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Change Is Not a Straight Line

If we take a look at creating new habits laid out over time we will see that it does not create a linear path. Initially, sometimes we are successful in drinking eight cups of water, sometimes we are not. Sometimes we complete our cardio three times per week. Sometimes we only stop in once. Maybe you know this, maybe you have experienced this, but maybe you have forgotten to apply it to your healthy living efforts.I appreciate an individual’s sense of urgency and drive when moving from thought to action. i.e. “I’m tired of having three wardrobes to keep up with my fluctuating weight. I am going to commit to working out.” Inconsistency in weight is exhausting. But keep in mind, unrealistic plans and misunderstanding the process of change will not serve you well. Deciding to consume a completely new diet and move from zero work outs to five times a week is unhelpful. Because when you fail. And you will fail. You will abandon your efforts all together.Drastic, dramatic adjustments do not work. Why? They are not sustainable. I’m not saying that you eventually can’t revamp your diet and workout five times a week. You can – just not right away. Change is not a straight line. Your body and mind need time to adapt to change and to create new habits.  We must experience small failures and get back up. Miss the target and try again. Reevaluate and rephrase our goals even.  I understand where the confusion comes from. We like instant and dramatic. There is nothing sexy about the tortoise. No one makes reality shows about the woman that took 12 months to lose 50 pounds and certainly not if she had the audacity to do it by slowly incorporating more fruits and vegetables, walking and resistance training. But, I think you are smarter than that. And I think you deserve this heartfelt reminder. Change is not a straight line.

If all we needed was a new decision, this country would not be facing the obesity epidemic it is facing. Creating change in our lives is a bit like combing out a knot in our hair. We have to start at the bottom and tackle it piece by piece. Unfortunately, too many of us have bought into the idea that there is no reward in struggling through. No benefit to the first six weeks of being imperfect in our consistency. Having the privilege of witnessing so many people embark on this process, I am here to tell you – creating the new habit IS the key. Struggling through will serve you better than any extreme fix out there. Why? Because you will work through your snags and your new habits will actually start to work for you! Yes, they will work FOR YOU. It is a thing of beauty. There will be no more thinking or debating or questions. Your body feels better and wants to continue to feel better. Those eight cups of water, those morning walks, omitting over-processed foods? It becomes automatic. But ONLY if you struggle through the change. Embarking on an overly zealous plan will cause you to abandon your quest altogether. The solution? Select incremental, manageable tasks, fail and get back up and you WILL create a new path. Change must be tackled slowly and steadily. Embrace the process of working through our our new behaviors and eventually we will arrive at a new plateau.

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