Wednesday, January 1, 2014

So You Don't Like Your Body... and You Want To Make Some Changes. Are you Ready?

It's 2014 and you've made a resolution.  You plan on losing some weight, getting healthy, and looking good in that bikini or those short shorts (ok, maybe not you guys, but you ladies....).  You know you're not getting any younger and it seems harder every year to keep the weight off.  You're looking for a little inspiration and motivation.  You've read all about eating and exercise, you think you are ready for this change.  But, are you?  Do you want to be a different person looking back at yourself next year at this time?  I know that two years ago I did.  I wanted to change.  Changing your body will also be the beginning of changing your mind.  What your body does and how clean it operates affects your mental well being as well.

So, if you think you want it, and are wondering if you can do it, take a look at the list of questions below.  If you say yes to all of these, then you are ready.

1.  Are you seriously willing to make the commitment?
Getting healthy is, of course, about changing the body, but it starts with the MIND.  If you think you can, you will.  It is not ever your body that fails, it is your mind that tells your body.  You must get into the mindset of a champion.  You have to be willing to resist temptations and it will NOT be easy.  I know this.  Anyone who has made this change knows this.  But the good news is, you can do it and the people who really care about you will support your efforts and understand that when everyone is eating a buffet at the summer BBQ that you can not have a plate loaded with potato salad, hamburgers, hot dogs (both on rolls), pasta salad, etc. (Big thanks to all my friends who have supported me in this area.  You've made it easier for me).  Making this commitment does NOT mean you shouldn't indulge every once in a while.  Give yourself a break.  It does mean that you are going to have to accept that the weight is not going to fall off.  This isn't like your cat shedding its winter fur.  It shouldn't come off so fast anyways.  You want a lifestyle change, not an easy come, easy go temporary fix.

2.   Do you understand that it takes baby steps?
Losing weight and being healthy means taking baby steps.  All goals are accomplished this way, including financial.  How many people actually become millionaires overnight playing the Lotto and how many people are wishing and buying lottery tickets, but doing nothing every day of the week to make their dreams happen?  The people who have made it to the top didn't get that way in the matter of weeks.  It took hard work, determination and dedication.  It happens a little bit at a time.  Many people aren't satisfied with little results.  That, unfortunately, is our culture.  We want immediate gratification.  You must be willing to accept that it will take time.
(For my female friends, you should also realize, especially if you are a woman that has had children, that you are probably NOT going to look like a Victoria Secret angel.  Be proud of the scars that came from being a woman who went through pregnancy.)

3. Do you have a mentor, friend, or trainer?
You need someone to know about your goals.  Telling someone else makes you accountable for it.  Telling someone who is a friend who also has the same goals is even better.  This was how I started.  My very dear friend, Katie Lashomb, was living with me at the time, and she and I decided we wanted to make some changes.  We got a membership at Heart to Heart and we also decided to try the low carb method.  Having Katie there with me held me accountable, but she also gave me the kudos and was a cheerleader for me.  I don't know how successful I would have been without her.  Now I don't need that anymore, but it's still nice to meet a friend at the gym.  (Good girlfriend time).  What I have needed is a trainer to introduce some new moves when my routine gets boring.  Aj Sutter works at Heart to Heart and is a great trainer who listens to your needs and will create a basic plan for you.    Having a mentor, someone who has "been there and done that" or is a personal trainer or nutritionist who can help you develop a plan... even better.  The best, but most costly, is to have a trainer who will develop an exercise and fitness plan for you and hold you accountable for it (I believe that Laura Tarbell from Heart to Heart does this.)

4.  Do you avoid excuses and accept when you've taken a step back and refuel toward success?
If you want to make the changes to your health, but find yourself saying, "I just don't have the time this week." And you have a list of reasons about why you are serving Stouffer's lasagna to your family and not getting any exercise, then you're not ready.  Of course, I understand that there will be a week that it truly will be nearly impossible to make healthy choices.  But if it becomes a theme, and you are making constant excuses, then you should go back to #1.  What I say to myself when I start feeling like I want to give up or I am making excuses is a line from my favorite movie, "The Shawshank Redemption" when Red says, "Get busy living or get busy dying."

5.  Are you willing to get educated about health?
You can't make the changes you need to and be completely ignorant about the topic of health and exercise.  If you find yourself often left wondering what to eat, what to cook, what workouts to do, then you need to find a friend, buy a book (I highly recommend the book Skinny Bitch), consult a nutritionist, anything.... but do something!  I have made mistakes in my own diet and exercise regiment.  BUT I was doing something.  You WILL make mistakes. We are human.  We are fallible. This isn't about being perfect, it's about finding what works for you and doing it consistently.

6.  Are you willing to see a doctor to get a routine check up and find out your deficiencies?
Your body needs the proper vitamins and minerals to function.  Your doctor can tell you your deficiencies.  You should also be sure you don't have any other issues, such as a thyroid problem, which women, 8 times more than men, have.  If you have another reason for weight gain, then you need to identify and deal with that issue.  Changing your diet will be one of the first actions your doctor will advised you to do.  Your doctor can also check your BMI (body mass index) and you can use that number as a way to check your progress later.  Heart to Heart trainers can also check your BMI.

When I started, I had a BMI that was pushing"obese".  I was a size 14/16 and weighed about 180 pounds.  I had difficulties sleeping and suffered from a lot of anxiety.  I was unhappy with my body and disappointed with the path my life was taking.... and if I can do it, so you can you.  It's about your attitude.  I'm now about 130 pounds, size 4/6, and have a handle on the direction of my life.  I am much more satisfied with my personal relationships.  But I'm not perfect and I continue to set goals for myself.  Life is about constantly changing and evolving.

I'm not a dietitian, nor am I a nutritionist.  I'm a single, working mom and an English teacher (with aspirations :) who decided two years ago after my grandfather's heart attack that my life had to change.  I am blessed that I have the support of amazing family (including my two daughters 9 and 7 years old) and great friends.  You can see my blog which has some basic changes you can make today toward better health.
And, as always, you can find me on facebook

Think like a champion, my friend, and you will become one.
Christmas 2013

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