Get Back To Basics

Diets don’t work! Okay, I said it. But do you believe it?

Stop chasing the latest scientific craze. You don’t need an extreme weight-loss program or a fad diet to lose weight. And don’t buy into quick-fix supplement advertisements. You already know what to do. So do what you already know you should do and get back to basics.

no-excuses2I know that we’re all different. This just means that you need to figure out what tweaks you need to make based on your situation (e.g. age, goals, body type, overall health, etc.). But it doesn’t change the work necessary to get the results. Instead of focusing on what’s not working, hold yourself accountable by consistently working on the basics  –  one day at a time.

It’s easy to be motivated in the 1st month of doing something new. But staying consistent as time goes on and challenges or setbacks occur is more difficult. Focus on  your “why” and stick with it.

As you build momentum, days will quickly turn into weeks. And weeks turn into months; and then years. It’s The Compound Effect in action. Before you realize, you will have created a new, healthy lifestyle which becomes a little easier to maintain. Celebrate your wins along the way and then get back to work on the basics.

back_to_basicsSo what are the basics? It really only comes down to about 6 things:

  1. Eat clean. More fruits and vegetables. Carbs are not your enemy.
  2. Move your butt! You need to burn calories.
  3. Manage your portions and eat to about 80% full.
  4. Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated.
  5. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep to recharge.
  6. Make sure to have a strong reason “why” to help you through the mundane and challenging times.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Refer back to past posts for more details. If you work hard and master the fundamentals, you will begin to see amazing results!

Thanks for sharing some time with me. I’d love for you to let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like what you see, you can SUBSCRIBE for automatic updates, LIKE US on Facebook, and spread the word about with your friends, family and social circles.

Just Getting Started? Just Do It!

Like it or not, you’ve gotta move.

Just Do It - Every Damn DayNot only is moving important to your heart and lungs, it’s key to your weight-loss initiative. And don’t overlook the benefits to your mind and muscle development, regardless of your age.

So let’s just get used to the idea and start moving. If you’ve been sedentary for a while, then this post is for YOU!

Before you start any exercise or walking regimen, make sure to consult with your doctor.

Stock Photo by Sean Locke www.digitalplanetdesign.comOkay, so now you’re ready but what should you do and how should you start? I’m going to suggest that you start with walking, and that you start slow but stay consistent. Give yourself 3 to 4 weeks, with at least 4 to 5 days per week. Just walking. We’ll call this Phase 1.

This is not a race or a competition. The intent is to begin conditioning your body; mainly your legs, but also your heart and lungs. And your choice to begin (and continue) is the start of a new healthy habit. So you need to condition that “time” into your daily routine.

Here’s my philosophy: If you want to improve your health & wellness, which may include losing weight, then you need to incorporate some healthy lifestyle changes with regular exercise and good nutrition. This takes time so you need to have a little patience. But please don’t confuse patience with excuses blow off workouts or to slip back to your old ways.

“You need patience to allow your habits & results to materialize while you take action on your exercise & nutrition goals, one day at a time.”

For the first week just get out and walk, without any goals or expectations. Keep track of your walking time but don’t worry about your speed or step count yet. Your goal for this first week is to get moving – every day. Just get moving!

For the second week you can begin to set some targets. Either walking time or step count. For example: If you walked for 15 or 20 minutes per day last week, kick it up to 25 or 30 minutes in week 2. There are plenty of free smartphone app’s for tracking your steps, so find one that you like. If you don’t have a smartphone, just go based on walking time or buy an old-style pedometer.

For week 3 and 4, continue to increase your walking time or step count, and your intensity. This consistency is starting to build some healthy long-term habits and disciplines. And after a few weeks you will probably start to feel better and gain some extra energy.

But don’t expect any major weight-loss results yet. This will happen soon enough in another month or so when you kick your calorie burn into a higher gear with cardio & strength training, and cleaner eating habits. Remember, patience.

Walking with HeadphonesIf you want to listen to music (or a good book or podcast) during your walk, bring headphones. I find that walking is a great time to just think. But it can also help you clarify your thoughts or find solutions to problems. You will quickly find what works best for you.

Now it’s time to step away from the computer, lace up, and get walkin’.

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”  ~ Jim Rohn

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I’d love for you to let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like what you see, you can SUBSCRIBE for automatic updates, LIKE US on Facebook, and spread the word about with your friends, family and social circles.

What Are You Waiting For?

Think about your health & wellness. Are you motivated? To eat clean and train mean so you can get lean? Consistently or when it’s convenient? It’s a big part of what it takes to get in shape and lead a healthy lifestyle. But it’s only the first step. You need to get beyond the point of being motivated and get to actually doing what’s necessary. Got MotivationWe are going to explore where our motivation comes from and how to keep the fire burning long after the novelty wears off. How? By taking a closer look at 2 factors that motivate us, plus an added bonus.

Before we dive in, see if this scenario resonates with you…

You spend 50 to 60 hours a week at work. You’re loaded up with commitments, personal and professional. It’s not all work and no play, but more “me time” would be nice. And time is passing by pretty quickly (actually too quickly). You feel the weight of responsibility on your shoulders and it’s not getting any lighter; not to mention a few extra inches around your waistline.

You are missing workouts, or just not exercising at all. Maybe you’re not getting enough sleep either. As a result of your busy life, you occasionally skip meals. Sometimes you settle for something on the go, but that usually involves a drive-thru. And although you know that burger & fries with a sugary cola chaser is a horrible choice, you rationalize that it’s quick and better than nothing. Crystal BallAs you look into the crystal ball of your life, you either like what you see but maybe there’s some unfinished business and room for improvement. Or you don’t like what you see. And not only is this weighing you down but so is the extra weight you’ve been packing on slowly over time, that’s now becoming noticeable.

Does any of this sound familiar? Does it describe you? Maybe a little?

So I have to ask, where is your level of motivation towards exercise on a scale of 1 to 10? Does this number correlate to your exercise “attendance”? You know, the number of times you actually exercise every week. In the gym, at home, or wherever you train. And how about your intensity level; where does that weigh in on that 1 to 10 scale? Benefits-of-Cardio-Exercise-for-HealthLet’s assume that your motivation is somewhere between 1 and 5, which means that you’re probably missing valuable workouts. By valuable I mean the numerous benefits you get from your cardio and strength training sessions. Like burning calories & fat, building lean muscle, lowering blood pressure & cholesterol levels, improving balance & stability, gaining increased energy & stamina, and keeping your mind sharp.

Let’s also presume that your healthy eating is on that same 1 to 5 scale – Uh Oh! What are you going to do to get these important elements on track? After all, the combination of exercise and good eating habits are the primary foundation of a healthy lifestyle. But you already knew this. So what’s stopping you?

What - Why - How?Re-claim those exercise benefits you’ve been missing out on. Do yourself a huge favor by clarifying what you want and why you want it. I’m not trying to turn this into a complicated goal-setting exercise. I simply want you to stop and think about it for a few minutes. Let it marinate. Then grab a pen & paper to capture your thoughts.

Here’s a quick assignment: At the top of one piece of paper, write “What Do I Want For My Health & Wellness?”. On another piece write “Why Do I Want It?”. Now list out every thought that enters your mind. Just write, don’t edit. Sit and think – alone. You will be amazed at what you come up with (without the TV, your phone, Facebook, or any other distractions).

So these are 2 simple questions that may or may not be easy for you to answer. Especially if you’re overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. But if you’re determined to do this, the answers will give you clarity and insight. You may even find some needed direction that helps you understand what makes you tick.

Want some valuable feedback? Think back to some of the obstacles that tripped you up in the past. They’ll be back unless you deal with them.

If your thoughts aren’t flowing or you’re stuck, here are a couple lists to help you get started. But remember, the answers ultimately need to be your own. Let’s look at some examples:

What Do I Want For My Health & Wellness?

  • To lose weight. How much?
  • To live longer. How long?
  • To fit into a smaller size. What size?
  • A smaller waist. What size?
  • To beat diabetes, or keep it at bay.
  • To prevent a heart attack, heart disease or high blood pressure.
  • To look better.
  • To feel sexier.
  • To achieve a weight-loss goal that’s eluded me in the past.
  • To fulfill a lifelong dream (like running a marathon).
  • To be able to climb a flight of stairs without passing out.
  • To live for at least another 30, 40, or 50+ years, in great health.

Why Do I Want It?

  • I don’t like how I look or feel anymore.
  • I’m fed up with my unhealthy lifestyle.
  • I don’t like who I’ve become.
  • I’m embarrassed and tired of being ridiculed.
  • My unhealthy habits are killing me.
  • I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.
  • I want to see my kids, grand kids, nieces, nephews… grow up.
  • I want to take control of my life.
  • I feel like crap.
  • This unhealthy lifestyle is no longer acceptable to me.
  • My career is in jeopardy.
  • My health is on the line.
  • I’m going to die early if I don’t change something soon.
  • My kids are begging me to do something about my weight.
  • I’m scared and know that I need to do something.
  • I’m tired of being ‘judged’ by my appearance.
  • I have more to contribute to this world.
  • Just because…

So what does all this mean? Did this exercise help you clarify your What and your Why’s?

Until you dig deep and decide “what” you want for your health & wellness, and “why” it’s important, your motivation will deteriorate when life happens or gets in the way of your healthy ambition.

Here’s a bonus. Ask yourself “How will I feel when I’ve accomplished my want”? Visualize that and tie those thoughts to your list of why’s.FailureIf you’ve failed before (like all of us have), don’t beat yourself up. Pick yourself up, learn from that experience, and don’t fall into the same trap again. This time you’re equipped with why-power! Leverage it so you can start to build momentum and feel good about your efforts (and results) until you become unstoppable!!!

I hope this was meaningful. Enough so, that it helps you find whatever it is you need to take control of your health & wellness, once and for all. Cheers to your success!!!