I’m often asked for advice about nutrition and fitness – what do I eat, and how do I workout? They often assume that I’ve always looked this way, and eaten super healthy, and worked out a ton. They sometimes comment “It’s easy for you, you’ve always done it, and you’re different than me”. That’s true, we are different. But we are the same in that we are both on a journey, and that journey is constantly evolving, and it’s constantly changing each one of us. We have the power to decide and control whether our journey makes us better.
The reality is – I’m a work in constant progress. I make mistakes, eat too much sugar, drink one too many glasses of wine, etc., but overall I am always striving to move forwards. I am constantly learning – about what I enjoy doing, how to make things healthier for and easier for myself, and how to create better, lasting habits.
small, measurable, sustainable habit changes take time
To prove this to you, here is a photo of me from 10 years ago. I (really) don’t like looking at it, but it does remind me of how far I’ve come, especially on those days that I forget and am too hard on myself or impatient with progress:
I believed I was healthy then, although I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. I was self-conscious, didn’t love who I was, but at the time, thought I was doing the right things. It’s true that I was doing some things well, but there is always room for improvement. And 10 years later, I hardly eat any of the things I was eating. But I didn’t change it overnight. It took 10 years to become where I am today, and it’ll take another 5-10 to be the even healthier person I want to become.
There were no drastic changes. Learning and growing over time, making small changes here and there that were sustainable for my life, the weight came off steadily. For example, I began eating more protein. I focused on eating lean protein and making sure I got some in every meal and snack. The result was I felt more full throughout the day, and my body began seeing more of the benefits of the strength training I was doing. Over time (years) I’ve been able to taper and refine the types and amount of protein I eat, through trial and error with my own body and workouts. The weight came off steadily, and I started to feel better and like the way I looked.
I then began to set fitness goals – not out of reasons of “goal setting”, but I wanted to see what I could DO. I wanted to see where my fitness level was at, and then make it better. For me.
The point is: small, measurable, sustainable habit changes take time. They will become permanent (and easy for you) over time, if you allow yourself the space to take it slow, and make little steps. This is how I coach my clients in fitness and nutrition. We take small steps – always challenging them, but enough that it is tough but not so much that it will discourage, injure or overwhelm them. Having focus and consistency will make you consistent in your habit changes.
Think about it – you didn’t learn all you know now in 1, 3 or even 6 months. You went to school, since grade 1. You learn constantly in your job or career, and move from a Junior position to a senior position. You learn in relationships what works for you and what doesn’t, through dating over periods of months and years. Why is fitness and health any different? It isn’t.
So just breathe, allow yourself to be patient, and give your body the space it needs to absorb and adapt to the small changes you are making for yourself. You will get there.
Lots of Love,