As a Nutritionist and Health Coach, this is something I continuously remind my clients of, and as a human being, this is something that I have to always remind myself of!
Avoid setting unrealistic expectations
Oftentimes when we set ourselves health and fitness goals, they sound realistic and achievable, especially when we’re sitting in front of the TV on a Sunday night chowing down on pizza (* insert comfort food of choice*), but reality can prove otherwise. I'm sure that many of you have been in the situation where even though you're full, you keep eating because this week you're going to do three yoga sessions, three gym sessions, and you promise yourself you'll avoid sugar, carbs, booze, etc. Does this sound familiar? Please tell me I’m not the only one!
If like me, you've found yourself waking up full of determination, enjoying lemon water and green smoothies, but slipping during the week, you're not alone. Often by Wednesday, you’ve done a gym or yoga session every day and even though you weren’t going to have any sugar, you did have a piece of dark chocolate…OK…a few pieces of dark chocolate and a small piece of milk chocolate.
By Thursday, it's a slippery slope when you get a text from a friend that you haven’t seen in a while and, feeling smug having already completed a yoga session, you head down to the local gastro pub or swish new restaurant for a meal. Before you know it, you've ordered a bottle of wine (because by the time you each have two glasses, that's nearly a bottle anyway). You’re having a great time and the food is delicious, so you decide to splash out and get some dessert and another bottle.
When Friday arrives, you approach the day with a little less enthusiasm, although you're happy it’s the weekend. Because of Thursday's dessert and wine extravaganza, Friday evening is a quieter affair and you’re happy to wake up feeling refreshed on Saturday to hit the gym in the morning before heading to a friend's birthday drinks that evening, which of course leads us once again to the Sunday sofa session...
Don’t beat yourself up for what you didn’t do…focus on the great things you did do!
So, I’ve just given you a snippet of what life is often like, despite setting yourself lofty health and fitness goals. But, even you don't achieve your goal of six workouts, no carbs, booze or sugar, you need to remember the positive efforts you've achieved during the week.
Remember that allowing yourself to have fun and enjoy your favourite treats from time to time gives you the energy and motivation to carry on moving towards your goals and ambitions because life can’t just be about work and seriousness!
Small steps + consistency = Big Impact!
So, if I can leave you with one piece of advice , it’s this: small things done consistently, can have a big impact in the long run. Your health is all about the long run. If 30 minutes or an hour of exercise is too much to fit in (for whatever reason; maybe you’re super busy or you’re starting out on getting fit again) and 10 or 15 minutes isn’t a struggle then do that. 10 or 15 minutes several times a week is way better than nothing! Even 5 minutes is better than nothing!
So start somewhere…anywhere that works for you, and stay on that path. Remind yourself every now and again that you’re human and chocolate cake or a night out does not = failure. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.