Ah, Labor Day. That glorious three day weekend that we know as an opportunity to take a trip, a chance to relax and a day filled with fun, family and food. But, it didn't start out so nice. As with many holidays, the beginnings were a lot less pleasant than what we have come to know. A bid by workers and unions for fair treatment that turned deadly. Why must we continually fight for fairness and respect? Why is it that so many things need to get worse before they get better? Human nature is intriguing to me, especially our treatment of one another and ourselves. It's certainly interesting that we tolerate and even become accustomed to mistreatment by others as well as ourselves. What prompts us to take a stand and make a change? So often I work with people that wait until they are in pain to find time to exercise, or look for the perfect diet rather than make small attainable changes to their eating. Spoiler alert: there's always time to move more and the perfect diet doesn't exist but eating healthfully does!
A former health student came to see me the other day and seemed horribly embarrassed because he had gained about 60 pounds since he took my class three years ago. He was anxious to regain his health and return to fitness but he is returning to school and has had two children since I saw him last. I encouraged him to start small and build on his success. It took three years to get to where he is today, it will take time to get to where he wants to be. It's not like one day of eating too much and not exercising causes a 60 pound weight gain. It is choosing to eat poorly and or overeat and not making movement a priority that catches up to you. I think most people understand this but change is hard so we do everything besides taking a walk and eating less stuff out of a box. That, my friends, is called denial, wishful thinking or being stuck in the first few steps of behavior change. www.prochange.com/transtheoretical-model-of-behavior-change
I can tell you that even people who know this stuff, including me, can still get stuck. Sometimes the comfort of the known, even an uncomfortable known, is less scary than the unknown. Often, like my former student, you realize there is no good time for change unless the change is good. Wait, what? Being willing to change means navigating the unknown which can be uncomfortable. To make change less uncomfortable, small steps are necessary. You can read all the stories in the world of people who made significant changes in their life, but usually they have one thing in common. It's not just deciding once, it's making that decision everyday. Usually by the time we take that first pivotal step, we have considered it many times, but guarding that choice by making other choices that support it is the key to success known as consistency. Consistency is not synonymous with rigidity but it does require prioritizing your goal. I like the 80/20 rule for most things, but there are a lot of definitions for 80/20, so here's my take- eating healthfully and moving your body more often than not. Here's a bit more on the 80/20 rule as it pertains to diet-www.popsugar.com/fitness/What-8020-Rule-32131660
It means there's wiggle room in your plan for a day of rest, a celebration or a holiday like today. Being aware of your choices, finding balance (80/20) and being consistent are my ABC's for a healthy life. Like to read? Here's a couple of books worth a look-
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg www.goodreads.com/book/show/12609433-the-power-of-habit?ac=1&from_search=true#
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell www.goodreads.com/book/show/2612.The_Tipping_Point?ac=1&from_search=true