I’m not talking about the lure of the small town interoffice relationships, I’m talking about how summer’s coming, I’m getting married, and I’m trying to be healthy. (Yes, summer is coming.) What can I do to get back in shape for all of that? For the majority of my college career to fund my education I was a Personal Training Coordinator who oversaw the personal training at our local gym and helped many individuals get back into shape or better their shape and overall happiness. For one reason or another travel, late nights, missed lunches or lunches out all add up. One day I went to bed a strapping young man, then the next I woke up having to find another belt to strap it all in. I am putting the knowledge I have learned from my previous life and having lost over 50 pounds to return my own body to its former glory… Here are the tricks that I am using along the way that might just help you too! I call it the RESIST approach…
You need to take into account the reason you are doing some of these bad habits. Are you tired, are you stressed, is there something going on at home? You need to realize that your health is important and you need to be real with yourself. Regardless of whether you are starting down the bad path or have frequent flier miles on the route you have to realize that it’s not hurting anyone but you. “One cookie here and there is OK right?” “It’s OK to eat out once this week because we’re all out and I don’t want to say no.” “It’s OK if I splurge today.” It’s OK if I have a second glass of wine because I ate salad with light dressing before my meal.” These are precursors to excuses if they aren’t already. Yes, it’s OK to do some of these things so long as it’s in moderation. Even apples can become unhealthy if eaten in unhealthy ways. Be real with yourself. The excuses only set you further back. If you feel guilty, you likely are.
“E”- Eating right
If you’ve heard once, you need to hear it again. There is no magic pill. One of the things that got me hired at the gym was a simple sentence. “It’s a lifestyle.” It has to be. Sure, I don’t have as much time as I used to watching what I eat but then again when my exercise level drops my nutritional needs change. I won’t recommend one diet, one method, one supplement- I won’t do it. Diets are fads, methods are arduous, and supplements are a touchy topic. If you eat well balanced and clean you will see weight begin to fall. Math is simple- if you eat more than you burn you will eventually gain weight. If you eat less than you burn you will eventually lose weight. Dramatic change causes stress so target for healthy, sustainable weight loss and quit eating what you know isn’t good for you. If you’ve earned a treat have one here and there but if you haven’t really earned it- don’t eat it! Yes, workouts are always good but that’s a whole different can of worms and a topic of discussion all on its own because there is not one cookie cutter routine. Regardless the workout or routine your body isn’t truly made inside the gym- it helps yes, but that’s a different blog. The world’s best bodybuilder can be out of shape if they don’t eat right! It’s a lifestyle that needs to be maintainable. If you feel guilty though, you likely are.
Get your rest! You know how it feels when you pull the all-nighter. Your body needs it to recoup. If you need to take a quick nap at lunch (not at your desk of course) or if you need to close the books a little earlier- do it. Turn off the TV, relax, and prime your body for success. Without rest and sleep we can become irritable and stressed out. You need to re-energize your body and a consistent good night’s rest is one of the best ways to do this. Take time for yourself sometimes too! It’s OK- you have to have balance.
“I” “S”- I Can Say NO
I’ll use some actual examples here for you:
“Richard, have a cookie” No thanks, I have some almonds here. “That’s baby food, have a cookie.” No thanks.
“Richard, it’s just one night. You can have a drink with us and eat some of this restaurants world famous baked Macaroni” No, I have been traveling for the past two weeks and everyone always says just one night.
“Richard, let’s go out for FAW!” No, I know its Friday After Work- but I’ve worked so hard all week and don’t want to ruin it now. Besides, this is THE ONE night during the week I have full run of the gym because everyone is out!
It’s OK to say NO. I know there are times in our working lives that socializing is necessary but who said you have to eat and drink to socialize? Who said you have to stay out until 2 am? It is a well known office fact that your co-workers will order pizza, they will offer to take you to lunch, they will have parties for seemingly no-reason at all just to have a food day, and the majority of them will at some point want to grab a drink. You CAN say no! It’s all on you, you can cave here and there but it all needs to actually equal out in the end. If you feel guilty though, you likely are.
Your unhealthy habits didn’t just happen overnight. If you’re healthy now and find yourself making some of the above excuses it’s only a matter of time before those choices become more frequent and you wake up one day wondering what happened. It does happen, even to a previous Personal Training Coordinator. Be patient, take your time, and flip the balance to good. Make good choices, make good decisions- you can trip here and there and know that’s OK as it’s’ overtime you will see the difference. Don’t let anyone discourage you, it is a lifestyle and you are the only one you have to answer to at the end of the day.
Over the years of my personal training days the one thing you start to realize is that people for the most part know what to do- they show up ‘out of shape’ looking for a fix. They wanted me to work magic so that in a short time they could have a new shape. What I would actually coach them towards is that shape is a result of choices made. It wasn’t their shape that was broken it was their decision process. If you fix the process the shape will fix itself. The biggest realization for me was if I felt guilty in the decisions I was making I was 100% of the time guilty. You know the basics now just go do it!!!