From my previous post, it’s pretty obvious that I was in a little bit of a slump.
They talk about the ever productive cycle where positive thinking makes you feel good, which feeds your motivation to exercise regularly and further influence you into eating better. In every situation, this is the truth. If you can make one round of this cycle, the motivation continues to propel you forward into a space that those on the outside do not understand.
What they don’t talk about is the difficulty in making the initial round.
You can force yourself to eat better and exercise for a little bit, but you can’t force (or fake) positive thinking and feeling good about yourself. Unfortunately, two out of four is 50% - a failing grade. You need at least one more to create momentum.
What can you do?
Take it slow. I know you want to get this done as soon as possible. Regrettably, faking your way to 75% will only short-circuit your motivation and stall you sooner than you’d like. The first step and toughest one to receive is accepting that creating healthy habits is not something you can do overnight.
Make healthy food decisions. Eating better and regular exercise sounds like it should go hand in hand, but I beg to differ. Making two large changes simultaneously will cause burnout. In the argument between eating better and exercise, eating healthy tops in order of importance. Many people think they can eat more junk if they add exercise to the regimen – because they think they deserve it. Kill that mindset by forming healthy eating habits first.
Regular exercise. Because you’ve already formed healthy eating habits, the calories burned from working out is just icing on the cake. Seeing progress will continue to feed your motivation, which in turn makes you…
Feel good about yourself. Regular exercise and healthy eating creates a certain high that cannot be faked (although I have never tried). Knowing that you are taking care of yourself produces this internal need to continue the energy. Before you know it, you’re well on your way to making the first cycle.
Positive thinking. Without question, this is the hardest to achieve and maintain. Yes, the other three are difficult to start, but positive thinking requires a complete change in mindset. For most, a change in a healthier lifestyle triggers the need to compare. You start noticing that you’re losing weight, but how come you don’t have abs like that girl? Or, you start arguing as to whose diet is better than the other. Or, you start bashing other people for their exercise choice without knowing circumstances. It takes a very secure someone to come out on the other side, and become a cheerleader of others.
Once that cycle is completed, you start seeing life a little differently. You start being less selfish. You start wondering how you can serve others. You become genuinely happy for those around you.
And that energy is infectious.