“Too much worry is put on what we eat between Christmas and the New Year; what matters most is what we eat between the New Year and Christmas”
The holidays can feel like a month long bender of food and alcohol with willpower and self control a distant memory. January rolls around and along with it comes the mindset of dialing things back and regaining control (insert deprivation). No sugar, no wheat, no carbs, no fat, no protein, vegetarian only, juicing only, no eating between 3 to 5, intermittent fasting, caveman style, Atkins regime, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Dr. Berstein, 30 day challenges, Body by Vi, run more, spin more, eat less move more… aaaargh, the list of January “lose weight quick” strategies are abundant.
I think it’s safe for me to assume that most of us want to feel great, but do the list of solutions above really make us feel that way? Anything that even hints at deprivation and removes my power of choice is a NO GO for me. Deprivation does not make me feel happy and is the exact opposite of how I want to feel day in and day out.
If you reflect on years gone by and can only remember fast and furious out of the gate on January 1st, question how that strategy worked for you long term. Is what you implemented in 2013 still in play now? Did the habits you created stick around for 12 months at the same intensity? Are you starting this January with your health significantly better than it was when you rang in 2013?
“If nothing changes, nothing changes”
If you are about to get back onto the same hamster wheel (or are all ready spinning in it) then consider the following 7 step strategy and take a different approach this new year.
1. Take the next 3 days to reflect on how you really want to feel EVERY day in 2014.
I am talking how you want to feel right now TODAY, not in 30 days from now when your juice cleanse is over and you feel you have paid your penance for the holiday mayhem. How do you want to feel today, tomorrow and the next day?
WRITE THEM DOWN.
Here are some of the ways I want to feel in 2014
3. Rested (peaceful)
If adding in 6 classes a week on top of an already full schedule is going to make you feel stressed out, tired, grumpy and too sore to move, then take an honest look at if this is the best strategy for you. REMEMBER all your choices and decisions have to point in the direction of how you want to feel!
BE HONEST with yourself about what is a reasonable expectation, KNOWING that you can adjust your plan as you go. Let go of rigid thinking and the all or nothing mind set. You create longevity and lasting changes when you are able to slow down and let your new habits take root. It is the difference between running sprints and running a marathon. To make exercise a lasting part of your lifestyle takes time, commitment and consistency. Don’t buy into the propaganda that tells you MORE is better. The fit people you may be admiring are NOT working out for hours on end. The results we model are from the commitment to staying in the game long term.
The same goes for turning over a new leaf when it comes to your nutrition. Look at implementing small changes and sticking with them instead of playing the January diet game. Again, true lifestyle changes come with time, tenacity and a commitment to making better choices everyday that make you feel the way you want to feel. Once upon a time my daily lifestyle consisted of slurpee’s, cigarettes and microwave popcorn and now I teach others how to build their nutrition from the ground up. Yea, I’ve come a long way baby.
#2. Get honest about where you are right now.
This is not an exercise in shaming yourself; this is an exercise in honesty. This is not about looking back with disgust at all the treats that passed through your mouth or picking up the stick you emotionally beat yourself with. Honesty about where you are right now allows you to become conscious, and focus your attention and INTENTION on what you need to do daily to get to where you want to be.
Getting honest about what you are eating is no different than looking into your bank account to check the balance. Financial mayhem ensues when you don’t stay on top of your banking and health mayhem ensues if you don’t put the same attention on your food. Again this isn’t about becoming an obsessive food logger long term, this is about creating clarity and consciousness over a 5 day period by writing down everything you eat. This will become an important tool to help you assess what is really going on. If I had a nickel for every person who has told me that they eat healthy but also expressed displeasure with their body, I would be doing more skype sessions from a beach cottage somewhere in Thailand.
So go ahead, get started and I will see you for part 2 five days from now where I will teach you how to interpret your food logs and become your own nutritional detective along with strategies to create change based on your findings!
Lisa Carpenter specializes in taking the confusion out of food, dieting and healthy eating so her clients can break free from the diet cycle and feel empowered to take ownership of their choices without judgment, by building their knowledge and confidence.
Her unique perspective on nutrition and ability to bring clarity where confusion abounds, while creating lasting results with her clients, makes her a sought after speaker and a respected coach and educator.