Monday ~ Take Back your Day!

Summer is just around the corner and I want to revisit an important point I wrote about several months ago. There is nothing more defeating then feeling like you should have started a healthy lifestyle several months ago, especially when summer finally shows up and you are not even close to feeling like shorts are an option. For women, unveiling bare legs, shoulders, and upper arms can cause anxiety....let alone fitting into a bathing suit...forget about it! For men, the mid section is usually the area that first draws the comment that they may be "out of shape." Whatever the situation, if it causes a feeling of disappointment or a feeling of being self conscious, then it's time to find a solution to feel better. There is no better time then NOW to take back your health! Summer is on its way and can be a big motivator to get on track if your mind is focused and your heart is motivated!

I have found many people can't stand pressure. The pressure to do this or do that to make something work. If you are one that feels like you have to jump through hoops to see results, then this is for you: ...REMOVE the pressure! Instead, just BE! That's right! Just BE healthy. I know, it's easier said then done. But just this past week, my good friend was telling me she really wants to drop several pounds before some of her summer vacations. She was also frustrated because she was burnt out with the past methods of counting calories, figuring out portions, having to fight off temptations, etc. She was tired of it. She wrote this in an email and I could totally pick up on her tone of despair. She really wanted to get back to her "happy weight," She yearned to feel good during those vacations that require shorts, bathing suits, and a lot of activity. She was questioning why it is so hard to muster up the motivation these days. I could see the problem. It was just too overwhelming. Overwhelming to muster up a plan. Overwhelming to count calories. Overwhelming to schedule in all those extra exercise sessions. Overwhelming to stay motivated. Let's face it, change takes effort. It doesn't have to be overwhelming though. In fact, when we begin focusing on the amount of effort, we actually pile on more pressure making it even more difficult to become motivated. My friend needed a new approach. My answer to her was: "stop being pressured!" She was putting too much pressure on herself to achieve her goal. I told her to make a decision to BE healthy. Simple. She already knows what she needs to do to be healthy. She just needed to renew her thinking and make it simple.

So, let me give you a couple of simple ideas that show you what I mean to BE healthy in a logical sense. First, no one force feeds you anything. No other person forces you to eat a half gallon of ice cream. No other person shoves a Big Mac and large fries down your throat. No one gags you with a large coke. I mean seriously, we live life like we have this outside power that forces us to eat cruddy. The only one making that happen is you. Simple. You pick up that bag of chips and you reach in the bag, fetch a handful and put those salty beauties in your mouth. It's highly unlikely in all cases that you are force fed. So logic says... YOU are in charge. YOU have to BE able to stop putting your hands on the cruddy foods that are ruining your goals.

Another thought to put into practice is to avoid the mentality of "all or nothing." How many times have you started a new health plan on Monday and by Thursday you are tempted into eating a cupcake? THEN you eat the cupcake and think you have failed your plan so you give up for the week because you "gave in." And to top it off, you think that you will have to start all over in Monday. Instead of that way of thinking, why throw the rest of your day and week away? Why not just get back on track an hour after that cupcake? You would save the rest of your day and weeks worth of bad eating. For some reason that "all or nothing" mentality sets us up for failure when we make a mistake. And friends... we ARE going to make mistakes in our healthy lifestyle journey!

So save the day! Take back each day! Live day to day! And you will get through!

Have a GREAT week!!

~ Rachel Z.

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