22 Mar 2012
Why is it that some people “effortlessly” stay slim while others are in a constant battle with food and weight? Sure there’s genetics, but I would put two other factors well ahead of genetics; 1) habit and 2) goals.
If eating well and adopting an exercise routine does not become habit, there will always be temptations and reasons to not eat well and not exercise. To give a personal example, I was pregnant for the last 10 months and in the first trimester the last thing I wanted to do was go to the gym, but I knew if I started to change my habits and only go when I felt “in the mood”, allowing for the very good excuse of pregnancy, I would start getting accustomed to going only when I felt like it. There were times when I literally left the class 15 minutes in, because I felt too tired to continue, but at least I’d showed up, changed into my gym gear, and never let my body – and more importantly my mind- get out of the habit of exercise.
Same with food. I make “exceptions” all the time with food and would eat chocolate, a cupcake, a big handful of chips from an open bag that crossed my path – but it was always viewed as a treat. How do poor food choices become more than a treat and start impacting health and weight? When you allow yourself to stock them in your kitchen (battling temptation is nearly impossible when the temptation is an arms-reach away), when you find yourself eating them more than a couple times a week, and when you no longer think of them as a treat.
Habits alone are not enough (since there are always times when they can get broken), you need a goal or a clear reason why you’re sticking to these lifestyle choices. I committed to myself when I got pregnant, that I was not going to gain excessive weight (it is not uncommon to gain 30, 40 even 50 pounds). Sure some of the weight gain is out of one’s control, but staying fit and (relatively) lean during pregnancy was a top goal of mine, knowing it would not only make the 9 months easier, but also the recovery period. I have to remind myself of this daily, however, when I don’t want to go to yoga or I do want that slice of pizza that’s calling me from the pizza by the slice stand.
Your own goal may be to fit into your favorite jeans, drop 10 pounds so you feel more energetic, reverse your diabetes, whatever it is – but if you don’t have a very clear reason for why you’re going to stick with lifestyle changes, it is simply far too easy to get comfortable cutting corners. Look for excuses and you will find them. But then next thing you know you’re back to your old ways – and weight.
Your experience? Weigh in!
MichelleCheck out my latest posts here