Friday April 29, 2011
Our walking group continues tomorrow (Sat. Apr. 30th) at 11:00am at the arboretum! Click here for more details. Anyone is welcome - feel free to bring family and friends! Congrats to all the walkers who made it out last Saturday in the cold rain!! Hope to see you tomorrow!
I often lie awake at night thinking about why our journey to health can be such a daunting one. There are so many different aspects to getting healthy. Whether you’re focusing on one aspect or ten, changing lifestyle habits can be very overwhelming. I want to share with you some of my common thought patterns, and similarly the thought patterns of people I see on a daily basis. While you may sometimes feel alone in this journey, know that you are NOT alone; all of us experience feelings of discouragement. What’s important is that we become aware of our personal reflections, and know how to react to them in a positive way.
Thought # 1 – Caving in and guilt…
It’s nearly impossible not to ‘cave in’ once in awhile…but what’s even more difficult is the guilt we undoubtedly feel afterwards. Remember: no one is perfect 24/7. If you fall off-track, get RIGHT BACK ON TRACK, no matter what. Don’t give up on yourself, and don’t lose sight of your goal because of a small set-back. Guilt can be an all-consuming feeling, and it can be
so overwhelming that it sends us into a downward spiral. Remember: NO GUILT! If you “cave in” and treat yourself, embrace it and remember that you will get back to your healthy routine right away.
Thought # 2 – I feel tired, sore and the last thing I want to do is exercise…
At the end of the day, we are all exhausted. Work can be both physically and emotionally draining; it can completely sap your energy. If you’re like me, you need to unwind at the end of a long day. As difficult as it is to start, exercise is actually the best way to unwind! You will feel more energized and you’ll be in a better mood. I know life can be busy and stressful when you get home. Make it a PRIORITY to set aside some time for yourself to get active. Do this for yourself…you deserve to make time for your health! Exercise will calm your busy mind.
Thought # 3 – Logical vs. impulsive…
One of the hardest things I battle with is the emotional/impulsive vs. logical brain when I’m making food choices. Logically, I know I shouldn’t eat the junk food in front of me, but emotionally I want to eat it right now! I’m sure many of you have experienced this battle before. Our impulsive/emotional brain takes over, and we indulge in the heat of the moment without thinking about the consequences. Training the logical mind to override the impulsive mind takes work. We must learn strategies to distract ourselves from making impulsive decisions about food. I have learned to walk away from foods that I know will trigger cravings; more often than not, the impulsive feeling to eat disappears. Learn to walk away from foods or situations that you know might trigger you to eat impulsively. However, as I mentioned above, don’t feel guilty if you slip up. Training our brains takes practice, and all that matters is you get back on track
Thought # 4 – Maintaining weight loss is tough…
As difficult as it may seem to document what you eat, this is essential to staying on track and changing your lifestyle habits for the long run. Although you may find writing down your foods to be a daunting task, it is a worthwhile habit to develop so that you don’t ever have to worry about re-gaining any weight you’ve lost. Documenting everything you eat reminds your brain each and every day of the healthy habits you’ve worked to create. Eventually, these habits will become second nature to you, and maintain your weight-loss will be a life-long success!
We experience thoughts about our health on a daily basis. If you notice yourself thinking about food, exercise or well-being in a negative way, try to analyze exactly what’s going through your head. Teach yourself how to react to those thoughts in a positive way, and learn what decisions you have to make to enhance your health journey.
Most importantly: NEVER give up on yourself. Focus on the healthy habits you’re creating, and never lose sight of your goals. You can do this!