I have noticed a trend going around for the past week or so. Some of the very enthusiastic new year resolutioners seem to be starting to drop off and some have done so already. I am not only talkin about weight or health related resolutions. I have seen it in those who had resolutions in areas such as saving money, starting a new hobby and the such.
Why is it that we can start something with so much enthusiams and effort but fail and maintining that same drive after a while? Do we burn out or do we give up? If the resolutions will be beneficial ( to our health, to our wallets, to our jobs,etc) why do we not care more?
Because I can identify as a former new year resolutioner, I find myself trying to find a pattern as to why so many us have done this in the past and/or in the present. What I have noticed is the most common thing we tend to do is set unrealistic expectations. By setting those, we are more often than not succeed at failing. I will lose 30 pounds in a month, I will save 5 million dollars every week, I will run 200 miles every other day....not going to happen.
I have a coworker who decided to start a diet for the New Year. She wanted to lose 40 pounds. Her goal was to lose the first 20 pounds in a month or less. Lets call her Annie. I am not sure what kind of diet Annie was doing and that is not even important. For the first couple of weeks of the Month, Annie seemed to be sticking to it. Talking up how good she was eating and how much she was working out.
A week or so in, she would start adding some leftover pizza from home, some dry microwable mixed meal or something from the cafe to her prepacked lunch. A little sweet something after the meall...just a little. Because she had made such a big deal of announcing her diet, she must have felt pressured to constantly add, as she ate, that she was going to the gym and working extra hard after work. That stopped after a couple of days. Are we shocked that Annie is no longer mentioning her diet or sticking to anything? I am not.
I have been Annie for 35 years. I am sure there's still some Annie traits in me. I just try very hard not to let them take over. I am far from a place where I know much about losing weight. We all do what we can with what we have. We all try to learn as we follow our journey. However, after several months working on myself I would say that you really cannot out exercise a bad diet and poor nutrition.
I am not even talking calories here. I truly believe that working out is important,but you must also fuel your body with real, wholesome food and avoid the ingredients that do not help and can damage your body with inflammation and illness. For some, that may be sugar and grains. For others, it may be legumes and dairy. Heck, some probably avoid all of the above. Some people, succeed by taking everything in moderation. There is more than one way for sure.
If anyone can tell me what good pizza, chili fries or bacon cheeseburgers can truly do to our body please let me know. Because, I can't imagine there are any. Watercooler talk yesterday revolved around some article that stated that McDonald's fries have 19 ingredients. Freaking 19??!!!??! My vegetarian coworker was freaking out because one of them is 'natural beef flavor'. That is the problem (or at least one of many problems) with processed foods. Why do fries need that many ingredients? Yes, so that they are able to be kept and consumed without perishing. But do we really NEED all that crap? NO!
If you are so inclined to have fries, make you some oven "fries". Only 3 ingredients: Potatoes, Coconut Oil ( or your choice of fat), and Your choice of Salt. Make it even better and substitute a sweet potato instead. There are ways, options...choices. Is it fast and convenient as the drive thru? No, but your health should be worth so much more than a fast and convenient meal.
Love yourself, your family and your body enough to invest time and effort in YOU. I know we are living in a time when we need everything done yesterday. But let's remember that good things take time. There's a saying that always cracks me up that I have to share with y'all: 'You can't have a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant'. Have patience, take your time, invest in you and never never give up! Until next time!