First things first…Exercise is extremely important for controlling weight, improving mood, combating disease, among other things.  However, Nutrition is the biggest piece of the health and wellness pie, so to speak.  Good nutrition (eating clean, whole, unprocessed foods) also controls weight, improves mood, combats disease.

Most of us know that our bodies require exercise and nutrition.  However, knowing and doing are two different things.  Sometimes the path from head to heart can be a long, difficult path and it takes commitment to invest in our health.  We can come up with many excuses (that we call reasons) as to why we can’t or don’t commit.  We might find that this same behavior spills over to the other parts of our lives.

It is critical to our well being (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically) to recognize and understand our patterns.  It isn’t until we are aware of them that we are able to change them.  In fact, awareness is the first step toward change.

Some questions you might ask yourself and answer:

  • Why is it difficult for me to commit to a program?
  • What reasons have I told myself/others as to why I continue to “fall off” after I’ve made a commitment
  • Why does exercise and healthy eating feel so much like a “chore”, rather than a life enhancer?

If any of this rings true for you, perhaps you may have been caught in the trap of “making up for lost time”.  That’s when you’ve gone for far too long without doing anything, now you feel like you need to jump in with both feet and go to the gym or work out every day AND do cardio exercise for hours at a time.  Well at that rate, it’s easy to get burned out and get discouraged.  Most of us cannot continue with this pace.  It’s just a matter of time before you lose interest and just stop altogether.  I would suggest that you start out slowly.  Define for yourself what your goals are and start out with a work out of 1-2 days a week, then build from there.

You might also ask and answer these questions:

  • Do I have a difficult time imagining myself at a certain weight?
  • Do I feel worthy of taking care of myself?

It can be beneficial to understand your eating behaviors and to be honest with yourself about them.  It’s easy to gloss over in your mind what you “think” you’ve eaten during the day.  It isn’t until you’ve written it down and can see it on paper that you can actually make changes to how you eat.  For some, keeping a food journal can be extremely helpful.  Our minds tend to play tricks on us, so actually getting into the habit of writing down what we eat takes the guesswork out of the equation.

Food preparation can also be a helpful tool.  Preparing meals in advance may help to control binging and scrounging for food.

Some questions you might ask yourself and answer:

  • Am I an emotional eater? A binger?
  • Do I eat as a result of feelings/emotions?

Most of us are emotional eaters (either we eat when we are extremely happy or when we’re angry or sad).  It can be helpful to understand the feelings that trigger the “I want food/treat” response.  It is also helpful to know what your “go to” foods/snacks/treats are (you know, those foods you go to when a feeling is triggered).  This is where a food journal might come in handy.

You might also ask and answer these questions:

  • Am I mindless eater?
  • Do I mindlessly eat while sitting in front of the television?
  • Do I eat while performing a task?

Possibly the most frustrating thing about a healthy food regimen is the fear of being/feeling deprived.  The questions begin to swirl around in your head: Will I have to give that up?, You mean, I can’t ever have that?  Finding a new way to eat doesn’t have to be about deprivation.  It’s more about finding different ways or other alternatives to the foods you enjoy.  There are so many healthy versions of your favorite snacks and I would also encourage that you get familiar with reading labels, especially serving size.

Additional questions:

  • Am I a snacker?
  • Do I eat only when I’m hungry or because it’s a certain time of day?

What’s important to remember is that you make choices everyday on how you move, if you move and what you eat.  Whatever your choice, it’s not about condemning yourself.  It’s about making a different choice if the one you just made doesn’t serve you.

Let me help you further explore your patterns and help you to achieve the balance you crave (pun intended).  Contact me so we can get together.

Pamela Grimm, MS
Fitness Instructor
Certified Health & Wellness Coach