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Lifestyle changes

Posted Oct 22 2012 11:07am

I’ve been reading a personal training book on and off for a while now. Right now I’m sort of on again and I wanted to share a little something from my reading. Nothing big or mind blowing, just a nice reminder…

“Being physically active, or not being active, is a habit.

Similar to other habits, like a person brushing his or her teeth after getting out of bed or sitting on the couch when getting home from work, it is possible to learn to be more ‘automatically’ active throughout the day.”

Like I said, nothing mind blowing, just a DUH reminder. Everyone (including myself) can make physical activity a habit. The book gave a few suggestions to help:

  • find time for regular exercise
  • try to identify undesirable, time-wasting behaviors
  • replace them with healthy, productive, active habits

And I might add a few myself:

  • set goals, big or small
  • make a schedule to follow, at least in terms of when/where/what you will exercise each day
  • avoid things that make it easy for you to NOT exercise (watching tv, gaming, etc.)
  • reward yourself for goals you accomplish

I am definitely an advocate of healthy living and being physically fit, but I’m not always the best example of it. I make sure I run at least 3-4 days a week, but on the days that I don’t run, I’m not so great at doing something physically active. So, I set small goals to help me finally make physical activity and exercise a habit, every day.

Aside from physical activity, I think another habit is eating healthy. Same things apply when it comes to eating healthy.

  • Make time to prepare healthier foods
  • Identify unhealthy eating behaviors and habits
  • Replace them with healthier ones
  • Set big & small goals to help you eat healthier
  • Make a menu to follow
  • Avoid foods that prevent you from eating healthier (especially at the grocery store!)
  • Reward yourself for goals you accomplish (not with junk food, but with other fun things) - You're right! This organic, whole wheat, veggie filled dessert is WAY better than ice-cream and cookies.

NOW TIME FOR A LITTLE ACTIVITY!!  My book calls it the “decisional balance worksheet”

To begin, I want you to think about a change you want to make in your life, regarding physical activity or healthy eating. Some kind of lifestyle change you want/need to make. Then do these four things….

  1. Make a list of all your perceived PROS if you were to make the change
  2. List the things you’d need to do to make those PROS happen
  3. Make a list of all your perceived CONS if you were to make the change
  4. List the things you’d need to do to deal with the CONS

If you want you can put your answers in the comments and I’ll be sure to hold you accountable ;) or you can just think about what you’d do. Either way, I dare you to follow through with your lifestyle change!

Here are my answers:

Lifestyle change: EAT HEALTHIER

PROS: I would be healthier, my body would be stronger, my kids would learn better habits, I’d lose fat, my running would be better

TO DO: replace candy/junk with fruits and veggies, snack on whole foods rather than empty calories of junk, make HEALTHY taste better with spices and such, plan meals around fruits and veggies (rather than the meat like I usually do). Pick a fruit to go with breakfast and a veggie/fruit with lunch, fill half our plates with fruits/veggies at dinner.

CONS: I wouldn’t get to eat my delicious junk food, I’d miss my candy, I’d spend more money on produce and whole foods, No chips would make me sad, I’d have to learn how to cook/prepare healthy food to make them taste better, sometimes I just don't feel like eating fruits and veggies

TO DO: find good recipes, look for good deals, find REALLY good recipes, keep track of how much I spend on candy vs. produce, hope that time would turn it into a habit and I wouldn’t miss it anymore

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