Guest blogger Nola Bellenger takes the lead this week:
The year is flying by and it seems like Christmas is just over and now it’s almost Easter! So where are we headed? A positive approach helps us ensure we are using our health, weight loss, wellbeing and fitness goals as a vehicle to get exactly where we want to go. Use these goals to improve our lives, reduce our stress, explore the world fitter, laugh more, and simply live longer and healthier lives.
We think it’s important for us all to slow down a little, take the time to think and appreciate that we are here and continue to work on and value our health and fitness and give it the importance in our lives that it deserves. We understand that we all have our own versions of ‘busy’ and it is hard to find the time for ourselves when our family, kids, partners, work needs seem to always come first. If we can make ourselves just as important and really step it up this year in valuing our health and fitness we’d be onto something.
Let’s take the time to look after those around us. Do you know the person next to you has found it difficult to leave the house for the last few days as she suffers from anxiety? Lost her mother last week? Was just diagnosed with breast cancer? Is being bullied at work? Has a child suffering from depression and just doesn’t know what to do to help her? Take the time to say hello to that person next to you as we really do not know the battles each and every one of us is facing each day. Simply be kind. Say hello. Check in with each other. Ask about someone you haven’t seen in a little while.
Our nutrition is a long-term focus. This isn’t a quick 4-week fix or 12-week challenge. Let’s set up how we want this to look long term and start with the small changes that we can keep up over time; things like drinking enough water and getting enough veggies in. Get creative in the kitchen and we encourage us all to cook our own foods most of the time. This is where we have complete control of what we put into our bodies. Cook extra at night to freeze and avoid a quick dash for take-away when we come home late from work. Think of ways to catch up with family and friends that don’t always involve eating and drinking. Sure, these things are fun, but so are lots of other things we can do! In the long run these little changes will make a big difference.
Please also let’s make a commitment to keep off the ‘Sad Step’ (scales) every single day at home. Our body naturally fluctuates and this sad step is simply just a number. It’s OK to be 80kgs. It’s OK to be 60kgs. A size 16 or a size 10. Let’s just be the best versions of ourselves and set a goal that is realistic to our body and our lifestyle. Many of us need to be focusing more on maintaining instead of losing each week. Shifting the focus can set ourselves free from this marker we have placed on ourselves.
Fitness is not a 6-pack stomach. It’s not about lifting the heaviest weights. It is not about being the fastest. It is about being able to do all the things we want to do. Being able to hike, run, lift your kids/grandkids, take holidays and travel in comfort, dance all night, play tennis etc. Can we be honest and say that going for a quick walk a couple of times of week is good, but is just not enough to reach the level of fitness to do the things we really want to do? Start small – try and exercise for even 15-20 minutes every day and build from there. Find a neighbour or friend to walk with, ski up the river on the weekend, walk the dog, take the kids to the playground for cricket, cycle instead of driving, join a tennis club. Let’s just keep moving, when we can, every single day. All we are trying to achieve is simply improve our own health and fitness so we can do all the things we want to do! Even look at training for an event to keep up our motivation and improve our fitness, or why not make your next holiday a cycling or hiking holiday?
But no matter how much effort we put in, we must have a positive attitude and mindset about our health and fitness goals and life in general. Look at the good in everything. Focus on the positives and what we can control. Think about some of the things that concern us; is it something that we will even be thinking about in 5 years’ time? There will be lots of challenges and detours along the way to our health and fitness goals so let’s not stress if we miss a workout, have a meal or too many drinks that weren’t ideal. Just keep in mind the long-term focus and exactly where we want our health and fitness to be, not just now, but also in 10 years’ time. How does that look to you? How does that feel? What might you be doing if you dared to dream a little about what was possible if you just started small and got started on your goals?
We often wait to have what we want before feeling thankful. We may be waiting a long time. To jump-start the flow of loving our life, we need to practice gratitude at all times, being grateful for all without conditions. Even being grateful for the things that might appear negative brings awareness to what is. When we can be truly grateful for everything that happens, the good or the bad, we will find that our lives gradually improve. It may be challenging at first to find the silver lining in every situation, but once this habit of gratitude becomes a part of us, we will be pleasantly surprised by what opens up. We can begin by expressing appreciation for the basics like food, shelter, health and for small things that we can easily acknowledge. From there, we can allow our gratitude to grow and when it does, we shall be ready for the small changes to come our way.
And enlist the help of a coach. That’s us! We aren’t talking about everyone signing up to do personal training but we are the people you can share your goals and aspirations with. We are there for you and can support you, give you that pat on the back, that kick up the butt, or that hug you really need. Doing it solo is just not how we are built so let us know exactly where you want to go and let us help you get there! Think about how we will feel in 2 months, 6 months or 5 years from now if we don’t start making some changes today? Use that feeling to help fuel exactly where you want to be.
We can’t wait to see the best versions of you (and us!) this year and in the years to come and until further notice be sure to celebrate everything because we plan to!
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