"Life would be a lot easier if chocolate had not been invented!"
The diet for the bikini or the little black dress. The January detox. The 'I'm giving up chocolate for lent' regime. Low fat. No carbs. High protein. Blah, blah, blah....Most of us spend a considerable amount of time moaning and obsessing about our weight. Most of us are always searching for that quick fix. We do exercise because we feel that we should. We want to lose weight and we want to look better. Some people exercise like crazy so they can eat what they want. Some people eat nothing so they don't have too.
As a personal trainer one of my biggest challenges is not getting people to exercise, or go on a diet. The challenge is getting people to change their lifestyle and eating habits for good and forever. Whether you exercise but do not eat right or whether you eat right but do not exercise, you will lose the battle in the end.
So why is it so difficult to make healthier lifestyle choices?
As a society we use food to make ourselves feel better when we are low and to reward ourselves when we are high. In addition food processing companies have taken advantage of our weaknesses, with clever marketing campaigns, bright packaging and foods that taste great because they are packed with sugar and flavourings. During a recent trip to Center Parcs, and spending a substantial amount of time in the swimming pool, I noticed that almost everyone, and I include myself in this, was overweight in some form. Most people were carrying extra weight around their middle. I could not spot a lean, healthy looking person anywhere.
But I too find myself making bad choices. My weight can fluctuate throughout the year, I find it hard to say no to cake and I eat a lot more when I'm stressed. If it's hard for the trainer to change then what about everyone else?
The top 10 reasons why people DO NOT exercise:
10. I really hate to exercise.
9. I try to exercise but keep quitting.
8. I can't afford a gym membership.
7. I'm not seeing any changes in my body.
6. I don't know how to exercise.
5. I want to exercise but I have to take care of the family.
4. I can't seem to stay motivated to continue working out.
3. Exercise HURTS!
2. I can't make the commitment to stick to an exercise routine.
1. I don't have time!
There is always something else to do, whether it is that household chore that is niggling you or your favourite TV programme on the Sky planner. If you haven't set aside the time to eat healthy or exercise regularly, you will always find something else to do and you will use lack of time as an excuse. Before we put anything into our mouths. Before we embark on a regular exercise regime. The key to a healthy lifestyle is organisation. Planning meals and shopping lists, making a workout plan and scheduling the time to do it, not going to bed early enough and sleeping in the mornings.
If you get this bit right you can actually have your cake and eat it...metaphorically speaking!
My Beautiful Body Project
This year is about accepting your body for what it is but also making sure that you make the best of what you've got.
What? Making small but positive changes to your lifestyle to become healthier and happier.
Why? So you never have to go a diet again and you are the best YOU that you can be.
When? Right now. There's never a better time.
How? By eating healthier, sleeping better and moving more.