12 Weeks until Christmas "get in shape" time
Last week on Facebook I posted some tips for those who were looking at embarking on a 12 week program for Christmas. Here are those tips -
Firstly, have you planned to do exercise that you are going to enjoy and therefore stick to? Start visualising yourself now, doing that exercise. Imagine that it is already Christmas time, and you've done 12 weeks of that exercise and you have your results. How does that feel? Does it give you a feeling of joy? Does it make you just wanna get out there and start TODAY?
What days of the week are you going to exercise? For how long? Do you have to take shower items for after the session? Are you going to go back home, shower and then head to work? Have you organised what home based fitness stuff you're going to do? Do you need to book a Personal Trainer this week to get a program ready for you to start on Monday? Do you need to pump up bike tyres, or get lights or repairs done? Do you need to dust off the cross trainer from the back of the garage? What do you need to do in order to take action next week and get an entire, solid 12 weeks of effort in?
And don't forget, day light saving kicks off at the end of the month - don't forget to plan for the changeover - yes you are going to get up an hour earlier, suck it up and plan for it - don't say I didn't give you a heads up.
I remember when I was doing my 2nd figure comp. I was working as a gym manager at the time but had to open up 6am, so time was a little tight first thing in the morning. I had to pack my bag the night before with my work stuff, I had to make all my food for the next day (as well as breakfast) and I found myself visualing the first 2 hours of the morning, which helped me to remember if I had forgotten anything. I would be out the door at 4.30am, biked to work (the gym), cardio at 5am and then ready for work at 6am.
Not only did I visualise. But I had a list. My "master morning list". This was the list that contained every item that needed to go into my backpack and what I needed to prep the night before. This list allowed my brain to take a little breather otherwise I would have been thinking about food, exercise and prep 24/7
I know most of you won't have a morning like that. But I do know that many of you have kids to get off to school and yourself to get ready, and maybe the hubby or wife. I know your morning is chaos, so a list, visualisation and planning this week will be important for you to hit the ground running on Monday.
If you are planning on morning exercise for your 12 week till Christmas programs use this week to write a list, do a little "run through" to make sure you haven't forgotten anything, tell the older kids they're now making the lunches, make sure you have everything you need (shoes, water bottles, locker keys etc).
If you are planning on lunchtime or evening exercise, again make a list of all the things this week you need to take to work so that you can execute the exercise without going home saying things like "I was going to exercise today but I forgot my shoes".
One day I forgot my shorts for the gym. Instead of missing the session, I bought a pair of shorts. There really aren't any excuses at all!
And finally make sure you know what you're doing instead of aimlessly turning up at the gym going "Um...what do I feel like doing today"?
As they say, prior planning prevents poor performance.
And just a wee disclaimer. I don't believe in just doing something for 12 weeks just because it's summer, but I do respect those who find this to be an effective way to motivate themselves - hence why you're getting these tips this week.
First thing to do is to get real. Get real about your life, your mornings, your evenings, your cooking facilities, your cooking skills etc. Understand where you are and what your limitations are, understand your likes and dislikes and start to look at areas of food prep/choice that might need to be changed for you to achieve your 12 week goal.
Example: I know that if a "diet" contained lots of tuna and tomato based sauces (like pasta with tomato sauce etc) then I probably wouldn't stick to it. So my limitation needs to be acknowledged and then dealt to. So if I was seeing someone about a food plan, I would tell them that I don't want to see tuna on the plan. If they tell me to suck it up, I'll tell them where to shove their food plan.
Perhaps you already know that mornings are a mad rush with the kids. Now is the time to start planning a different "type" of morning so that you can still get good food in without it being a hassle. that might mean asking the older kids to make their own lunches, or getting yourself up 15 minutes earlier before the kids so that you can have YOU time, eating a good breakfast and prepping some lunch for the day. Perhaps one of the older kids could be cooking their breakfast AND your breakfast. These are only 3 out of hundreds of ideas.
The overall point is this. Be aware of your current lifestyle and ask yourself, will this be manageable during the next 12 weeks? and if it's not, start to make it manageable THIS WEEK. Remember, this is your planning week, to iron out all the possible excuses and hardships.
The next thing to do is get planned.
Know what you are going to do for the next 90 days. For some people, this will be purchasing the latest fad diet book (I'm not judging), for others it will be a nutrition plan from me or someone like me. There will be some people who will plan tweaks - such as 1) eat breakfast every day and 2) drink 8 glasses of water etc.
I have a 90 day challenge for myself and the plan is this:
1 - Zero gluten (I tend to sneak it in here and there)
2 - Zero dairy (as above - I'm intolerant to both). So just by adding this to my plan, I already know now, that my daily coffee will have to be black (I don't like other "milks")
3 - 4 meals a day (I'm trying something new and going for 4 meals)
4 - 5 cups of veges per day (I eat veg, but I want to try and eat more)
5 - I'm writing my food plan now and it will reflect the principles I teach in Belly Busters : Online Weight Loss Program. This food plan will be my road map and the food on the plan will only contain foods that I like and that I feel good eating. For me, that's high fat, high protein, vegetables.
There are also a couple of non-food related goals aswell, such as daily meditation, continuing with Crossfit/Pole/Pilates and writing daily gratitudes.
There is absolutely nothing unrealistic about this plan for me, so the chances of sticking to it for 90 days is very realistic. As for the "getting real" part, I know that I have a weakness for Mocha's, so I need to be aware of it (I am), accept I have a weakness (I have), and then be mindful of the times that weakness rears its head and not give in to it.
Lifestyle is one of the things that will actually get in the way of you eating well or completing exercise, it is the thing that produces excuses, reasons and permission giving thoughts. Lifestyle can commonly be the reason why we DON'T complete our goals.
What you have to understand is this (tough love coming): If you have decided to do a Thesis, be a mum of 4 kids, work, look after elderly or sick family, be on every school board you can think of etc AND you have committed to getting in shape - then you have to a) suck it up or b) keep reading to find out whythis is insane for some people.
Why suck it up? Well, YOU made the choice. YOU decided to burn the candle at both ends.
Why is it insane? For some it isn't, for some it is a breeze (clearly I'm not talking to you folks). I have had so many clients this year who decided to lose weight WHILE being pressured by their life. I had a lady email me about my services, but telling me she couldn't talk to me during the day because she was incredibly busy with her thesis. There's a big wall right there, if you are too busy to have a quick chat to me through the day, then how on earth are you going to find the time to drink the water I want you to drink, then go to the bathroom with all that water, prep nice food, fit in exercise and do a little bit of planning.
Most of my clients doing PhD's or Masters etc all tell me the same thing "I couldn't find the time".
So, if you have a lot on your plate. You have two options, a) forget this weight loss thing right now, b) suck it up and fit it in, c) change the way you "do busy". In other words, take your entire life and reschedule it. Maybe you find yourself procrastinating for an hour a day on facebook. Well that's not doing the thesis is it? Are we really that busy or are we trying to be a bit overly dramatic.
I've had burnout, its a super fun time.
Ok the next part about lifestyle. Death and sickness. People die and pets die and its sad. It's really sad, and its also awful to watch our loved ones infirm.
I'm afraid you are going to come across many deaths in your life and many sick people. You are going to hear about friends and family getting cancer, and you are going to hear a lot of it because it is common. This is going to happen throughout your entire life. Question is, are you going to let it affect your goals? Or are you going forget that you even exist as a person?
Guess what, you can totally care for another person AND keep your goals rocking along also. I have a client right now doing just that! But I also have plenty of clients who have forgotten to take care of themselves in the face of death or illness.
Life happens. If you want to lose weight you need accept that bad stuff happens, but that's no excuse for you to treat yourself like a garbage can.
School holidays, birthdays etc. Yep, they happen to. Wow, they happen like ALL THE TIME. Again, are you going disrespect your body and YOUR GOAL every time someone has a birthday or every time the kids are on holiday?
Some of us are real social butterflies, dining or drinking 4 nights a week maybe! Some of us are alcohol reps and its "not cool" to not have a drink with your clients. Sorry guys, if you want your goals to be achieved then this is an area of your life that may need revision. Surely you can be social and not drink or eat shit food right? Isn't the whole idea of being social just that - being social with PEOPLE....we don't have social interactions with food or booze, we have them with people!
Lifestyles. Do a stock take of yours, what time do you get up and go to bed? How many hours are you working (is it too many? are you working overtime and not getting paid for it? Do you NEED to work overtime?). How many hours are you wasting here in Faceland? How many kids birthday parties are you attending this year (if you have a family of 4 younger kids, my guess is that every second weekend is a birthday party). Who cooks all the food? Who's not pulling their weight around the house? Are you doing EVERYTHING? How many hours are you studying? Is your study efficient or are you spending 2 hours a day procrastinating?
Make a time sheet for YOU, call it a "life sheet" - get it down on paper, and then look back at it. As part of your planning this week, have a look at what lifestyle challenges are going to sneak up on you in the next 12 weeks - how many birthdays? How many relatives are unwell?
then look at the stocktake and see if you're in there anywhere. If you don't exist on that stock take, then it might be time to make some decisions about how you are going to stat true to your goals in the face of lifestyle challenges.
Mindset, in my opinion sits right up there with lifestyle as one of the things that will get in the way of a good 12 week challenge.
You can have the best food plan and exercise program in the world, but if you lifestyle gets in the way or your mindset blocks you, then its going to be a lot harder to get those amazing plans to work.
Aside from those who really do have stuffed metabolisms, the 2nd reason for people not losing weight or getting healthy is NOT the food plan or exercise - it is the PERSON themselves.
YOU have the control over whether you're going to succeed and if you run around with an array of excuses or as some of you like to call them "reasons", then that is the control you have put on yourself. Its up to YOU - You decide whether you're going to be an excuse maker or whether you're going to ask your coach how to work through the barriers you are facing.
And that's all they are. Barriers. They become excuses when you make too many or when you fail to work through the barriers.
So, mindset. You have to get out of your own way, you have to hold a mirror up to YOURSELF and be HONEST. Be brutally honest with yourself, are you an excuse maker? Are you a victim? Are you a self-saboteur? Are you strong enough to try and overcome these things? Are you going to be a pain in the ass to yourself?
A lot of clients will say things like "I'm just wasting your time". You're actually not - you're wasting your own time and money.
So as the last part of your planning, I'd love you all to have a talk with yourselves about your mindset. Do you want it bad enough? Are you prepared to stop with the silly excuses? Who are you as a person, when faced with a nutrition, exercise or health goal? Who are you as a person when faced with a different type of goal? Do you change as a person, depending on the type of goal? For example, I know many people working their ass off to save for and pay for a house. But I very really see the same effort going into something for their body, their health or their quality of life. Ask yourself, do you act differently when its a different goal vs a health goal?
Have a think about the last time you tried a 12 week program or something similar? What excuses did you make? How were they received by your coach? Did you learn anything or did you keep making excuses? If you found inner strength to overcome those excuses, are you able to find that again.
If you are real and honest with yourself, then you are now aware of your mental limitations. And all you need to have now, is the desire to not be that excuse maker anymore, to have the life you always dreamed of, the body you've always wanted!
So, before you start on your getting in shape for summer things, plan and prepare your nutrition, exercise, lifestyle and mindset and stay strong.