Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Small steps to a big change

New Year, New Me. We all make this year - whichever year it happens to be - the one when we sort ourselves out. When we finally go on that diet and get healthy.
Never quite works out like that, does it? Well, this year is going to be different. Here's what you need to remember if you want to make a real change and, more importantly, make it stick.
Firstly you need to want it. The fact that you made a resolution means you know you need to change. But needing to and wanting to are two different things. Without the desire, the drive, the determination to take charge of your own future, you'll struggle.
Look in the mirror. Look at the person looking back at you in the glass. Challenge that person to prove you're strong enough to do this and every time you look in that mirror tell it again and again that you will prove how good you can look.
You want to look in the mirror and say Wow not Ow!
Remember, changing your life for the better is a positive move. It is not about giving anything up, it's about giving yourself something new. It's not about depriving yourself of anything it's about enriching your life, living life to the full in a way you've never done before. It's a positive move, not a negative one.
The change won't only be physical. You will have a new spring in your step, your mood will improve, you'll sleep better, get tired less easily.
This is not just about a diet. It's not just about losing weight. It's not just about numbers on a set of scales. It's about becoming a person you can be proud of, a person who has taken charge of their own destiny, and taken charge of what happens to you next.
Establish where you are now and mark this as your starting point. Tell yourself that this is the last time you'll be this way. Now start your exciting journey forward.
Aim small to begin with. When I began my journey to the new me, I was 24-and-a-half stone. That was four years ago. I couldn't walk on the treadmill for more than a minute before stopping on my first visit to the gym. Was I discouraged? No. My goal was to last two minutes as soon as I could. Then three, four, maybe one day five minutes. Just over 12 months later I completed my first marathon having lost eight stone in the process. If I'd started on that first visit saying I wanted to run a marathon, only being able to do a minute walking on the treadmill would have made me feel utterly deflated.
As it was, I accepted where I was and I challenged myself to be able to do more tomorrow and so on. Gradually five minutes walking became four minutes walking and one minute "trotting". Then gradually the trotting lasted longer than the walking - then the trotting turned into jogging and the jogging turned into running. Then came the day I ran for 15 minutes on the treadmill without walking at all. I felt on top of the world. All by accepting how bad I was at the beginning and taking small, realistic steps to slowly improving myself.
As for food, we all know what's bad for us. Choose healthy options, cut down your portions, structure your meal times and snack times and stick to them. Nuts instead of crisps, brown rice instead of white potatoes, sweet potato chips instead of chippy chips. Fruit instead of pudding and home-made veg and fruit smoothies any time you like.
The more you achieve, the more incentive you will have to push on. The momentum of achievement means your progress will accelerate as you improve yourself and see the changes for yourself.
Small steps, patience and determination. That combination will make sure you succeed and make sure the changes you make last.
New Year, New You. Little by little.

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