People talk about things like chocolate or ice cream as if they were magical gifts from the Gods designed to lead us into temptation and dash our plans for healthy living. They are not magical. They are just another foodstuff amongst loads of others. They don’t have a supernatural hold over us.
Your body responds to these foodstuffs because repetitively, over time, we gave it the message that if you need these nutrients, then this is what you should be looking for. Like coffee for instance. If you tend to drink coffee throughout the day rather than water, then we’re teaching our body that coffee = water. So whenever your body is thirsty, you get a big picture of coffee in in your head.
Of course, by the time our body actually tells us we need fluid, our reserves are pretty low. If we had remembered to drink water though out the day BEFORE we were thirsty, or body would never need to send fragrant frothy pictures of cappuccinos into our heads in the first place.
Many people think that getting fit and following a diet means starting a war with their body. They imagine that their eating plan will say they should have lettuce for lunch, while their body tells them it needs a pie and a caramel latte. And then the war is on between your body and your good intentions, and will kick off again at dinner, and then again around snack time before bed.
Part of my job when preparing a diet plan for clients is conducting ‘peace talks.’ Your body isn’t craving the packet of chips. What it really wanted was a healthy serve of carbohydrates. Likewise, it doesn’t want the Tim Tams in the office kitchen, it just needed a lunchtime glucose boost. The message here is that a healthy eating plan which includes set eating times, will give your body the nutrients it needs before it turns them into cravings.
The key to the plan is the timing of meals. We want to predict what your body will need throughout the day and make sure it receives it BEFORE it gets hungry and dec...
You may have noticed that when someone posts something negative on social media, I tend not to delete it. This is because I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion and I don’t want to censor discussion. I am also not a negative person and choose not to spread further negative comments that lead to conflict.
I recall a day when I was still in my gym clothes dashing into the supermarket to buy some more broccoli. When I was about to walk across the cross walk a car drove past and a delightful young man stuck his head out the window and called out. He said "love you better get home and change your balls are hanging out." Hmmmm what a charming man. I actually took it as a compliment that I was quite lean and my muscles were popping out.
I also occasionally have people comment on my social media photos that I look like a man. My message to the haters is simple. Don’t visit places that make you negative or unhappy. Instead find things that interest and inspire...
A lack of motivation makes it tough to stay on track but while people moan about not having enough motivation. Here are a few simple ideas to help you stick to an exercise and eating plan whether you’re motivated or not.
Convenience – plan ahead for meals and prepare in bulk
Sometimes we fail to stick to a meal plan not because we give into cravings, but because we weren’t organised. It’s easy to eat fast food because we were desperately hungry and too tired to cook.
If you're trying to stick to a work out plan/diet plan, it helps to have a clear idea of your goal. Just like if your saving, it helps to think about what you’re saving for. If you decide you’re training because you’d quite like to run a marathon, but what you REALLY want is to look good in a short dress at the next Xmas party, then focus on the Xmas party. Imagining yourself looking fit and healthy in a LBD will be a far more concrete and motivating image for you personally than a vague idea about doing the City...
I’ve often heard the phrase ‘Wasting your life in a gym.’ If you’re not a regular gym goer, it can be difficult to understand the lifestyle. Turning up and exercising in ways that push my body and keep me fit are obvious draw cards, but here are some other reasons.
The sense of community - I don’t just walk into a gym, I walk into a community of friends. I have a support network there, I have people I can turn to for advice. If I want to talk about food, muscle gain, technique or even the best winter morning jogging spots, there will be someone for me to talk to at the gym. If my mood is flat, someone will lift it, if my mood is fabulous I can share it.
Heathy mind - Working out is a great way to give my mind some down time and clear my head. Too often we neglect our mental health and let our thoughts race away unchecked without realising how exhausted it can make us. Gym time helps me marshal those racing thoughts and get some order back up there!
I once had to leave a pub because I was preparing for a competition and pulled out my chicken salad to eat at 6pm. The bouncers were nice, but they said I couldn’t eat my own food on the premises despite the fact that I had checked on their menu and there was nothing I could eat and still meet my nutrition requirements. My friend tried to explain that I had a competition coming up and my meal plan was important but to no avail. We both left.
Another thing – when I do go to pubs to meet friends, I just drink water. Water is the perfect accompaniment for good conversation.
Obviously things like this make it difficult when I head out with friends. I sincerely wish I could finish this post with a few tips on navigating this problem but I don’t have any!! It will always be a juggling act. The longer I have pursued my love of fitness training the more my friends have become used to my routines and it no longer raises any eyebrows. Sometimes you just have to stick to your guns and stick to you...
Losing motivation, how to make sure the setback doesn’t turn into a spiral.
Part of maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle or meeting our training goals, is being realistic about drops in motivation. There will be weekends, or weeks, or months (or years!), where we fall off the wagon and eat junk food in bed while our gym pass gets dusty in whichever drawer we left it in.
There are many reasons for this, sometimes something as simple as a training injury can unravel our commitment and send our boat back into the harbour, other times we can be derailed by personal issues. There are a million and one things that could affect your motivation – by the certainty is that it will happen. And you need to prepare for it.
One thing that that will stop you hitting rock bottom is having pride in your achievements outside the gym. The promotion you got, the BBQ you built in the back yard, all the things you have managed to achieved in your life outside your training and exercise routine are the thing...