Making changes in your life in order to lose weight and feel stronger and healthier requires a bit of a lifestyle change. Which means that you need to make changes to both your routines AND your mindset. Basically you have to be willing to make changes. As you start to see results, your brain can do one of two things; either it is inspired by the progress and enthusiastically pushes forward, or it recognises improvement and kind of slacks off for a while, perhaps eating more unhealthily or skipping out on your workouts, till before you know it you are back to where you started.
So how do we retrain our brain, and our body, to do the first? To be inspired by progress instead of using it as an excuse to slacken off?
The three defining factors that will make or break you when it comes to reprogramming your mind and body into a healthier lifestyle are; consistency, dedication and accountability.
Consistency - You need to be consistent in what you do. There is no way around this. If you plan a certain amount of workouts into your week, then do them! Sure, you might not always have the energy to smash them out like Serena Williams, but something is always better than nothing! It is as much of a mind thing as a physical thing. With the exception of being unwell, you should try to push yourself to achieve something in the time you set aside for exercise.
Dedication - Dedication is key! ‘You don’t always get what you wish for, but you get what you work for!’ So dedicate yourself to your fitness goals. That doesn’t mean you can’t have treat meals occasionally, or go on a holiday and spend more time relaxing than working out, just understand that these ‘treat’ meals, or ‘extra rest days’ will pause or even hinder your progress. So plan for them and counterbalance them to help keep yourself on track!
Accountability - At the end of the day it is only you who can implement change, not your friends, your partner, your coach, just you! Be accountable for your actions and choices. If you are starting to recognise things that might be hindering your progress (perhaps the 5 different shows you just have to watch, or pizza Tuesday, or that you are too tired after work to exercise), then write these down. Try to come up with a way in which you can overcome these obstacles. Remember that completely depriving yourself of the things you love is very difficult to sustain, so be kind to yourself. Roster in some treat meals, and some relaxation time, just remain aware of your goals and don’t let the scales tip too heavily in the unhealthy direction.
Over time the little changes you make will become habit and you will start to see AND feel the benefits of your healthy and balanced lifestyle!