Obsession vs. Acceptance

How many times a day do you worry about your weight?  Do you spend hours wishing you looked differently, obsessing about what you’re eating (or not eating), and/or trying every single “get six pack abs” video, exercise pins on Pinterest, and/or radical weight loss diets?obsession1

We are a Nation of obsessed bodies! I have clients, friends, and family who spend massive amounts of time fretting over what they can eat, when they can eat, and how they can change their diets to accommodate quick weight loss, while still enjoying all the things they love to eat and drink.  First everyone followed The Zone, now it’s Paleo; P90X was replaced with Insanity (literally).

dietOn DLF’s Pinterest page (http://pinterest.com/DaneLifeFit/), I see at least 25 new and different “these are the best exercises for toning the abs” pins every day! Of course, many of the people (mostly women) who pin these to their boards might not remember (or know) that the models in the pictures are usually women in their early 20’s, who work out 2-3 hours a day, and eat a very strict and regimented diet.

I am routinely questioned by clients obsessed with reinventing the workout to affect a change faster and better: is alternating sprints with incline walking better use of a treadmill than 40 minutes of straight running?  Are core workouts on a ball or TRX cable better than old-fashioned weight lifting (now re-named the less intimidating “resistance training”)?

Dear friends and followers, the answers to these questions that plague you day and night, and all that you obsess about when it comes to nutrition and exercise, is this:

ACCEPTANCE is the first step.

accept

Accept your body type.

Are you an ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph? (Look ‘em up!)  Take two people of equal age, height, and frame. They may look the same, but they can have a weight differential of as much as 15 pounds.  There’s more to a healthy body than an average height-weight scale that our doctors impose upon us. There’s more to you than what size shirt you wear.

Accept the effect your current lifestyle plays.stress1

Stress is the number one culprit in keeping weight ON.  The demands of your job, school, kids, your worries about finances, etc., all play a huge role in weight gain and/or lack of weight loss.

Accept that permanent change happens slowly.

There are no quick fixes to re-shaping the body, especially if you want these changes to stick.  Remember too, that a”diet” implies temporary.  Therefore, as soon as you resume your “normal” (old habits) of eating, you will gain weight again.  As for exercise, if you have or make little time for it, or just plain dislike it – no video, class, trendy running of 100 steps in Brentwood will work in the long run because you will get bored, or see so few results that you’ll give up.

So rather than obsessing, let’s accept.  With that hurdle jumped, we can address those issues that we can actually do something about.

Set a realistic goal for what your body can look like.

Once you figure out what your body type really is, and how much time you can give to exercise and proper nutrition (see the points below), you can set a realistic goal – one that you can actually achieve and then feel satisfaction and accomplishment about.

zenFix your environment.

Where there’s a will there’s a way.  If your job or home responsibilities are too stressful,  I guarantee with a little “un-panicked” soul-searching you can find a way to make even a small change that will allow you enough time to schedule regular and consistent exercise.  Between the positive stress-reducing effects exercise offers, and the changes in your body that will please your head, even that small change will result in something huge.

As for financial concerns, there are very inexpensive options to exercise and nutrition that you can adopt.  You don’t have to join a gym or shop at Whole Foods to make these changes.

Baby Steps.

Again – change happens slowly.  So make a plan, and step by step execute it.  Think of all the time you sat around wishing and obsessing instead of doing.  If you start taking baby steps towards your goals – and stay focused – within a matter of months, you will be closer (or even there) to achieving what you wish for.

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