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Motivational Monday's (2/25/19)

Happy Monday everyone! 

Get excited, today is a good one!!! Today I want to dive into the WHATS that make up the characteristics (in terms of diet & lifestyle) for a seemingly well balanced, strong, healthy, happy individual. 

There are six key points I want to touch on, and they will all be based around these two main points, adherence and sustainability. Sustainability and dietary adherence are by far the most important factors in losing weight and keeping it off. Plainly put, if you cannot sustain the methods you use to lose weight, then the question is not “if” but “how rapidly” you’ll put back on the weight after you lose it. What makes a diet sustainable is very individual and this is why I preach that there is NEVER a "one size fits all approach". Adherence and sustainability is also about psychology and sociology, which are different for each person. Meaning that your diet, for longevity, must somewhat accommodate your social life (within reason) and provide psychological and emotional well-being, while still progressing you towards your goals.

Before I get into the six key points I want to mention, I am NOT saying that losing weight, putting it on or keeping it off should be "easy". It maybe at some points (especially in the beginning, when you realize that changes to your current lifestyle may need to be addressed) in this journey, monumentally difficult. It requires discipline, dedication, and willpower. All characteristic traits that we should aspire to harness and embrace. 

Ok, now that I am past my signature long winded intro, here we go! These are, in my personal opinion, the top key characteristics (in no particular order) of a person who has success in building a well balanced temple I.E. your body: 
  1. Cognitive Restraint (in some form):  This includes any form of restraint that limits food intake, whether it’s limiting calories, time-restricted eating, limiting certain macro-nutrients (like low carb or low fat), portion control, tracking macros or calories, etc. While it’s important to employ a strategy that requires minimal willpower and sacrifice to be effective, every diet will require some level of willpower and sacrifice. You’ll need to decide what you’re willing to sacrifice. Do you hate the idea of never eating carbs again? Keto probably isn’t a good idea. Hate the idea of tracking your macros every day? "Flexible dieting" may not be for you. Find that you’re ravenously hungry at breakfast? Intermittent fasting, at least at that particular time, may not be for you. You need to decide what you want to sacrifice. Make no mistake, sacrifice will be absolutely necessary to achieve your goals and maintain your success—but you don’t want to purposefully make things more difficult than they already are. Find what makes YOU tick in terms of YOUR goals, what is important, what is not?
  2. Self-Monitoring: Self-monitoring falls in line somewhat with number one. Research tells us that successful "dieters" show that they took their body weight semi-often, weighed their food daily, or practiced some form of measuring food intake. The implications for measuring your food are pretty self-explanatory—if you’re measuring your intake, you can better control it and ensure that you’re actually in an energy deficit or in maintenance, depending on your goal. Daily weighing and measuring may be less “intuitive”, but it speaks to similar habits of being mentally engaged in the process of weight loss and maintenance. At the end of the day, this is based upon YOUR goals, does this work for YOU? Maybe, maybe not. 
  3. CONSISTENT Exercise: This may seem obvious, but exercise is a huge deal. In fact, I would argue that consistent exercise should be a top priority. Even performing 30 minutes per day, three days per week of rigorous physical exercise can produce robust benefits compared to being sedentary. If you can work up to 1-2 hours per day, 4-5 days per week of intense exercise, then you’re on another level of awesome for your body. BUT BUT BUT, I do not want you to think it’s pointless if you aren’t able to get to the gym every day. I actually would encourage some of your to find OTHER methods of activity OUTSIDE of the gym!! However, regardless of what kind of physical activity it is, finding some kind of exercise that you LOVE, whether it’s biking, crossfit, jogging, Jiu-Jitsu, paddle boarding, dancing, etc. The important thing is to do something that you enjoy so you’ll work hard at it and perform it regularly.
  4. Structured Nutritional/Lifestyle Guidance: I know, it’s popular to make fun of different diet programs like Weight Watchers, Nutri-system, or people who hire diet coaches (ME <3). This is the age of information, so why not save money and just find all the info you need online? Well, we’re human beings, and just having the information isn’t always enough to make a change. Humans like structure, and they enjoy having someone to put their trust in. We tend to second-guess ourselves quite a bit, and people do better when they have some kind of structured program to follow, which takes the guesswork out of their hands. Believe it or not, I am a coach for these reasons. I feel it is important to note that by engaging in a structured program, adherence may increase due to increased confidence. Naturally, treading into unfamiliar territory ALONE, we have very low confidence in our ability to get to our goals, so participation in a structured plan, in my opinion, helps improve confidence since it’s not up to you ENTIRELY to provide direction.
  5. Ability to Focus on the "Long-Term" Goal: I have found, myself included, those who maintain weight loss/size tend to be able to think about the long term, and they don’t let "short-term" feelings and desires dictate their behavior. Rather, they keep their focus on the “prize.” For example, I may feel unwanted "cravings" in the short term, but I use self control and self-talk to realize that those cravings don't last forever. Regardless of how you feel in the short term, you need to make a conscientious effort to stay mindful of your eating because your goals  (at least you say) are most important to you. 
  6. Social Support: Social support is a bit more complicated. But it is my favorite topic. Social support, during the beginning of any lifestyle change (and then in maintenance of this lifestyle) in my opinion is so so very important for success in the long-term. That being said, active participation from those around you is even better! If you have a friend or loved one doing the same thing you’re doing, it might make you even more adherent! So, if this "new lifestyle" thing is intimidating, find a buddy or family member to get active with. Hold each other accountable!! <3 Of course, you all know that you ABSOLUTELY have me for this too, do not ever forget it. I. AM. HERE. 
There you have it! Long one today, I know, but I hope it was worth it. I adore you all and I hope each and every one of you took something positive out of today's topic. Be patient with yourself, be kind to yourself and love yourself, from the inside out.



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