Are You Engaged?
“I know what to do, but I just can’t seem to do it!” This is one of the things I hear most when I talk to people about their nutrition. I hear about emotional eating, busy schedules, preparing food for kids and spouses, and many other reasons that unhealthy food knowingly gets eaten by people who swear that they want to lose weight and be healthier.
Why is that? How is it that someone can absolutely understand that eating McDonalds for dinner is going to hurt them, yet they do it anyway? If you ask 20 different people you’ll probably get 20 different answers, but really it all comes down to one thing:
No, I don’t mean getting married. I mean thinking about the things you say you want and taking action towards making those things happen!
It’s real easy to let our lives get in the way. Raise your hand if you have an easy, care-free life with no stress and all the time in the world to do whatever you like.
OK, I’m looking out there and I don’t see anyone’s hand up.
I know how it is. There’s work, kids, school, household chores, and family just for starters. The holidays sure don’t make anything easier. It’s incredibly easy to do nothing all day but put out proverbial fires both at work and at home.
There is a way to do this, though. The great thing about it is that in the long run it really doesn’t take any extra time. In fact, once you get the hang of it it becomes just like any other part of your day. All I ask is that you take a little time at the beginning to get some things sorted out. Just an hour or two, that’s all. Is that really too much to ask of yourself for your long term health and life fulfillment? If it is too much, you have some priorities to re-evaluate.
1. Write down a 3 and a 12 month goal. When you do this you need to be specific. “I want to get in shape” is not specific. “I want to lose weight” is not specific. You lose weight every time you go to the bathroom.
“I want to lose 15 pounds” is specific. “I want to be able to add 25lbs to my squat” is specific. The more specific you are, the more you engage (there’s that word again) with what you really want.
2. Write down why. As far as I’m concerned, this is just as important, if not more so, than knowing what your goals are in the first place. I’m not kidding. No one wants to lose 10 pounds just because. There is something behind it. Maybe you want a boyfriend/girlfriend. Maybe you see your parents or a friend getting more out of shape and you don’t want to go down that road. Maybe you have an event coming up and you want to fit into a special dress.
Think about it. I mean really think about it. Get deep. If you want to lose 10 pounds and you want to do it to fit into a dress think about why it’s so important for you to fit into that dress. Get uncomfortable but realize that there are no wrong answers here. You feel how you feel and you need to know that it’s OK and own it. No one else needs to know why as long as you do.
Once you do that, you really are engaged with this and you have a much better chance of getting over the hurdles that are always out there.
3. Write down your goals on a several pieces of paper and put them where you will see them on a regular basis. This is where that engagement starts to become a habit. Take just a second to read them when you see them. This helps keep these things top of mind. Now when you usually would absent-mindedly reach for that handful of chips you have something in your head that tells you “Stop!” You’ve got something more important that you’re working on.
4. Repeat your goals to yourself WITH EMOTION at least two or three times a day. OK, a couple of things here. First, did you notice that I capitalized WITH EMOTION? That’s not a typo. We are emotional creatures and emotion is the thing that takes something from something you’d like to do to something you ARE DOING. Also, repeat your goals to yourself in the present tense, including the things that are driving you to reach those goals.
“I am losing 15 pounds so I can fit into those jeans for that party and I will my ex so damn jealous!”
Doesn’t that get you more emotionally engaged than, “I want to lose 15 pounds”?
5. Lastly, repeat your goals to yourself each time you engage in an activity that potentially effect your results. In other words, if you want to lose weight, repeat your goals each time you eat or drink anything. This will help you stay on track. It’s a lot easier to say no to those french fries when you’ve just talked to yourself about your goals and your reasons why.
I know this sounds like it might be a lot, but if you do this consistently for just a few weeks it becomes second nature and soon your goals will be more a part of you then ever before. You know what happens then, don’t you?
Let me know if you have any questions.
P.S. We’re going to be going over this and many other aspects of goal setting and fat loss on January 18th at 1pm at my gym at 2861 Grove Way in Castro Valley. It’s going to get even deeper, and I guarantee you’ll come away with some tools you’ll be able to use right away, no matter what your goals may be. You can go here to sign up.
Have a great day!
Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Lean Eating Coach, FMS
2861 Grove Way In Castro Valley
I Help People Discover Their Strength!