Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Don't Cheat!

If you want to know my number one secret for sticking to a figure transformation plan it's simply this.

Don't Cheat.

"So how the heck am I supposed to do that" you  ask?  Here's how.

First, in order to avoid cheating, you have to know when you're cheating, which means you have to have a plan to begin with.  What plan?  I don't care, you have to decide, but here are a few hints for how to choose.

Your plan has to have food you enjoy and that satisfies you, and you have to find a fitness plan that you actually want to do that doesn't injure you.

Why are these plans  so infernally hard to find?  Simple, people want rapid results, and rapid results tend to come from plans that ask you to diet hard and work out hard at the same time.  There are people who have the abdominal fortitude to do this, really.  They're already ripped.

Are you already ripped?  Me neither, but I believe I could be.  (The belief thing is really crucial,  but that's a subject for another post.)

So we need to take a different approach.  We need to clean up our menus and turn up our exercise without going crazy or getting hurt, and then we have to commit.

The Tools of Commitment

Here they are:

1. A Food Diary
2. A Calendar

Use the food diary in the morning, or the night before, and plan what you're going to eat before you eat it.  Be honest with yourself.  How much of a calorie deficit can you accept?  Has a diet worked for you before, and are you able to follow it without sneaking in a little here, a little there, until you're just eating the way you normally do?  As I wrote above, I don't care what plan you follow- but have a plan!  Pick something, choose.

An interesting note on diets:  The one's that work for me have abundance built in.  For example, low carb diets often allow an abundance of protein or (gasp) fat.  Weight Watchers has no point fruits and vegetables.  A good plan for me allows for fullness and satisfaction.  Find a plan that fill and satisfies you- they do exist!  That being said, when I'm losing fat, or as I like to say using fat, I am not walking around full all the time.  Far from it, sometimes I actually feel hunger, but I know when my next meal will be, and I know how to soothe myself without food until mealtime comes around again.  (Ah, a subject for another post.)

If you don't have a solid plan you're just wandering around in limbo.  You cannot negotiate with the hungry part of you if you haven't chosen a strategy before hunger strikes.  Then when you do stick to the plan... Victory. Rejoicing.  Celebration.  If you don't stick to the plan?  You get vital information to help you plan the very next day.

( Hint:  When I cheat it's usually because of stress or because I haven't eaten enough vegetables to help me reach satiety.  Green,  leafy vegetables with homemade olive oil dressing, or sautéed with a bit of kerrygold butter and topped with salsa are my secret weapons.  These are my power foods- you need to find your for permanent success.)

2. The Fitness Calendar

This is the easy part.  Get your calendar out and schedule your fitness sessions for the next month, or more if you want.  Don't miss them.  Feel free to start small.  I mean really small, as in 10 minute walks and 11 minute bodyweight exercise routines. Exercise you enjoy keeps you sane, smart, and happy.  I just finished reading "Spark" by Dr. John J. Ratey, and the entire book is chapter after chapter on how amazing exercise is for every aspect of a happy life.

Fitness you want to practice is the foundation of permanent transformation, and commitment is the structure you build on.   Pick a plan that you can follow faithfully based on your own experience and wisdom.  If you know you hate treadmills and can't live without chocolate don't pick a plan that makes you use one and completely give up the other!

On the other hand, don't pick a plan that says you can eat anything you want in moderation, or after midnight, or every other Sunday, if you know in your heart of hearts that that food makes you sick or insane.

Know yourself.  Find a plan you can believe in.  Don't cheat.

You can do this.  Living life at this level of maturity, self acceptance, and faithfulness brings a peaceful energy that is astonishingly powerful.

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