It’s unrealistic to think you can exercise and eat as you did in your past when life was so different than today.
By Crystal Breaux | Courtesy Photo
Here we go, again. A New Year has begun with new hopes and goals that usually include some type of program to exercise and eat healthy. The idea of starting a new fitness regiment at the beginning of the year is nothing new and usually pretty typical.
Take for example Sharon, who is in her mid 40s and has not exercised regularly since her early 30s. She is frustrated with the weight she has gained over the years, suffers from a lack of energy and feels she is always taking care of everyone but herself. Sharon is ready to get started with all new work out clothes, a new gym membership and schedule of all of the exercise classes. She decided to cut out all soda and fast food — deciding to cook every night. She recalls the eating plan she once followed to quickly shed extra pounds and has purchased the products and ingredients needed to get started. Sharon is confident that she will stick to it as she remembers how her discipline and motivation many years ago.
Then suddenly after a few short weeks, it seems to be a struggle to stay consistent, and she falls back into her old ways and gives up. She is frustrated with her inability to stick with any type of exercise program and feels hopeless with her lack of motivation and discipline to eat healthy. The reality is a lack of discipline and motivation might not be her real struggle.
Sharon, unfortunately, has attempted to start an exercise and diet program that was successful in a previous time in her life. She hasn’t stopped to evaluate her current lifestyle to realize that what worked in the past most likely will not work in her present.
If Sharon’s story sounds familiar, take a few minutes and walk down memory lane. Do you recall a time that you were exercising consistently and eating healthier? How might that time in your life be different from today? Were you single with no other responsibilities or obligations except for yourself? Were you married with no children and free to spend your evenings how you wanted? Did you have a job with few demands and responsibilities? Was it before you entered the world of being a grandparent?
Now jump forward to today. How has it changed? Are you married and trying to adjust to new schedules, interests and routines? Do you have young children juggling new responsibilities with less sleep? Are your children involved in extracurricular activities and most of your days are spent in the car? Has your career blossomed with new responsibilities and demanding deadlines? Are you a proud grandparent who assists in babysitting and volunteers in your community? If any of these scenarios describe your current lifestyle, it is unrealistic to think you can exercise and eat as you did in your past when life was so different than today. If you have not evaluated your current lifestyle before starting a new program, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Trying to exercise and eat the way you did in the past with different responsibilities, schedules and fitness level will simply not work in your new season of life. It is self-sabotage.
I have worked with many women to create a fitness and food design for their lifestyle who realize they can be successful at weight loss, eating healthy, exercising, preparing healthy meals and having more energy; but it can’t happen by trying to do what worked in the past. To exercise and eat healthy and consistently, forget about what might have worked in your past. Create a new program that will work with your present lifestyle and fitness level.
Remember there are different seasons of our life and we have to adapt to each one. Your season may even change month to month and require a new plan. However, with a little effort, preparation, knowledge and flexibility, you can have discipline and stay motivated to take care of your health by working out regularly with a healthy diet.
As you prepare your resolutions to exercise and eat healthy for 2013, do it right with a realistic plan that you can stick with longer than a few weeks.
Throw out your past way of doing things and embrace your present with a completely new plan.