Have you ever noticed how crowded the gym parking lots are this time of year? Then they slowly get emptier and emptier as the year progresses. By December they are almost empty. Why is this?
It is not that people are lazy, don’t know what to do, or don’t want to be healthy. Most of the people that fall off are intelligent, desire health, and get a lot of stuff done on a daily basis. The problem is that they want to make great changes in their health and they start with massive effort that is unsustainable. They have unrealistic expectations that they can change what they do over night.
For example, think about selling your existing house that you have lived in for 25 years and buying a new house. How would you go about doing it? Would you decide one day and then within a week or two be all moved in and organized in your new house? No! It would be a long process of decluttering the house you were in, getting the house sold, finding your new house and then organizing your new house. It will take months if not longer.
When it comes to a house we all seem to understand that we need to be patient. When it comes to our health, for some reason most people are impatient. They expect immediate results and to change long standing behavior over night. This is why so many fad diets and schemes are around. They prey on our desire to have overnight success.
If you want to have optimal health the first step is in realizing that small daily positive steps in that direction will give you lasting results. Massive action doing things you never normally do will just result in burn out and frustration. If you want to be successful for the long haul, be honest about where you currently are. In integrative medicine we look at the mind set, nutrition, sleep patterns, exercise program, toxin exposure, supplements, and your hormone balance. Where are you at in these areas?
Once you know where you are at, you can make a plan to move forward slowly in a sustainable manner. Pick something to work on and start there no matter how insignificant it may seem or how overwhelming the big picture appears. I like to start with ensuring that hormones are in the proper balance utilizing bio-identical hormones because this helps energy, motivation, sleep, etc. As your hormones balance, you are better equipped to make other needed changes.
Changing to a healthy diet , a great exercise program, a positive mindset, decreasing toxic load, etc can take time. It does not matter if it takes a year or more to make the necessary changes that you require. What matters is that you make the changes at a pace that is not overwhelming for you and that is fairly easy.
Write your long term health goals down and then break it down into easy, doable steps. For example, one goal may be to eat healthy so that you can lose weight or maintain a healthy body composition. The first step could be to add one vegetable serving per day. Once that is easy to do then add one more. Before you know it you will be substituting healthy vegetables for unhealthy snacks and uou will easily be able to do it.
Be patient with yourself. Change takes time but it is worth it! Focus on how good you will look and feel long term.