Eye on the prize

Keeping your eye on the prize    

A common trait in people who reach their goals is never taking your focus off what you really want to achieve. If you notice and pay attention to those around you, just look and observe those who make new year’s resolutions. 97% of them fail as previously discussed and there’s a common trait amongst those people. If those people are trying to quit smoking, then that’s hard enough, but if you are trying to quit and you have had a couple of drinks, then someone in the pub offers you a cigarette outside, most people are tempted and will take up the offer, swearing it’s their last! Of course, most people end up regularly smoking within a few days. What they have done is taken away their focus on their ultimate goal, and its easier to fall back into old habits, than it’s to keep their new healthier habit going.

This applies to all bad and good habits. When you’re on a diet, isn’t it harder to stay on track than to accept friend’s invitations to pig out? Excuses for not eating well most of the time include “we had friends around”, “it was Chinese night”, “we were home late so grabbed something easy-from the takeaway”, “you can’t beat the smell of fish and chips”, “I always eat badly when I have a drink”, “I can’t stick to it!! I’m not strong enough”!! etc etc.

If you do go off track, and we ALL DO, at times, then isn’t it healthier to accept the fact that you will have treats from time to time, and as long as you get back on track to eating well the next day, then there’s not much harm done surely? As long as you eat well and healthy at least 80% of the time, then any rubbish won’t stay in your body for long, as your exercise habits and good eating again will get rid of it. It’s when the treats start happening most days that the problems start and the weight starts to come on.

Here’s an old tried and tested way to think of your eating, if you had a puncture in your car and one tyre was out, would you get a shotgun out of your car and shoot the other 3 tyres? Simply because one was out, the other three may as well get trashed too? This is the thinking many have, have a bad Tuesday after initially good intentions, and because of that write the week off, pig out the rest of the week, not exercise and start “next week” and next week never comes? Ever been through that way of thinking? And somehow you blame the programme you were on?!!

Write down your goals and the big thing you want to achieve from the start, and when you get tempted to quit, look at your diary again and what that goal of being in great shape really means?

Successful people never lose sight of their ultimate aims, and always get back on track when life sometimes throws a spanner in the works.

Practice it and most challenges somehow become easier to recover from.


Carb overload!

Another typical pattern this time of year, and its about to get a LOT colder tomorrow, is seeking comfort in carbohydrates. Absolutely nothing wrong with carbohydrates, as long as they are served in moderation. How many of us have restricted our bread to 2-4 slices a day, or even no bread in a day, and then introduced it, perhaps a really nice loaf from a bakery and couldn’t stop eating it once we got over 4 slices?! Then the habit gets continued day after day, and this really goes well in a pasta story, where you make a big bowl full that’s supposed to last until tomorrow, but you nearly eat it all in go? The same with jacket potatoes and just about anything thats full of carbs, and dying to be eaten in excess!!! As has been documented in previous stories, i had a huge pizza appetite myself once upon a time!

The way to get around all of this is get some idea on portion size. If you think of carb portions as the size of your fist, you shouldn’t really overeat, and the same with your protein portions as i have mentioned many times before. Your veggies can be any size, as long as its plentiful for you. If you stick to these rules, you will find your portion control had literally “gone out of control” and you may have been putting on weight at a rate of knots. So carbs aren’t the bad guys, eat too much of anything and you will pile on the weight, and your appetite WILL accomodate it believe me, so time to get that appetite down to healthy levels again maybe?

Juts a quick note on the atkins diet, of course it worked for weight loss but you could never eat like that for life could you? Plus the negative side effects that were numerous. May be the reason why the atkins product range went out of business, people loved their carbs too much, and as long as you keep those carbs in moderation, you can enjoythe great taste every day and fuel yourself up for great workouts. If you eat too much of anything, you will be overweight, simple as that unless you have some kind of tour de france type calorie needs!

Have a good one and watch the cold the next few days, BUT IT WILL BE DRY so no excuses!


Do you feel that you don’t deserve to be successful?

Do you sometimes sabotage your efforts? It may sound stupid but you may not want to really succeed! There are lots of reasons why i’ve found why individuals do this, but it all comes from being scared and fearful at the end result. You could be scared to fail, scared of disapproval from others, be scared of change, be scared of success and a popular one if the fear of a life of non-stop effort, as it seems a life of exericse is (untrue). The underlying reason also can be is that you are undeserving of happinness and incapable of doing anything worthwhile.

Feeling like this is more popular than you think, and if you tend to think like this, or let someone else put you off course, it tends to be a very difficult challenge to overcome. If you face your challenges, face the things that stop you from achieving and actually “doing” what you need to do for a change, you can really be happy and choose to do so, its about following a programme and be brave and finally “going for it”!

Sometimes its good to write down about your good times/achievements in life, and the reasons why you didn’t do “things” that could have changed your life. You will look fondly on the good times, and often look with ridicule at the reasons why you simply didn’t go for it!

Try it out!


Darkest before dawn!

December 7th asnd just two weeeks to the shortest day which is december 21st!!! Most people i bump into now are pretty demotivated to do something new and get some more energy in their lives, and isn’t it true in life that when you about to give up, things often turn around, how many times has that happened? Isn’t it true we are about to come out of recession, but you would never think that the way the doom and gloom is in the news and papers every day!

Think of it, it’s nature’s way of really testing you right now, are you strong enough to still put in your workouts, to still eat good nutritious food, or are you going to give in and open that bottle of wine? Are you going to shop earlier than planned for christmas, and launch yourself into all the goodies? After all, its only two weeks friday after all?!

The choices you make in your moments of indecision will shape your future, at all times. If you make the decision to give up on good food, its a slippery slope and hard to get back on the right road, giving in will not give you self-confidence and self-esteem, it doesn’t work like that. We’ve talked about being strong, and the benefits. It’s not being “boring” by eating well and working out, for me someone with no energy and always has a hangover is pretty “boring”? Someone who has the most energy in the room has never been the boring one, the ones who call you boring are the miserable ones who haven’t the guts and determination you have, after all “misery loves company”, so the old saying goes!

The hardest time is right now, and don’t give in like you have in past years, this time’s different so let’s prove it!


Time stealers

How many of you have put off workouts, have put off something good you were going to do for yourself or others by people “stealing” your time? It’s true that when i ask people how their week went, they will initially say it went very well indeed. On closer inspection, i then ask how many workouts they did and the answer 40% of the time will come back, i did do one or even two workouts without you, but i didn’t manage those one or two other workouts! I then explain how important they are, and indeed for a few weeks again, they will be 100% compliant with their workouts, until guess what…………..someone or something steal their time!

Ways around not getting in your workouts in on time are tried and tested. These include making appointments with yourself. Think of it like this, would you cancel a dental appointment? An appointment with a solicitor? Or a doctor? 99% of the time you wouldn’t of course, and when you think about it, they are not exactly the most pleasure things to do!! So how about re-thinking your commitment and what you really want? Imagine how more effective if you really ignored the things or people who steal your time. Working out can be a big pleasure in your life, especially when you practice it more, it really does get more fun!! 

What about if someone calls for a tea/coffee every time you’re supposed to be training, just tell them that your time is important to you to workout, and not being ignorant but to call 30 minutes later! Then you can have the big chat of the day!! Is what Ken Barlow or Phil Mitchell in corrie or eastenders that important to steal your time from working out. There’s enough misery in those shows already, leave alone heaping more on you by making you overweight through inactivity and comfort eating!

That’s why working out first thing in the morning can be valuable, nobody is always trying to steal your time at that time of day usually, and a workout can be done before life’s everyday things approach very soon.

I’m sure if you make a list of people/things that steal your time every day, they can be re-arranged to make time for yourself, and from a family perspective, just tell them you need your workouts to get rid of stress, and for even more energy to serve everyone in the family, they will understand, and its ten times better and cheaper than going down the pub every night!!

December 6th already, time to keep your focus and workout regularly this week, make your intentions public and tell everyone that working out and eating well are 100% parts of your life, nothing shameful in that is there?!! When you make your intentions public, they will be more reluctant to keep stealing your time, 30 minutes is all you need for meaningful exercise, now THAT is really not too much too ask for in 24 hours!!!

Have a great sunday,