You’ve had that ‘aha’ moment. You know the one. You went to your doctor for your annual check-up, thinking it would just be a quick in and out, no probs kind of appointment, and nothing major would be wrong. But suddenly, you’re walking out with the news that your blood pressure’s up, your cholesterol’s up, not to mention being slapped with a lecture about needing to lose weight. Whaaatttt? How could this have happened?? You feel absolutely rock bottom. More-so, you feel afraid. You don’t want to go on some crazy fad diet because you know deep down they don’t work, plus you can’t afford the expense or time of making green smoothies and eating kale & quinoa every day, let alone signing up with a personal trainer.
Sound a bit familiar? I hear you. It’s a gut wrenching feeling to not even know where to begin when it comes to losing weight, and with so many myths out there in the nutrition space, it’s hard to know who to trust. BUT, hold on for just one second. I want to share with you some good news – there’s no need to panic. Take a deep breath, right now, and remember that today is a new day. Every single day, you have an opportunity to take positive steps forward to improve your lifestyle. And when nothing is sure, everything is possible.
So that’s how I’d recommend you start – is by adjusting your mindset. Rather than focussing on all that draining news from your well-meaning doctor that will only upset you even more, firstly become more aware of your thoughts and when a negative thought comes along, acknowledge it, then send it for the hills. In its place, bring a positive thought in. For example, instead of thinking “I can’t lose weight, I know I’m going to fail”, think “I am grateful for my doctor’s advice and I know I can get through this”. There is this lovely quote that says “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” It’s so true and when you start to look at things with a different perspective, you suddenly open so many doors of opportunity.
The next step, once you’re looking at things with a positive lens, is to consider what I like to call the ‘one step forward’ approach. Yep, both literally and metaphorically. So rather than trying some crazy juice fast or going vegan in attempt to lose weight, why not try zooming out for a second, taking a look at your lifestyle as though you were someone else, and looking down objectively with a bird’s-eye view. See yourself, see your lifestyle, and see ‘you’ in all your glory. Take a look at what you might do right now to take one teeny tiny step forwards towards a healthier life.
Maybe you might start by zooming out on the activity you’re doing. Your doc has very correctly advised you that you can show your blood pressure who’s boss and get it back in a good place if you start moving more. So, looking down at your current lifestyle, what is it that you could do to increase your activity just a little bit? Maybe that paw-some best friend of yours could do with a couple of extra walks each week, and I’m sure a bit of fresh air and a relaxing walk to unwind after a long day wouldn’t go astray!
Next, zoom out and take a good look at what you’re eating and drinking. Are you starting the day with a healthy wholegrain cereal, or is your current brekky a large latte on the run followed by a huge feast at lunch? Perhaps you might like to put into practice a new routine of starting the day with a bowl of muesli and fresh fruit, so that you don’t get to that starving point at lunch where you just want to devour everything at arm’s length. What about what you’re drinking? Maybe that glass of wine at night that you put into place for ‘health’ reasons that’s now turned into sharing a bottle each night with your husband, is actually the reason why you’re waking up feeling slightly on edge and foggy in the mornings. A good step forward might be to simply swap your wine for a refreshing glass of soda water and fresh lime or a kombucha if you’re feeling super fancy! Or, save those two extra glasses in your half empty bottle for the next night, and boom, you’ve cut your wine bill in half, as well as cutting back on those empty kilojoules.
Now, these may seem like no brainer strategies to you, but reading & agreeing with them and putting them into practice can be very different things. So, what I would recommend is starting slowly, focussing on that positive mindset, and starting by taking just ‘one step forward’. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and there’s no need to put so much pressure on yourself to do to things at the speed of light. The best way to successfully introduce long term habits is to go slowly and kick one goal at a time. Even if you’re a black and white, all or nothing sort of person, start with one positive step in the right direction, and truly set yourself up for the best success.start your journey now