In a few months, once my body has healed from pregnancy and delivery, I so look forward to getting back into my exercise routine. I just feel so much better when I make the effort to get moving and spend some time improving my health.
Do you have an exercise and healthy eating routine in place? If not, can I suggest that you start one? As a Christian woman, I firmly believe that our bodies are to be used to the glory of God and that included taking care of if through healthy habits like regular exercise and proper nutrition.
Today as part of my guest post series I am pleased to introduce to you, Lindsey. She has some fantastic tips to begin to include some healthy habits into our daily lives so that you can kick start your health in the New Year.
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Guest post by Lindsey from Fit la Femme
Every year millions of people make New Year’s Resolutions to go to the gym, start eating better, stop smoking and various other health related resolutions. The problem is before January has even ended, most of those people have given up because the motivation and excitement of the New Year are over and it becomes too hard. Does this sound familiar?
Motivation isn’t enough – you need to focus on habits
[clickToTweet tweet=”Motivation isn’t enough – you need to focus on habits ” quote=”Motivation isn’t enough – you need to focus on habits”]
I help moms to change their bodies through exercise and nutrition. I’m pretty knowledgeable on both of these topics. However, I used to find that when I wasn’t present with a client and the onus was on them, many just weren’t doing their homework and thus weren’t seeing the results they really wanted. Those who did do their homework would only last for a short while because it became too hard to fit it in with life. So I started conducting my own research into why this happens and how I can change it.
The result was – HABITS.
You can have all the good intentions in the world, but unless you develop good habits and get rid of old ones – permanent change is just not going to happen….
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How can you control your habits and what habits should you be trying to create?
Let’s start with how to control them. This is a strategy I learned from Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning. He states it takes 30 days to either start a new habit or lose an old one. He then breaks up the 30 days into three phases.
Phase 1: The Unbearable Stage
The first 10 days can feel unbearable. The first few days may be easy because you are excited about the new change you are embarking on but the remaining seven are really hard. It’s no fun at all. BUT, all you need to do is accept that it will only last for those 10 days. This is why most people give up so quickly – they haven’t accepted that this feeling is only temporary.
Phase 2: The Uncomfortable Stage
This is MUCH easier than the first 10 days but can still be a bit uncomfortable. You’ve had success with your habit and gained some confidence, but it isn’t quite at the automatic stage. It still requires some commitment and discipline, but again it is only temporary and will be over in 10 days. You’ve already been through the worst of it (Phase 1), so there isn’t much left before the fun begins!
Phase 3: The Unstoppable Phase
Have you ever heard it takes approximately 21 days to form a habit? This is why. However, Phase 3 is the one that most people don’t know about and the one that cements your new habit in place. These last 10 days are where you start seeing positive associations with your habit rather than pain and discomfort. You reinforce the good feelings, like being proud of yourself for what you’ve done. This is where the actual transformation occurs. Most people stop after the 20 days and miss out of this phase, therefore falling back into their old habits. This stage is the crucial one!
By knowing what to expect with these three stages, it is so much easier to stick with any habit.
Let me give you three habits you should be looking to start right NOW to get your health kick started this year.
This is pretty obvious, right? But how many of you already have a habit of exercising?
I am a mother of two young boys so I know how little time there is in the day to do something for yourself when you’re a mom. But that’s exactly why you NEED to make this a daily habit or it just gets thrown to the bottom of the pile.
In fact, I have put together a 30 Day Home Workout Challenge specifically for time-poor moms that can be done at home with zero equipment. You can get yourself a free copy HERE. All the workouts take less than 15 minutes and have helped hundreds of moms who hated exercise before.
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Pick the best time for you to do your exercise and stick with it. It might be when your baby is asleep, or your kids are at school, maybe your kids are old enough to join in with you. Kids love exercising with their parents. The easiest way to get started is to put your workout gear on, some upbeat music and get started.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Pick the best time for you to do your exercise and stick with it. ” quote=”Pick the best time for you to do your exercise and stick with it. “]
Getting started is always the hardest part. Once you’ve done that, the rest is just a matter of following those three phases above. I guarantee if you stick with it for the full 30 days, you’ll feel great, look great and continue doing it every day because you love how it makes you feel.
There are two habits that are true game changers and they are easier than you think.
You may have come across this before, but it is by far THE MOST IMPORTANT lesson you could ever learn about eating for your health. Concentrate on enjoying and savoring your food.
How does it actually taste? What is the texture like?
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Put down your cutlery between each mouthful or take a sip of water. If you often do other things while you eat, then eat somewhere you don’t have those distractions – especially eating in front of the television!
It takes around 20 minutes for our stomach to register it’s full, so by eating slowly, we are giving it time to let us know. This little habit helps us to stop eating sooner and thus consume fewer calories without even changing the TYPE of food we are eating.
EAT TO 80% FULL
This is much easier to do if you’ve mastered the eating slowly habit.
You know what 0% full feels like (you’re starving!) and you probably know what over full feels like (let’s call this 150% full), so 80% is somewhere in the middle. It’s that time where you could probably fit just a little bit more food in but you don’t.
I have found the easiest way for me to do this is to use smaller crockery OR put less food on my plate to start with. I struggle at leaving tasty food on the plate.
This way if you eat everything on your plate and you are still hungry (which you should know because you are eating slowly) then you can go and get a little bit more. But if you start with a big plate and can’t help yourself but eat it all, then you are way past your 80% full and you can’t give it back!
That covers three of the most important habits you can work on RIGHT NOW to kick start your health without having to make radical changes to your lifestyle. These three habits WILL make a difference. Master these before trying anything else. Keep it simple and ensure your success.
[clickToTweet tweet=”These 3 habits WILL make a difference in getting healthy this year! ” quote=”These 3 habits WILL make a difference in getting healthy this year! “]
Wishing you all the best this year. I hope you and your family have a wonderfully healthy and fun year!
Do you find exercise or nutrition to be a bigger challenge? Or both?
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Lindsey Hilliard is Mother to two crazy active boys in Melbourne, Australia, and is the owner/creator of Fit la Femme – Fitness & Nutrition Coaching for Mums. She trains online as well as in-person and loves seeing the happiness that leading a healthy lifestyle brings to moms and their families. Get yourself started with her 30 Day Home Workout Challenge for FREE and connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @fitlafemme