Have you had one of those days you look in the mirror and it hits you, "where in the heck did that belly come from? What happened!?"
Ugh, that sucks sooo bad. It’s like it comes out of nowhere as if you put the weight on overnight, like Tim Allen in The Santa Clause. But it doesn't. It happens over time. Ever heard of how you boil a frog alive? You start by placing the frog in a pan of warm water and slowly heat it up to boiling. The frog doesn't even know what’s happening until it’s too late. That is EXACTLY what we do to ourselves by gradually eating more and more junk food.
HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN
Extreme diets. You change your entire diet because you want to see fast results. You make progress, see the numbers on the scale drop and some changes in the mirror. But then...after a while you start to crave those yummy foods. Chocolate. Chips. Pizza! You try to resist, but the monkey on your back will not leave you alone. You finally give in and tell yourself that you'll only have a little. "I've been so good lately, and I can handle it."
A little turns into a little bit more. Pretty soon you're having these little “snacks” every other day then every day then... I think you know where this is going.
(KSHH!) Did you hear that? That was the sound of your WILL POWER shattering.
This brings us to that day you look in the mirror and see that you have erased all progress you had made. Let’s put an end to this vicious cycle and discuss why will power won't help you reach and KEEP your goals.
If I Only Had More Will Power
Guess what…..it wouldn't help. If I can guarantee one thing it's that will power will always fail. We are human. You can't just decide to do everything perfect. If that were the case we wouldn't be having this discussion. But, we are tempted everywhere! Ads, commercials, co-workers birthdays, "but it's Stacy's birthday, it would be rude to not have a piece of cake, I'll make it a little one." HA! We all know how that ends don't we. You go back for one more little piece.....FOUR or FIVE different times! By the time it’s done, you have eaten enough to make up one gigantic piece.
Will power, when it breaks…it breaks! It’s great for getting started and will even help you get some initial results, but you have a limited quantity of will power. As you face craving after craving, your supply will run low and will begin to sputter like a car running out of gas. And then…. you cave.
First off, you need to avoid extreme diets. Rome wasn’t built in a day and same goes for your dream body. If you have experienced it like I have, it most likely took you a while to get out of shape and it will take a while to get back into shape. The good news is it’s not a race.
So, assuming you’re on a good nutritional program, how can you continue to stay on track and avoid this seeming inevitable failure?
Developing Your Why Power
Why are you doing it? Why do you want to lose weight, live healthier, & get stronger?
What is your why?
What makes a 'why' more powerful? It is the manifestation of your true feelings and beliefs. It's the driving force behind even thinking about depriving yourself of anything you like, or taking on a challenge that will clearly test your resolve.
Your ‘why’ will act like a fast recharge for your will power. Whether you want to get a handle on your blood pressure so you can stop taking medications or you’re sick of weight being an issue in the family and you want to be the healthy example they need, those are why's worth fighting for! Every time you get a craving and you think “is that cookie worth more than my why?”, it will give you the strength to turn it down.
A good 'why' will recharge and refresh you. It will push you onward through all those tough moments you would otherwise cave under. Don't settle for okay, you're better than okay. You deserve to enjoy this life to its fullest. People are counting on you, they need you, and they want to see you succeed. Will it be tough? Of course. Everything worth fighting for is. So find your 'why' and be the proof to those in your life that it is possible to be healthy, be fit, and have your cake and eat it too!
Putting it into Action:
At the top of a page write down a SMART Goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time bound).
Bad goal = I want to lose weight.
Good goal = I want to lose 10 pounds in the next 1.5 months by eating better and working out no less than 3 days a week.
Then list out 10 different reasons you want to achieve that goal. They don’t need to be perfect. This is to get your mind thinking about why you want this goal and what it will mean to you when you achieve it.
Once you have 10, go through the list and eliminate the ones that are superficial. Narrow the selection down to your top 3. These ‘Why’s’ should tug on your heart. They should elicit a response deep inside you. If you don’t have 3, that’s okay. One great ‘why’ is all you need.
Hang onto your top Why’s. Put them on the fridge, the bathroom mirror, or on your cell phone background. Anywhere you will always see it and be reminded why you are striving for your goal.
Fight for it! You got this!
What is your greatest struggle with your commitment to fitness? Tell me in the comments!