Monday’s have a funny way of making us think in terms of fresh starts–a kind of do over to make a clean break from all the poisonous activities and thinking that really derail our efforts at self improvement. Whether it’s post-party blues from a riotous good time on Saturday, or just a renewed determination to stop partaking in the Sunday all-you-can-eat super buffet, for most Americans, Monday signifies a new lease on life. Strange how humans view time, isn’t it?
For me, today is indeed an opportunity for change; as will be tomorrow (God willing). For me, this week’s Monday is about buckling down on my nutrition. More specifically, I started this day swearing off those heavy, complex carbohydrates that have been wreaking havoc on my weight loss goals. Well it’s now the end of the day, and you may be wondering how I’ve faired in that regard.
Yeah. About that. You see…there was this office birthday luncheon, and people brought in dishes. I couldn’t just say “no thanks.” I’m a team player, after all…
Well, I’m serious about the luncheon, and it’s a fact that I ate two pieces of Popeye’s extra-crispy fried chicken, a side of super-creamy chicken salad, and white rice with deliciously-goopy baked beans. Oye.
What I’m not serious about is the excuse. These things (failures) happen to all of us from time to time. But have you painted yourself into a corner with paint that never dries?
Wow. You lost me with that one…
Right. What I mean is, do you regularly hear yourself say things like, “just this one time, and then tomorrow I’m getting serious,” or “I’ll just work off this triple cheeseburger and fries in the gym,” and so forth?
We all lie to ourselves from time to time. But what if it’s become habitual? Well, you need to do something to break the chain…to dry up that paint.
The hard truth can be tough to swallow.
Yes it can be, but no more difficult than coping with the dissatisfaction one feels after repeatedly failing to achieve desired fitness goals. And this really goes for any aspect of your life. So to break the pattern of self deceit, the first thing you need to do is see the problem for what it is.
What’s your problem?
We can go to friends, family members, fitness coaches, or nutrition experts with that question, and you’ll get a whole range of answers; some helpful, others maybe not so much. The best answer will come from you.
So take a hard look at what’s holding you back from meeting your fitness goals. Maybe it’s late night snacking. Do you finish other peoples’ food at the dinner table? Does your fresh start gym date keep getting pushed to the right for one reason or another? Or maybe you drink too much.
That last one can be a tough nugget to crack. Where is the line between moderate and excessive consumption? There are guidelines out there, but the best criteria is this: if you have to think about it, you probably need to cut back, if not quit drinking altogether. Why the emphasis on this? Because binge drinking has practically become a national pastime. If you’re a player in that league and you have significant health and fitness goals, you’re not being very honest with yourself, and you’re certainly not living up to your potential in the gym, on the track, in the pool, etcetera.
A quick thing you can do to isolate what’s wrong with your current lifestyle is to keep a daily journal. In most cases, people can pinpoint the major, self-installed barricades to success and start chipping away at them. If you think it’s more than just a few bad choices, maybe you should consider professional counseling or therapy. No shame in that! The important thing is to be honest with yourself, and then take real action to break out of those habits that keep you from being great.
Until next time…
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