3 basic strategies you can take anywhere
“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.”
Losing weight, maintaining weight should not be that hard, right? Eat pretty healthy, exercise, and still have fun because a few cheat meals and social-related habits are not going to put on like 50 pounds. Or will they..? More on that later. Cleanses, structured promising programs, all may be helpful to wrap our brains around something concrete that could give us desired results in a certain period of time, but the issue then becomes maintenance. Or what if that plan/program doesn’t fit as part of our lifestyle anymore? Or our social life is compromised? Or we’re just flat out bored, but unsure of any other method that will also provide results. This is the tough part- well, challenging, but I know you’re up for it.
When I was a junior in high school my psychology teacher asked us why we were here. We looked at him like why would he ask us such a dumb question, like duh, of course we have to be here. One of us raised their hand and said ‘We have to be there- we’re under 18, it’s the law, we’re supposed to go to school, our parents told us to, we go to high school and then college, and attending class is part of our grade.’ Seems reasonable, right?
Then he says, ‘But you do have a choice. You can be here like society says and learn, get good grades, go to college, and so forth, or you don’t have to be here. Except you know the consequences. Stay here and attendance adds to your grade, or leave and potentially get caught, grounded, not go to college, and so forth. You are choosing your outcome and probably not even realizing it.’ We all just stared at him, proverbial tail between our legs, realizing that even as teenagers, we are responsible for our life and our decisions. He proceeded to move on with the lesson, which honestly I don’t remember as we were all trying to digest wtf just happened as we question our own existence for the rest of class (and probably beyond).
So how does this apply to you? The lesson here is twofold. First, we do have a choice- literally with every word spoken, action taken- we choose. We may not be in control of what happens after (i.e. solely attending classes does not guarantee college admission, but it may be a step towards it), but we are now taking ownership for our life. Second, it’s why you don’t really see any marketing for lifestyle changes- it’s because everyone is different and we need to find what works for us. That requires us to turn inwards, and really pay attention to foods & lifestyle habits in how it aligns with our goals (e.g. weight gain post cleanse/program). This takes energy & mindfulness, which means it’s kind of like another job. I know.. sometimes I scowl at this fact too. But it’s the job that’s going to make you even better, more alert, and more successful at what you already do. :)
The good news is that you already have an optimized search engine- yourself! Here are some basic strategies to find the right diet & lifestyle strategy for you:
“I choose my next meal”- You can also broaden this to “I am responsible for my own choices.” Either they are or not aligned with your goals (also why it helps to have that non-negotiable reason attached to your goals) in health and/or life. Then ask yourself afterwards how did that meal make you feel? How are you feeling a few hours later? There’s no right or wrong answer- purely observation. Compare that with how you see yourself. Are the two congruent? While these questions may seem simple, it can bring up a lot of shit. And the only way out is through. The brain is like a muscle, and can be trained, so when we strengthen our decision making skills, it really does get easier over time (varies per person).
Get curious- Are you doing all that you can to hit your goals? If not, what do you need and/or who do you need to ask? Chances are we probably have more help in our lives than we realize, even if it’s just that token friend (or even a journal) to talk to. Or perhaps you’re feeling like you’re doing all that you can but the scale isn’t budging or its moving in the opposite direction- circle back to the first contemplation. Maybe you’re on the right track, but wrong measurements? Maybe something healthy for someone else is unhealthy for you? We all have unique histories, genetics, and lifestyles that makes sense we need a customized plan.
Go back to basics of health- Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water (the signal for thirst and hunger are the same, so you may actually be thirsty), fill half your plate with veggies (especially the dark leafy greens), move your body, go to sleep before 11pm, and don’t go to bed angry. That one day of at a party is not going to make a huge difference, synonymous to not eating for a day. The foundation gets us into a rhythm (which our body really likes), so we can tune in even more to gain additional insight to what we may need to be at our best. Supplements, additional foods, specific exercises & lifestyle habits, etc. are all like 10x more effective when tailored to the individual. Ever notice what worked for one person doesn’t always work for another? Just read a review off Amazon :D
Taking responsibility for anything is usually not fun, especially when it’s of consequences we don’t like. There were actually studies done that when a sports team wins people say ‘we’, and when they lose, people say ‘them.’ In other words, it’s easier on the conscience to associate with success. Makes sense. Yet as humans our capacity to think & communicate make us unique, as well as works in progress. We have the capacity to identify our strengths and weaknesses, and create change. Once again, doesn’t have to be radical, but most importantly a step or two to boost our confidence, in which we can scaffold and add in more. And if you’d like to know more about those steps, you can find out here!