What did you do this Labor Day?
I spent my morning with Billy Joel.
He told me tales of the Piano Man, The Entertainer, The Stranger, and my favorite--Brendar and Eddie.
I found this app called Couch-to-5K, or C25K. It claims to get you off the couch and running a 5K in eight weeks. I'm on the third workout, and strangely, I don't hate it. I actually almost enjoy running. Maybe it's because I'm still easing into this running thing. I only have to run for 60 seconds, then I get to walk for 90. I do this for 8 intervals. So far, I'm digging it, especially when I get to cool down to New York State of Mind. And you need to understand something: I hated running and overall exercise.
When the overweight and undisciplined me feels like giving up or giving in, when I say, "I can't," the skinny and healthy me that is longing to be center stage says, "Yes, you can."
When overweight and undisciplined me says, "But it's soooo haaaard," Skinny and healthy me says, "No it's not really. What's hard is the choice. Stop whining and keep going." I like Skinny and healthy me, but she really is a pain.
The hardest part of tackling weight loss, exercise, overcoming addiction, or any other change that is challenging for us is not so much the act, but the action.
It comes down to our will.
We tend to look at our challenge as this huge task. We look at the big picture. We look at the end result, the end goal, and it's too big. Looking at it that way is overwhelming so we quit before we even begin. "I can't."
Instead, we might do well to listen to the folks from Alcoholic Anonymous who overcome their addiction, "one day at a time." Sometimes, it is one step at a time. One cookie at a time.
It is a matter, not of difficulty, but of will.
For years, I've said that losing weight was so hard because I never had a good enough reason for getting it off. I used menopause as an excuse. "Oh, it's just so hard to get weight off once you hit menopause." True. But that only justified my excuse.
When I had to begin taking yet another medication because the numbers weren't coming down, I knew I had to make serious changes by eliminating sugar and getting the weight off. That was enough motivation for me. And oddly, once I made the healthier choice, I find now that it isn't as hard as I thought.
It's skipping that extra half hour of sleep in the morning and choosing to get up in the dark and put my sneakers on, or skipping that ice cream cone and drinking water instead that's hard. It's the choice that's hard. It's denying the flesh that's hard.
Some days, saying "no" to my wants is the most difficult task on my to-do list.
What are you struggling with today? What is your motivation to change? Is it hard to actually put a plan into practice, or is it the choice to say no to your will that's so hard?
Try these five practical tips :
Make a plan and find your motivation.
My plan was to step up my exercise and eat less. That's the only way my weight will come off. My motivation? Getting off medication. The only way to do it is to exercise more and eat less. I long to be thin and med-free again. I don't just wish for it. I want it bad enough to do something about it.
Learn to say no.
Treat your will like a 2-year old child. Deny your flesh. Stop saying "it's" too hard. Define your "it" that is too hard, and break it down into smaller, more manageable actions that you CAN overcome. Make the choice to be stronger than your "it." If you can't, ask God to be stronger for you (I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." Phil 4:13). Think before you act. Decide if you really want to do that. How will it affect you? How will you feel afterwards? Will the guilt over having given in lead to doing that thing again? Break the cycle. Stop whining and do something about it. Make a healthy choice.
Focus on right now and not the end result.
I can't eliminate sugar-it's too hard. But right now, I can go without that cookie. I can't walk five miles, but right now, I can walk one mile. I can't run a 5K, but right now, I can run for 60 seconds. I can't quit smoking, but I right now, I can give up this cigarette. Give yourself credit for what you can do right now, instead of focusing on what you can't do.
I always hate when I read that, but it's true--goals are a motivator. But short-term goals, such as simply getting up and doing my next workout segment are equally important as long-term goals, like running a 5K. I can't run that 5K if I don't train for it, so I need the short-term goals, the daily goals as a motivator. I don't like to set weight loss goals yet; I'd rather not focus on my weight, but on my health. When you reach some of your goals, why not reward yourself? Buy some new music or a book.
I joined a wellness club, where I have a personalized eating and exercise plan and must weigh in every two weeks. I also signed up for my first 5K run/walk--a non-competitive fund-raiser for a local animal shelter where canine companions are invited to join you. Whether it's a program or a person, be accountable to someone. When you try to do it alone, it's too easy not to change.
Click here for your free printable to personalize with these tips, and to keep with you to remind you that YOU CAN!
Oh, and you may want to bring Billy Joel, or someone equally as entertaining along. They can be great motivators.
Blessings Along the Path,
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Tuesday, September 8, 2015
5 Ways to Turn Your "I Can't" Into "I Can"
Labels: choices, exercise, goals, health, motivation, running, SonRise Insights, tips, weight loss, will
I'm a person of creativity. I've always loved to entertain people, and especially, to make them laugh. I don't mind being the guinea pig, the one who is singled out to break the ice. I write what you think but don't want to admit. I'm a word nerd and a grammar geek. I love musical theatre, hiking, and worshipping my Lord, my King-the King of Glory. It's my desire to bring hope and healing to hurting individuals-or perhaps just to provoke thought, to give an encouraging word to get you through the day-through everyday situations and insights into God's Word.