A healthy lifestyle does not only entail a physically fit body. Your mental health is just as important, if not more so than your physical health. Regardless of how strong you are or how advanced your gym equipment is, you won’t be able to achieve maximum results without the correct mindset. Some people look in the mirror and jump straight to thinking that they’re going to fail, that there’s no way they can go back to fitting into a size 4 or 6. If you choose to think negatively, chances are, your results will be disappointing.
Before you even think about making any significant lifestyle changes, go through this checklist:
Am I doing this for myself?
Am I committed to this for the long term?
How far am I willing to push myself?
Do I believe that I will succeed?
Do I have a support system?
Am I doing this For Myself?
To help you maintain a healthy body and mind, you need to do it for nobody but yourself. It’s noble of you to lose weight and think more positively for your family, but at the end of the day, you have to live with the choices you make. Doing it for others is simply not reason enough to give up soda, for example. For someone who loves soda and drinks it everyday, that’s a big sacrifice to make. If you decide to reduce intake of soda or exclude it from your diet, you’ll be consuming less empty calories, sugar and caffeine, not to mention you’ll have less chances of developing cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, kidney problems or obesity.
Am I Committed To This For The Long Term?
Sticking to an improved diet and lifestyle can be difficult especially if you hit a plateau in your weight loss. You may no longer see visible results of your hard work, and could become discouraged or even depressed. When this happens, you need to remain positive. Working out, when done properly, can do you a world of good. The older you get, the slower your metabolisms becomes. This means gaining weight more easily and an even tougher time losing it. By establishing an exercise routine earlier in life, you’re more likely to continue it when you get older.
How Far Am I Willing To Push Myself?
Push, push, push. To succeed means surpassing your expectations and busting through any walls that stand in your way. It’s tough saying no to your favorite foods sometimes, but the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle far outweigh the cons. Say no and cry about it for a while. That’s okay because it gets easier over time. You’ll get over it eventually, and you won’t feel the urge to binge as much as you once did. Some people balk at the first sign of a challenge because they’re blinded by fad diets that promise absurd results in a very short amount of time. So when they only lose 1-2 lbs. a day, they think they’re doing it wrong. Fad diets remain fads for a reason; they’re temporary and are full of crap. Stick to good old-fashioned hard work and discipline for effective and sustainable weight loss.
Do I Believe That I Will Succeed?
Believe you will succeed because you are your own worst enemy and best supporter in one. Once you start to doubt yourself, you lose your confidence in your ability to follow your personal set of rules. If you can’t even believe in yourself, what more other people?
Do You Have A Support System?
When you work out, it could help to have a personal trainer on standby to make sure you’re pushing yourself as far as you can go. There are people who hire them just to have someone to talk to for a fair and honest opinion. Your mom or sister may not know the difference between a tricep and a quadriceps, so it pays to have someone who understands the different muscle groups and can give objective evaluations at the same time.
Sometimes, it’s all about your surroundings. Good food, great company and smiles all around make a world of a difference. You’ll be surprised how invigorating it is to go from living in a dark, musty room to a bright and simple, well-ventilated room. Simple changes in your living conditions and social interactions play a role in how positively or negatively you view life. Surround yourself with positive energy and a stimulating environment, and you’re well on your way to physical and mental health.
This article is written by Matt Green who blogs regularly about health and fitness at The Exercise Challenge.