This week is National Obesity Awareness week and typically at this time of year many of us (myself included) are looking to either lose weight or get in shape. However, with the weather being traditionally cold at this time of year it can be difficult to even motivate yourself to get out of bed, let alone be healthy. In this post I'll be sharing my tips that will help you on your journey to a healthier you.
Find your motivation
Work out what motivates you, it may be your children, it could be that dress you always wanted to get into or maybe you have a holiday coming up? Whatever, it is use that as your motivation as that is going to go a long way to helping you achieve your goal. Put images, words or watch videos that revivify your motivator everywhere. I strongly believe the more positive motivation you have around you the easier your goals become to achieve.
My personal motivation is my children, so I have pictures of them next to my alarm clock so that my motivator is the first thing I see when I wake up and the last thing I see before I go to bed at night.
By getting active I don't mean you have to start hitting the gym or working out like Mr. Motivator (although if spandex is your thing, then who am I to stop you?). Make subtle changes to your normal day, the best way to commit to something is to make it a habit and the easiest way to do this is to set SMART targets.
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Agreed Upon
R - Realistic
T - Time Based
You may choose to get off the bus/train a stop earlier, get up and take a walk around the office each hour or walk instead of drive to the shop. I've stopped myself from using lifts and standing on the escalators, it's amazing how much of a workout walking up a couple of flights of stairs can be. Yes it will be tiring at first but, if you persevere with it, it'll become easier and you can push yourself even further next time.
Drink plenty of water
If you're a big fizzy drink or sugary tea/ coffee drinker try switching to water. Water is a cheap, healthy choice for quenching your thirst and it has no calories or sugars that can damage your teeth.
Scientists recommend that you should drink between 2 and 3 litres of water each day. This may increase depending on how active you already are. You can easily keep track of your water intake by carrying a bottle with you at all times. I've marked my bottle with 250ml increments so that I know how much I've still got to drink. Thirst can often be mistaken for hunger so remain hydrated.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
Prepare, prepare, prepare!! Plan your meals and your exercise wherever possible. It's much easier to stick to a plan than to remember what you thought of the night/ week before.
You don't have to plan your meals for the entire week although, if that helps you to stay on track then do whatever works for you. I've started to prepare meals for the next day the day before. It's not only saving me time and money it's also ensuring that I'm not tempted to eat something unhealthy.
Get out of the 'treat' mentality
We often excuse ourselves or allow ourselves to eat something that we know isn't right for us by 'treating' ourselves. This mentality is almost like spending ages writing a report only to then throw it on the fire once done. A good friend of mine Nick Davies summed this up well when he told me 'You're not a dog, so don't treat yourself with food.'
Instead reward yourself with something beneficial, it could be relaxing in the evening or putting the money you would have spent aside for something you really want maybe even that dress you want to fit into.
Find time to meditate
Being a hypnotherapist I believe that a strong mindset is the key to achieving what we set out to achieve. In the therapy room, I've seen people remove barriers that have been holding them back by changing their perspective or mindset.
We all lead busy lives and it can be difficult to find time to sit back and take stock of the day. By meditating I don't mean you have to sit cross legged for several hours chanting over and over. I take a few minutes each day and look at the positives of the day. I also look at the achievements I've made for that day and I think about what I'm going to achieve the next day to move myself forward and this has served me well in having a positive outlook on life.
Going slightly off topic, a phrase that Tim A. Cummins shared with me always enters my mind when I'm starting to feel negativity set in is; 'You're only as happy as you choose to be.' This immediately shifts me back to a positive mindset.
I hope you've found this post useful, please feel free to share your stories or tips that you've found useful along your path.
Jason Simmons is one half of mapping minds and the author of the forthcoming book; Tranceformation: A positive approach to weight loss.