Thursday, January 17, 2013
A little can go a long way
Everyone usually takes the start of the year to write about resolutions. As much as I disagree with the whole idea of it all, January is a time where almost everyone sits down and thinks about their goals and where they want to end up in the coming months.
FITNESS. It's usually pretty high up on everyone's list. Whether it be get back to a sport they lost a few years ago, run a marathon, or start working out 4 days a week, everyone usually sets pretty ambitious goals. I love goals like that. It sets the pressure to really push yourself to succeed. Unfortunately, it's not for everyone. If you are someone that already carries a very hectic schedule, then maybe finding the time to train for a marathon, or get to the gym 4 days a week can seem a little daunting. Where do you start? The end goal seems so far away that people usually give up.
I see it all the time at the Studio. People come in who haven't exercised in years, their eating habits are atrocious, and I ask them what their goals are. Everyone has these unrealistic ideas as to what it is that they have to do in order to reach their goals. I hear the same few comments all of the time;
"Ok, I guess I have to start eating salads now..."
"I suppose I have to take up running.."
"I am going to be practically starving myself..."
I am here to tell you that you don't have to think like that. If you have terrible eating habits, and skip out on certain meals, why would you go straight to thinking salads are the answer? I tell people the same thing. If you don't eat breakfast, eat breakfast. The next question is, "Ok, well, what do I eat?" My answer is always the same.
"Whatever you want."
Get your body into the routine of eating breakfast first, before you even think about the foods you are putting into your mouth. Consistent, scheduled eating works wonders on metabolism as well as energy. Don't try to run before you know how to walk. . isn't that how the saying goes?
That is a good 2 week goal. For someone who hasn't eaten breakfast in 10 years, making their body eat that early will be tough. Who cares about the rest of the meals in your day. Start with breakfast within an hour of waking up. Simple. Once breakfast becomes regular, you will feel better and probably even start gravitating towards more healthy food options anyway. Drop a rock into the pond, which in this case is eating breakfast, and watch the ripple effect in the rest of your nutrition.
This same pattern is seen in exercise as well. I can't count the number of joggers I've seen in the last 2 weeks, most with horrible form - kind of resembling someone in a bad horror movie running from zombies..
Chances are that they won't keep that up for long. It's too hard on the joints, and discouragement and pain are bound to set in.
Why not just walk? If you go out for a walk for a half hour, it's probably more than what you've done in a few months. It's safer, easier, and you won't have people asking you what you are running from and if they should join you.
All I want is for people to start thinking about smaller, attainable goals before they think about the final result. Goal setting is imperative to success, but you need to know the road to take. It's like grabbing a map, getting in your car and saying, "I'm going to China," and pointing at China on the map. You can drive west as far as you want, but eventually, you will drown. Instead, grab your map and a pen, figure out the fastest route, realize that there are obstacles along the way, and make a clear, concise plan with pit stops to check progress, to ensure success.
Going from 0 to 100% is unrealistic and very difficult. Why not just take a few weeks and get from 0 to 10% first?