge 20%!

Workout partners and trainers are also definitely good motivation…Anything else help you stay committed?

Give it 3 months

I have a love-hate relationship with January.

Be honest...Does this sound like you?

On the one hand, January means lots of new members and clients (YAY!). It is also a great time to rethink your goals and plan out new strategies to reach them. It is usually a time when you are most gung-ho about your goals so it is a great time to start working hard!

On the other hand, January means a crowded gym and goals that are never achieved by the majority of the population. It means a lot of frustration for me as a trainer and fitness enthusiast because I see person after person quickly give up on their fitness goals.

How are some people just happy about signing up for a gym membership? I mean literally we have people come in during January who sign up for a membership and never come in after signing up. Why waste your money? I mean if you aren’t going to use it – if you aren’t going to follow through on this resolution – why even set it?

Don’t be one of those people!!! I can deal with a crowded gym but I can’t deal with the people who don’t even give their resolutions a fair chance.

Making a commitment to your health and fitness isn’t easy. There are even times that fanatics like me falter…like these last two weeks…and trust me I feel so crappy I can’t wait to not see bad food or the couch for a while. (Actually my body is screaming out to me, “VEGETABLES!!! VEGETABLES!!!”)

Anyway, committing to a healthy diet and fitness program isn’t easy. You don’t just say to yourself, “I want to be healthy” and it instantly happens.

No! There are cravings for bad food. There are days when you feel sore and tired and just don’t want to workout. There are friends and family who can act as bad influences!

It isn’t easy. No one ever said it would be.

BUT if you give yourself a chance to really settle into a ROUTINE, it will get EASIER!!! You may always still crave certain foods, and there may be times you skip workouts, but you will feel committed and CRAVE your healthy lifestyle if you stray from it for a few days.

How long does it take before you actually feel committed? I tell my clients that if they can push through the initial struggle and stick with their resolutions for 3 months, they will find that it gets like 100 times easier to stick to their goals after that. It takes about 3 months to make working out and eating well a HABIT. Once you’ve made a habit out of enacting your goals, you are way less likely to give up on them.

So don’t be one of those people who only crowd up the gym in January or sign up and never come!

Join a gym, set some goals and push through the first three months. It will be worth it. Trust me.

P.S. If you need help staying committed for those first three months, hire a trainer! I always tell my clients that my job is to help them make working out and lifting weights a habit so that they can do it on their own!

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