Today I want to talk being realistic. It is time be realistic about the goals you set each day.
What do you really want from life? What are your goals – are they abs of steel; to be completely shredded – yes I did just say that!; to gain muscle; to be the best athlete you can possibly be; to train with intensity and purpose; to have a good quality of life and be able to spend good quality time with your family and friends?
There are so many things that people want from life and aim and work towards, but the paths they take seem to get to that goal seem to be long, windy and bumpy. If you could find a path that is straight and narrow, would you not take it? It would seem a lot simpler to me and less time would be wasted. Time for me is a valuable thing and something that I don’t think should be wasted. If you want results, would you want to walk that path that is straight and narrow and arrive at your destination quickly? If not, you become disappointed at the lack of results, become frustrated and just give up for a few days, weeks or months.
For myself I struggle also, but it is looking at how far you have come vs how far you really have to go. Self discipline is hard, and is not something that can be developed overnight. It is something that you need to work towards. Remind yourself of how much you have changed and how far you have come to keep you motivated.
I have a couple examples say you decide you want to stop eating so much chocolate/chips or just refined products. You have gone from consuming a block of chocolate a day, but now you only consume one bar a day. That for me is a big change. You have cut out probably 300-400 calories a day by doing so. It is one step in the right direction to changing a habit. The next goal might be cutting back to a bar every second day – another step in the right direction, until it is only every now and then when you feel like it.
If you were this person and decided your goal was to cut out all chocolate, how long do you think you would last before it crept back in? Maybe one day, or a couple more, and the cravings start and you break going back to eating however much you want, whenever you want. How realistic would it be for a person who loves chocolate to give it all up at once? I know it is really quite slim, I have seen it and done it myself with other foods – it just is not realistic.
The same goes for preparing food, some people just do not have the time, nor know how to. So by providing them with information with the best packaged/frozen food available – is that a bad thing? To tell you the truth, I do not think so. Why? Because this food probably has a better nutrient profile, is lower in saturated fats or added sugars then what it would be if they decided to have takeaway, or 2 minute noodles or things that just lack nutrition.
If you decide that you are going to change everything at once and start preparing meals and making them, do you think you will realistically stick to this for a long period of time? Would you get over it all after a couple weeks and then just go back to eating whatever? Don’t feel bad because you feel you lack discipline or want to cook food when you get home from work/training at night. I know I don’t want to cook some nights when I get home from training. So having an option there available that has some nutrition over none at all will always be a better option.
Be realistic with what you are capable of changing at one time. I cannot tell you what you are capable of, only you can decide that for yourself. I can help you figure it out, but ultimately it is you. The path you follow to reaching your goals could be much easier and straight and narrow. Pick realistic goals – change a one or two unhealthy habits at a time rather than a myriad. If you know you love a food then don’t cut it out completely, because you will crave it and it will build up and up until you break and typically in this situation and binge.
Why not work in small steps, change unhealthy habits every few weeks rather than cutting everything out at once. The same goes for body weight, rather than fixating on the end goal, work in small goals, whether that is 2-3kgs, that is all you need. Celebrate each time on the fact you have changed. This is something I like to encourage with some weight loss clients. Pick a number and once you reach it, treat yourself with something that is unrelated to food. Buy a new pair of shoes, shirt, some training gear or go get your nails done. Celebrate the fact you are changing your habits, because they are hard to break.
I don’t think I have said it enough - pick small realistic goals and you will get results!