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5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting Your New Lifestyle Change

Updated: Jul 26, 2019

Here we go again... another declaration of, "Monday, I'll start!" How many of us have spent YEARS in that cycle, usually sandwiched between periods of overwhelm, moving too fast, and shoving our faces with as many processed foods as we can find like it was the Last Supper?! Oh but, surely this next phase of “restriction” will be how we lose the weight once and for all, right?! Wrong!! This cycle almost always ends up right back at "Go!" {or even further beyond that}.

This cycle of starts and stops is the reason for many a dieter’s poor relationship with food. So how do we get off this train and finally EAT FOR LIFE?

Here's our 5-question guide to put a stop to this endless cycle!

1} What is your "why"?

Understanding THIS question might be the most crucial of them all, so pay attention! And noooo, the answer is not, “I’ll be so happy when I look like Jennifer Lopez (or that other person on Instagram)”. If you are at all motivating yourself with negative self talk about your aesthetic, whispering things in your head like “I am so FAT”, “UGH these THIGHS!” or “so and so won’t find me ugly when…”….STOP RIGHT NOW!

First of all, none of this is true! It's just not... these are made up thoughts in your head, not facts. Know that we are our own worst critics, and by human nature we tend to build the negative things up in our minds. Turn that voice off and realize that…

a} YOU are A BABE AS YOUR ARE and...

b} your life is made up of more than WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE.

It's made up of family, of music, of friends and acquaintances, of how you touch and work in this world each day, of dances waiting to be danced & jokes waiting to be laughed at, holidays and milestones that will be celebrated and the memories that come with all of these things. Find motivation in how you want to SHOW UP for those people. Find motivation in how you want to FEEL at these occasions. Find motivation in how you dream of LIVING out each day.

The more authentic the motivation, the longer it will serve you when the going gets tough. Aesthetic goals tend to not push us past the first couple weeks {no wonder New Year's Resolutions never stick}. Health and fitness is not one-dimensional.

KNOW THIS NOW...TRUE EVERLASTING FITNESS and YOUR BEST YOU is MULTI-FACETED. "How you look" is a cheap plastic goal that isn't worth the investment much like a toy at McDonald's. "How you want to feel" is as valuable as GOLD, and something that shows up in more ways than just in a dress.

2} What is your end game?

What is driving you to start this lifestyle change now? Why not in another week? Is it an event that's pushing you, or maybe that vacation is around the corner? I always say any motivation is good motivation, however, to continue to be motivated you need to feel supported and sustained. No one likes to feel deprived. Deprivation is the quick road to burnout. Before you start any nutrition plan, consider your overall lifestyle versus short term goals. One workout or one diet can change your day, a few workouts and a diet can change your summer vacation, but workouts and eating healthy in a way that energetically supports you can change YOUR LIFE!

If your diet has an end date, think about that for a moment. What happens AFTER that date? Form a plan. Even a loose plan can formulate SOME strategy that will enable you to keep running with the results you worked so hard for. Walk into this mentally prepared, and make it your mission to never start at "Go!" ever again! This journey won’t end at a result.

3} Is this sustainable?

If you're tired of the dieting cycle and ever sworn something along the lines of, "THIS WILL BE THE LAST DIET I DO!" then it's time to pay attention. If your plan consists of diligent calorie counting, tracking of points, not enjoying social events, or anything that doesn't jive with your natural state of being, it may be time to reconsider that plan.

Another dead give-away if you're still not convinced.... If you've done the same diet plan before and it fell apart. If it didn't work then, it won't work now. Something about this plan doesn't resonate with your vibe, and THAT'S OKAY! The solution lays in what FEELS GOOD when you imagine yourself doing it. Do you really want to reduce your food experience to numbers for the rest of your life? Or do you want to feel present with your food and the experience of it?

Close your eyes and imagine yourself at dinner with friends, in your best skin and best outfit, taking in the environment, the good company, noticing the flavors in your mouth, colors on your plate, ambiance, smells and sounds. Wouldn't it be grand to eat without pulling out a counter, to intuitively know how to balance your meals and portions, to feel good in your skin and appreciate the moment before you versus when your next meal is?

If your diet has you constantly thinking about your next meal or causing any kind of anxiety, it's time to be honest with yourself. Is your short game really maintainable? Or does it require taking off smaller bites or making other adjustments?

4} What areas of your life pose the biggest challenge to your goals?

In your past experience, reflect on the moments that threw you off your game plan. Just because someone came between you and your goals before doesn't mean it has to again. You lived, you learned, and now it's time to ACT on that LESSON.

Grab a pen and paper and jot down your top 5 biggest road blocks. This could be staying late at work, a day full of meetings, entertaining friends that come to town, surviving family holidays, or having kids food in the house! Anything that comes to mind.

Now for the part 2... come up with a plan B solution for each of these scenarios to support you in your goals. Research shows that when you write your plan down and can refer to it later, you're more likely to stick with it. Your mind is now armed with a solution before you're in the thick of it, and the more you practice those plan B's, the more they become automatic.

5} Are you coming from a place of love or hate?

When you put yourself on a diet, there is ALWAYS emotion behind it, whether you recognize it immediately or not. It's SO important to look inward, even if for a minute, and breathe into understanding what the emotion is behind your desire to change your nutrition and your body.

If you close your eyes and ponder this question, you'll feel whether the source of your motivation is positive or negative. You may feel a clench in your belly or your shoulders slump over if your energy source is negative. You may alternately feel your chest open up with pride if your energy is positive. Is your inner voice motivating you with negative opinions of yourself? Or is it speaking to you from a place of appreciation and love for your body to a point you can no longer deny nurturing it? Those that use positive motivation as fuel to support their nutritional mission tend to stick to their newfound habits long after the main goal is met. What are the words you are saying to yourself?

We all deserve to be our best, we all deserve to feel our strongest, we all deserve to enjoy a vacation or wear a dress without thinking twice about what we will eat and what we look like. Know that your value is much more than your appearance. Once you recognize that, the healthy lifestyle you crave will have more room in your life. You'll be open to receiving positive change, you'll be open to being challenged, you’ll be brave in the face of others who follow the crowd, and you'll be open to the long term trek that yields the long term results you dream of.

Shine on beautiful human, and may you live your best life in your best skin in the most authentic way possible!


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