My one wish in this world is for more women to be nicer to and about one another. I am lucky enough to have a circle of friends who lift one another up and never insult or criticize one another and not even behind our backs. We appreciate each other’s unique beauty and set of talents and applaud one another for any and all accomplishments. I love these ladies and can’t imagine life without them.
I think that because I have a very loving circle of friends that I am hyper aware of negative or toxic women. I never look at another woman and list her flaws. Why? I don’t know her and who really cares what her flaws are. I would rather know what her spark is. I judge women on their heart and avoid the others.
Not sure when little girls changed from ‘sugar and spice and everything nice’ to such negative and judgmental women? But I am sure there are so many factors that it’s a real challenge to stay on the kind side of this battle. Put aside bad childhood behavior because we are adults now and cannot be locked inside that little girl who wanted to fit in or was the target herself. Those experiences should be what make us want to stand up against negative judgements not allow them to be part of you now.
So if you see someone and your mind moves to a negative judgement please think of something nice about that person. Keep doing it until its natural. Then when you are ready, try voicing that compliment to that person out loud. It feels wonderful and I’m sure that other person would love to hear kindness as well.
Now let’s add another layer to this. Even if you see the beauty in others I bet your own inner voice can be pretty judgmental. Try that same trick on yourself. When you look in the mirror or say or do something and your inner voice says something negative, stop yourself and say something positive. This is a long process and worth the time. I am happy to say that I learned this trick way back in my mid-twenties (taught to me by a male friend of mine). It takes practice but you listen to what you say about yourself and you always believe it. I think that my positive inner voice helped me be aware of allowing people in my life that are like minded vs toxic people who will bring me down.
Because in the end…I do want to be sweet & kind and everything nice.
I love to work out but every now and then I am not in the mood. It gets boring to just show up each day and go through a routine at the gym. Especially if you are not training for an event or a particularly exciting goal. When weight loss is the main goal then it’s really not that exciting and becomes more of a chore. Since weight loss is better achieved through proper diet decisions vs just exercise, that can be a long road. And probably another reason why people lose interest after 90 days (which is the average length of time people spend involved in a fitness routine).
I have a number of ideas for staying committed and one of them is finding a partner. An exercise partner who you have regular standing dates to meet and workout with is amazingly beneficial to your staying committed long term. So on that random day you would rather stay in bed or go straight home after work you don’t and instead meet your partner. Since consistency is the key to your long term health and fitness needs, having a partner makes that so much easier.
Choosing a partner is not always that easy. You need similar goals or fitness interests, access to facilities or classes, schedules that blend and allow you to meet at the same time. Once you find that partner you need to commit to motivating one another and not letting the other off the hook for missing workouts. Having a partner that is waiting on you is very motivating when you are having that rare off day. I love the social time with my workout partner, celebrating our accomplishments and getting excited to try new classes or activities together. You get more engaged in your workout plan, you come up with goals and look for ways to increase fitness levels when you work with a partner.
My workout partners have been the most random people ever. I used to work out with a Catering Exec who was a member of a gym I ran. We hit it off and together we joined another gym closer to our homes (where no one knew our names which was funny since we were both named Cindy) and met there super early 3x a week for weight lifting. We had a 10+ year age difference and had the best workouts. Other workout partners included college classmates, neighbors I met in a random class and found we had similar club memberships, running club participants who I bonded with and we branched out, even co-workers. So it’s not necessary that your workout partner be a current friend. If you have that person in your circle that is wonderful news and you are very lucky. I have rarely had my close friends share my fitness habits, schedules or interests.
So the next time you are working out and you notice someone who you have seen before, strike up a conversation. You never know, that person may become your next workout partner.
As a trainer, a potential client who had about 100 or more pounds to lose, asked me a really tough question. “Have you ever worked with someone with my weight loss goals and had success?”
The question is yes (but only to a degree) but otherwise no. There is so much that goes into large weight loss goals that a trainer alone cannot guarantee success. The physical limitations, the problems, habits and issues that contributed to the original weight gain, attitude toward food, resistance to change, long held beliefs, culturally based habits…the list goes on. Weight loss is 80% diet and only 20% exercise. You can’t just exercise your way into weight loss, no matter what the commercials say. You have to change your diet. You have to change how and why you eat and it needs to be permanent. Or as we like to say in the fitness industry ‘you need to make a lifestyle change’.
Well, this is not an easy task. In fact, it’s probably the hardest task for any one professional to assist with and best suited for a team of professionals in addition to your own personal support systems. Food is used as a social card, its therapy, a much deserved reward, even punishment but rarely nourishment. And yet that is what food is: nourishment. When food is what makes you happy in life and all about the pure enjoyment you also have to accept flip side which are flavors and ingredients detrimental to weight loss. When a big greasy burger with cheese and mayo spread between two toasty buns and a side of crispy salty fries dipped in sugar laced ketchup is what you eat because its tasty and you deserve the grand prize of flavor, you also must suffer the consequences. Because you missed the point of food and you are now over-indulged. So the real prize is weight gain, lack of nutrients and other possible health concerns (cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure). You factor in that a sodium and sugar laced diet will make any vegetable sound bland and boring. Eating a salad would be miserable and possibly tasteless for that person. It’s a big challenge for any trainer and weight loss client.
So if you have a large weight loss goal can you lose weight? YES. But please really consider your relationship with food and how you need to recreate what that relationship is. You can reinvent your food thinking, but don’t do it alone. You will need a team. Get your friends and family on board, your trainer or workout buddy, co-workers, etc. They do not have to make the same changes but they absolutely must honor yours. Explain to them where you struggle, what exactly they can do to support you and what is dangerous behavior.
Seek books and magazines that support healthy food choices. Follow blogs or cooking sites for recipes and ideas. Take a healthy cooking class to get ideas and learn how to cook if needed. You need to actively seek ways to incorporate healthy food choices into your life and daily meal planning. It’s a lifestyle change so it’s not going to happen overnight but you need to actively pursue behavior and options that support the change.
For those bad habits that you know are not helpful, start replacing them with healthy options. They do not have to be similar. So if you are watching tv and often want a snack after all those food commercials consider a couple other options. Commercials are muted and you are doing a chore or even an exercise move. Or you get a glass of water whenever you walk into kitchen ‘seeking a snack’. Only you will know what works for you. But you have to start addressing the behaviors that do not support your goal. Don’t focus on what you are taking away but what you are adding.
This is small step in a line of many steps needed. But this is a good start. When you make good healthy choices you naturally want to make more. Best of luck, it’s worth it.