is a motivational speaker and personal coach focusing on healthy habits for a healthy lifestyle
Have you ever taken the time to observe a robot? This machine is often finely tuned and does everything it’s asked. In terms of emotions, it's quite simple, the robots simply have none. They do not experience ups and downs as we, humans, do. We must admit that for us, it's a little different. When our body makes us realize that we’re no longer as fit as we used to be, our emotions can quickly take over. All of a sudden, you decide that things must change. To become fit again, you are now planning to run a half marathon in the next eight weeks. Food-wise, you decide that those extra 20 pounds will be gone by next month. Do you recognize yourself in this scenario? If you are the type to think "things must change now and quickly", it might be worth reconsidering your short, medium and long-term goals. How do you do this? Here are some tips that helped me and help my clients to set appropriate targets for themselves and progress at their own pace, while respecting their limits.
Know where you are coming from to know where you are going
When it comes to regaining control of your health, it is important to take a break and analyze your current situation. To do this, try to take 15-30 minutes to ask yourself the following three questions:
1. When was the last time I exercised for more than 30 minutes?
We’re not talking about shopping or raking leaves here, but rather a minimum of 30 minutes of continuous effort during which you were a little short of breath. If your most recent memory goes back to more than a year, you should begin to move gradually as your body had plenty of time to become stiff during those months or years.
2. Why did I give up the last time I tried to exercise regularly?
Is it because the physical activity you were doing was not suited to your needs? Or because you didn’t get any pleasure from it? Maybe it was just that you had no motivation towards training. In my case, when I was morbidly obese, I had to ask myself this question and I realized my perception of physical activity was causing me to drop out. Every time the word "training" came to mind, all I could see were sacrifices, hardships and a waste of time. However, the day I started perceiving this as quality time for myself, a challenge and an amazing opportunity to invest in my health, everything in my life changed.
3. Why do I want to change?
This is a very simple question, which answer could simply be "Because I want to be healthy!" However, be aware that any process of regaining fitness has hidden goals. Of course we all want to be healthy and all, but it is not uncommon for people to decide to change their habits for other reasons, such as:
• Losing weight for a special event (a wedding, a conference, etc.)
• Being able to shop for clothes that they like
• Attract the opposite sex
• Feel good about themselves
Short, medium and long-term goals
Just like in your work, you must have short, medium and long-term goals regarding your health. Keep in mind that you should set goals based on your current situation. Write all of them on a calendar or sheet of paper and put the list in a place where you can always see it.
These are actions you can take now to see results in the upcoming days. For example: walking 30 minutes 3 times a week, reducing your portions and eating more fruits and vegetables.
This is what you want to happen in the upcoming weeks and months. For example: within the next three months, I will have lost at least twelve pounds. In the next eight weeks, I will increase my time for physical activity from 30 to 45 minutes.
This is what you want to come true by next year. The long-term goals are often the results of the accumulation of short and medium-term goals. For example: in a year, I will be able to participate in a five-kilometer race, I will be active every day, I will have shed all the weight I have gained these past years.
The human body is a very complex organism that can adapt to whatever you ask of it. However, to succeed, you will need to give it time. If it took several years for you to gain weight and get out of shape, think of giving your body a few months or even a few years for it to completely get back into shape. This will definitely take longer than more drastic methods. However, the results will be here to stay.