If you’re looking for a new you in the new year, don’t be afraid to simply polish off the old you! Afterall, there’s no better way to find the very best you than using what you already have. We often try to be good imitations of our goals but our goals are very personal and uniquely our own. There simply is no competition or comparison involved because no one will out do you better than you! When we really truly understand this, I think it eliminates the many hangups we have about improving ourselves.
I have been a yo-yo dieter and exerciser for over a decade. As a former runner, dancer and fitness competitor I know where I went wrong with the healthy lifestyle war. I truly believed that all of the diet and exercise was training me for my sport or season, which completely made doing any of it after pointless in that regard because there was no “showcase,” no final performance and no competition. The truth is when we eat healthy and exercise regularly it SHOULD be FOR something. But that thing is far greater and more purposeful than any win, it’s training for life! I changed many things in my routine and thinking when I discovered this truth, here are a few little nuggets of wisdom that have helped me slim down, feel healthier, BE healthier and get off the yo-yo dieting train once and for all…
10) STOP setting short term dramatic goals: You want to lose 20 lbs? Wonderful! You want to lose 20 lbs in a month? Tragic and temporary! There’s no greater yo-yo tale than the one that happens when you lose 20 lbs in a month and gain 30 back two months later. We all want instant gratification but don’t confuse your body like that!
9) START visualizing what your body will be like next year: when I started “training” again I decided I was training to be proud of myself 365 days from now. You know what happened? I stopped picking on myself daily!
8) DO monthly check-ins on the scale: your weight will fluctuate from day to day from a multitude of things: sodium, travel, a carb heavy day, just to name a few. Daily weigh ins aren’t just unreliable but they’re a mind-F! Checking in on your progress monthly shows progress you can rely on and won’t be tempted to amend out of unsubstantiated panic!
7) STOP saying what you CAN’T do: What? You don’t have enough naysayers in your life? You have to pile on to yourself too? I know it’s so cliche but you can do anything you want to do and you can’t do anything you’ve set your mind to reject. Believe you’re capable of achieving your goals and you will… Period!
6) DON’T talk about it BE about it: Aren’t you all talked out by now? If you’re tired of your own pity party “someday” song without any action to make it happen imagine how other folks around you feel. We don’t have to talk our goals out to death, especially if we aren’t actually taking active steps to make things happen. Only YOU know if you’re a “talk about it” or a “be about it” person. So, which is it for you?
5) DON’T do everything at once: There is nothing that gives me more anxiety than the idea that we have to change EVERYTHING about ourselves and habit on January 1st in order to become the person we want to be! Start with ONE thing and build on it. Two years ago I started with 20 minutes of cardio everyday. Then I slowly increased cardio, added weights, added water and then slowly cleaned up my diet. The changes we’re so gradual that they never came as a shock to my system!
4) STOP competing: If you’re next to someone on the treadmill it is so not a race and if you try to make it one you may end up hurting yourself. This isn’t just a gym fact this is a euphemism for life. You don’t know what the endurance or strength is of the person next to you ever. It’s best to compete with yourself and increase your goals as your body is ready.
3) STOP being an extremist: The #1 thing I am the happiest about with the change of my lifestyle is how nonexistent my dietary restrictions are. As a former fitness competitor I still have nightmares of the days that I went a week on solely tilapia, spinach and oatmeal to make weight. I started to believe that the only way I could become lean is to not eat anything other than super lean clean food. It’s simply not true and the fact that I make a point to have dessert and at least a few glasses of wine each week proves that.
2) FIND accountability buddies: I am so thankful for my peeps who I have made and achieved goals with. Those likeminded spirits who remain encouraging and may even serve as my inspiration when I can’t muster any on my own. If you don’t have a single person in your life who is willing to encourage you follow social media accounts that speak to you and inspire you!
1) ALWAYS document your progress: If you don’t have a realistic gage of where you came from how will you ever appreciate where you’re going? I remember having a conversation with a girl and I complimented her on how amazing she looked, I knew she had been working hard in the gym and I hadn’t seen her in a while and I was thoroughly impressed with her progress. She told me she had stopped her routine recently because she hadn’t been making any progress. I was pretty floored, I mean I have two eyes and I knew what she looked like before and she had clearly made a ton of progress but because she wasn’t exactly where she wanted to be she was willing to throw away all of the amazing progress she had made along the way because she couldn’t appreciate how far she had come!
Comeback Kids if you have tips on how to comeback from yo-yo dieting share them in the comment section below using #ComebackWithEricaCobb