Wherever you are in your health journey, it's important to realize you didn't get where you are overnight. Therefore, it would be unreasonable to expect to see meaningful changes happen overnight as well.
Last weekend as families were taking that final camping trip and getting last-minute shopping done for back to school, I met up with some fellow health professionals at a conference in Salt Lake City.
We had speakers on mindset, on self-care and on strategies for how to maximize time, as well as health enthusiasts who shared their stories of how making simple changes to their nutrition helped them mitigate—and in some cases even reverse—certain health conditions.
In addition, there was a Health Pro panel, which I was honoured to sit on alongside my good friend, Stephanie Sharp Ward, gym owner, personal trainer and health coach, as well as two medical professionals, Dr. Marcia Pinkerman and Dr. Larry Andrew, a specialist in fertility and bio-identical hormone therapy.
As you can imagine, a broad spectrum of topics were addressed.
What stuck out most to me was the common denominator was the same for all, consistency. The fact is, regardless of whether it was Coach Steph sharing how she incorporates nutrition into her clients' gym programs, Dr. Marcia on what nitric oxide is to our circulation and how that affects our overall health or Dr. Andrew sharing how profoundly his patients had improved after changing their diet and adding food-based supplements to fill the gaps in nutrition, consistency is the key.
One percent. For my long-time followers you've likely read about, or heard me speak about, the one percent principle—simply committing to being “all in” at one percent and committing to doing just one percent better for your health today than you did yesterday and then repeating. Doing those small things consistently over time can yield huge results.
Many people have an “all or nothing” attitude. I was just talking with someone about that the other day. Her comment was something like, “I used to wait and think that I'd start when things got less crazy and then everything would be perfect.”
The problem with that mindset is:
1. No one is perfect.
2. You'll burn yourself out keeping up with all the things you think are expected in order to achieve success, or
3. You'll never start.
Lightbulb moment for a lot of people right there, isn't it? Present company included.
I was a two. I have always lived by, and taught my clients, the adage, no one is perfect, even though I did have an issue with lowering the expectations I had of myself in order to progress.
I'm sure some of you can relate that when you're “in it”, it's difficult to see just taking a few things—or even one thing—and implementing it consistently is what allows you to gain ground and move towards your goals.
As one of my nurse practitioner partners very aptly put it, “Sometimes you have to slow down to go fast.” And she was right. Having the mindset that it's OK to implement fewer new things at once and stretch out the timeline on your expectations, will serve you well as it ultimately causes less stress and allows you to see success in more areas more often.
That in turn makes it easier to continue because you're highly motivated. And this little gem applies to everything you're doing in life by the way, not just your health. Try it.
The bottom line is that wherever you are in your health journey, please realize you didn't get there overnight. The results you are experiencing, good and not so good, did not just one day appear in your body. Likewise, reversing the damage or getting back on track to catch back up to where you were before, won't happen overnight either. But it can happen.
And it will if you take that one percent principle—focus on something you want to change or improve and live by the mindset that what came on you didn't happen overnight, therefore reversing it won't happen overnight either. Then be OK with that, get started and commit to keep going.
Full disclosure here, my FIT Lifer clients who get started and focus on their health and the long game, rather than just looking for that quick fix, are the ones who never have to diet again because as they are working on those small things consistently over time, because they are adding in and/or adjusting their short-term goals, creating healthy lifestyle habits, and adopting the right mindset, that keeps them in the game amidst all those encounters with the “perfect” people.
You know, the ones you used to think had it all together and everything about them was “just perfect,” until you sat down for coffee and found they may be the size you aspire to be but they are miserable trying to maintain it because of some crazy diet they signed up for.
My invitation is this. If you have some health or weight goals you've put on the back burner for any reason, fall is the perfect time to revisit that.
Choose your one percent, make a plan and commit to not giving up, even if you have to go slow down to go fast.
If you know you do better with a community of support behind you, I invite you to join the 8 Weeks is All it Takes Facebook group, and then dive in to the FIT For Fall Challenge kicking off Sept. 19.
For more info and to get started, email “FIT For Fall” to [email protected] and register for the upcoming webinar, Monday, Sept. 12.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.