I value health, wellness, and fitness. It is a top priority in my life as I know it is in many of yours. With a surplus of information out there around this topic, I still believe there is one answer that can be applied to everyone to offer lasting results. Through my personal experience and in engaging with others, I have come to learn that the true key to achieving optimal health, weight management, and fitness performance is: Consistency. With the holidays around the corner, there are so many variables that enter into our lives. Commitments, entertainment, holiday cocktails, parties, kids, weather, and festive foods. Although life shifts during the next couple of months, we should not get too concerned if we adopt the consistency habitude. Skip a workout, eat a sugar cookie, and have a cocktail. These things will not derail your progress or goals if you continue to eat healthy most of the time, and get active almost everyday.
Many times when friends and clients are talking with me about their health/fitness goals, I ask them to think of a time in their life when they felt happy, healthy, fit, and confident. Usually they can pinpoint a time in their lives and correlate it to an exact year or event. I then ask them what they were doing at that time? Were they running, were they getting more sleep, did they have less stress, what/how were they eating?
Almost every time someone answers this question, I can summarize their response with one word: consistency. No matter what plan or regimen they were following, they were focused and determined. Even if a special occasion came up, an injury, an inability to follow their diet-they would bounce right back immediately with a walk, a workout, a good night’s sleep, healthy food plan, and daily refocus.
If you have healthy habits and attitudes most of the time you will see the results you are after and maintain them. In that same vein, you will also reap what you sow if you have unhealthy habitudes most of the time. If you have a desk job and your afternoon snack is usually a Snickers and a Mountain Dew, one day of carrot sticks will not give you the health, weight-loss, and fitness benefits you are after. Most of the time you need to get up throughout the day, take the stairs, go for an evening walk, eat a salad for lunch, and get to bed at a decent time. If you do this, you can totally have a Snickers and not blink! But after the Snickers, head home for a healthy dinner-do NOT allow the what the hell affect to take over by ordering a pizza and binging on ice-cream because you “already blew it!”
A Realistic Approach to Be Consistent
1. It doesn’t matter if you walk, do home dvds or head to spin class. Whatever you do to add movement to your life, do it and do it most of the time for enough time.
2. Have Friday night pizza, a craft beer, or some pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. But after you indulge, jump right back on the healthy eating plan you follow. Eat lean, clean, and lots of greens most of the time!
3. Don’t make excuses, don’t say what the hell, and remember your goals and how good proper diet and exercise makes you feel. Don’t take the weekends off, and don’t give up too soon!Adopt consistency and eventually “diets” and “exercise” will not be in your mindset or vocabulary. These habitudes will simply be how you live your life, part of your day, part of your thoughts, who you are.
I would love to hear your thoughts around the must-have habitude of consistency!