The evil diet cycle
There is no use in saying you want to lose weight, stop smoking and drinking, and introduce exercise into your life if you have no solid plan and don’t really know if you are actually going to achieve your goals. So many women always start a healthy eating plan only end up heavier and more disappointed in themselves than before.
It’s a vicious cycle that must be stopped dead in its tracks before your health you’re your own worst enemy.
Mary Ovenstone, life coach to the 2010 Adventure Boot Camp Challenge finalists, shares her thoughts on lifestyle change. She believes that a psychologically healthy person is someone who loves and accepts themselves the way they are, but at the same time wants to grow and evolve.
These two ideas can seem mutually exclusive at times but straddling the two legs of this paradox is what brings us a sense of personal fulfillment. It is important, however, for us to understand how to change. To begin to make a lifestyle change, we need to have accepted ourselves enough to feel we are worth the effort involved in changing old habits
What must I do to change for good?
• You need to be very precise about exactly what change/s you want to make. For example: how many kilos you want to lose, that you want to completely stop smoking, that you want to exercise three times a week and for how long, how much wine you want to drink and on which days a week, etc.
• You need to be clear about your attitude and the circumstances in your life that support your old habits.
• You need to ask what you get out of these experiences and what the pay-off is.
• Then you’ll need to work through the pay-offs and replace those needs with healthier alternatives. For example: going for walks and communing with nature when feeling empty inside, doing some deep breathing when feeling anxious, calling friends if you are lonely, etc.
• Once you feel you are ready, you then need to positively choose and firmly decide on the new habit.
• You must make a choice, not because someone else said so, but because you chose it, that way there is no one else to blame or to rebel against and there is no turning back. Each time you feel you are wavering, you need only remind yourself of your own positive choice.
• You need to envision yourself with your new habits in place. What will they look like, dress like, speak like? Who will you surround yourself with? What will it feel like to have this new habit in place?
It is a good idea to create a positive affirmation that describes how great you will feel with this new habit in place. Example: “I feel fit and look great in my sleeveless summer clothes.” You can use this affirmation to remind yourself of this new feeling whenever you want to fall back into the old habit. If you fall off the wagon, you can remind yourself that you are worth the effort and get back on track. No amount of guilt feelings will help - just enough positive self-regard to stand up again.
It takes about three months to change habits and make a real life change and it happens one day at a time. Along the way you can encourage yourself each day by saying: I lived according to my new plan one more day!
If you are looking for a kickstart to your exercise routine along with moral support from a group of fantastic women, why not sign up to Adventure Boot Camp. To register go to www.AdventureBootCamp.co.za or call the national head office on 021 447 021 447 2746/ 082 567 2267.