If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times: the biggest blockade between most women and their goals is perfectionistic, all-or-nothing thinking.
This looks like:
In fact, I was just having a conversation with a client this past week who was really uncomfortable with the idea of missing a workout.
She was super proud of the toned body she'd created and so to protect it, any time she missed a session she made up for it by doing 2-a-days.
So I shared with her that even as a personal trainer I do not workout 6 days a week.
She responded, "But I'm sure you at least take a walk or something even if it isn't an intense workout."
And that's when I realized, I needed to share with her and with you the truth of just how imperfect my nutrition and fitness routine is.
Maybe then you'll believe me when I say you do not need to be perfect to reach your goals.
So here we go... my confessions as a health coach.
Outside of that I usually will do 1-2 pretty long walks. But there are often 2-3 days per week where the only activity I get is what I do when I'm standing around with clients or walking around the kitchen to cook meals.
But even those numbers are generalities. Some weeks I workout 6 days per week, others I workout once. Some weeks I get to walk every day, other weeks I don't walk at all.
The point is I'm flexible and just try to make sure I never fall into the category of 'sedentary'.
I'm by nature a night owl. So usually I stay up either on the computer, on my phone, or watching tv (in fact, I usually go to sleep with the tv on and just have a sleep timer set. I know... so bad.).
I tend to go to sleep around midnight, even though I know going to bed around 10 would be much healthier.
With that said, I always get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep. And if I notice I'm feeling groggy, fatigued, or generally not good, I'll tighten up my nightly routine and will trade tv shows for bubble baths, books, and the Loona meditation app.
That is... until I feel better at which point I usually go back to my less-than-great habits.
Yes, I do well when I carry my half-gallon gluggy jug around, but there are too many days where I just don't feel like it and end up getting all my water through shakes, fruits, veggies, coffee, and tea.
Now here's the thing, I have zero health indicators that tell me I need to worry about this. If I had high blood pressure or anything along those lines I would be more mindful of this habit. But for now, it makes all my veggies taste SO much better, and that's good enough for me!
I preach a lot about planning out your days to make sure you don't skip a meal (since skipped meals can lead to extra hunger hormones, binging, cravings, blood sugar imbalances, and low energy).
And while I've certainly gotten better about this, I'm in no way perfect and every once in a while I'll suddenly look up at 5 o'clock, stomach grumbling, and realize I didn't eat lunch.
But here's the important thing: none of these missteps or imperfections in my journey make me feel bad or make me feel like quitting.
Because just like a marriage where you don't expect a lifetime of sunshine and roses, I know that imperfection is part of the package of living a long, healthy, happy life and fighting those imperfections is what makes the process miserable and hard to stick to.
I'm able to be this flexible with my habits because I got to the point where I know how good my body can feel, I enjoy healthy food, and I enjoy my workouts. I also have been at this long enough that my weight set point is pretty low. So I have absolute confidence in being flexible because I know I'll never go too far off center for too long because I don't enjoy living an unhealthy life.
So while at no point in the process should you strive for perfection, developing consistency and discipline at the beginning of your journey is important.
So yes, you probably need to start off with more structure and more dedication. And also, when you're in the process of trying to transform your body, you may need to be slightly stricter than when you're in maintenance mode like me.
But at some point, you have to know when you can loosen the reigns, make it a lifestyle, and embrace the messiness of living a healthy, joyful life.
And if you need help building those consistent habits, learning how good your body can feel, or overcoming that all-or-nothing mindset, click here to get on the waitlist for the next round of Follow Your Gut!
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