Have you ever had one of those days that has possibly turned into months where you have a feeling of “I just can’t be bothered”? Or perhaps you have found yourself saying, “I just want to enjoy my life” whilst you gulp down that glass of bubbly with a handful of Godiva chocolates.
A few weeks or months go by, and you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. “How have I let myself get to this point?” you ask yourself. “Why do I end up having too many drinks?” “Why did I eat my way through that entire box of chocolates?”
The negative talk creeps in, and you start beating yourself up about your appearance. It’s a vicious cycle. The more you begin to dislike what you see, the more junk you eat and the less you exercise. Excuses creep in, and whilst there may be some good intentions, the whole “I’ll start my exercise and food plan tomorrow” never actually happens.
I get it. I’m a Personal Trainer, I’m a Women’s Wellness Coach, and I have a degree in psychology – yet I still have these battles, too. Want to know a secret? Most of us do! Social media doesn’t help us all that much, either. There is money to be made in having us feel down about ourselves. Social media gets pumped full of fit, sexy people (who, by the way, aren’t without their battles!), and we end up comparing ourselves to them.
I’m here to tell you to STOP! Stop comparing yourself with others. You are you. There is no one else like you. You are unique and fabulous just the way you are. However, let me also be blunt and get to the point: if you are down on yourself, eating junk, not exercising, or beating yourself up with negative thoughts and comments, this vicious circle is your own doing. The self-sabotage is on you. Perhaps it sounds harsh? But in all honesty, you are the only one responsible for yourself. You are the only one that can stop the sabotage and choose a new direction. The choice is yours and yours alone.
Now, let’s focus on some easy steps to help you on your way:
Step 1: Love Yourself
Self-sabotage will come from a deep place. That place is generally because we are not connected with ourselves. We do not think we are good enough the way we are. Or we feel unloved by others. When the truth is, we need to love ourselves first. Find some qualities about yourself that you really love. And if love is a stretch, find qualities that you like about yourself.
Each morning, when you wake up, remind yourself of these qualities. “I have a beautiful smile, and I’m going to do my best to wear it all day.” “I have luscious curves, and that is sexy!” Small affirmations of love to yourself help build your confidence. When you start believing in these, you will find that others will too. And as you begin to feel that confidence build, you are less likely to reach for that extra chocolate too!
Step 2: Make a Plan
By ‘plan’, I don’t mean an eating plan. I mean make a plan for the week scheduling in time for you – exercise, cooking nutritious meals, things you like to nourish yourself (massage/facial/coffee with friends). Hold yourself to that plan. You are the one who is responsible and accountable, remember!
Step 3: Small Steps Lead to Big Changes
As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” – and neither is a fit and healthy body and mind. It takes daily, small, consistent steps towards a better you. Set a goal to work towards it. I like to set 90-day goals and work backwards from there. Break it into monthly, weekly, and daily tasks to achieve success.
If you miss a day, don’t be too harsh on yourself. The negative self-talk is a big thing we want to try and negate. Acknowledge that it didn’t happen for whatever reason – speak truthfully to yourself. Reset and get back to it the next day. No rulebook says you cannot skip a day or reset any time.
Step 4: Scrap the All-Or-Nothing Approach
Jumping all in has proven to fail numerous times, not only for myself, but also many of my clients who have attempted the “all or nothing” approach. With this approach, actions are seen as ALL good or ALL bad. Another news flash: life just isn’t like that. There is a lot of “in-between”. When you limit yourself to all or nothing, you set yourself up for failure because it often means that anything less than perfection is a failure.
It is an unhealthy thought process that only triggers the vicious circle more. Many people who take this approach often end up in a yo-yo effect and are left wondering if it was ever worth going cold turkey. Ultimately, you want an approach where moderation is key. Eat well, sleep well, exercise, and get your time in. Taking the moderation approach translates to small steps, the in-between.
Step 5: Who Says You Can’t Hit the Reset Button
I was on a coaching webinar with the coaching school I study through (International Coaching Institute Australia) when one of the mentors said, “Where is the rulebook that says ‘you can’t start again’?” At that moment, a light bulb moment occurred. I am my rulebook – just as you are for your life.
That means you get to hit the delete button, and you get to hit the reset button whenever you need or want to. So if you wobble off course, don’t beat yourself up about it. The biggest gift you can give yourself is your awareness. Because with awareness, you then have a choice. With choice you can (if you want to) reset. Go on, give it a go.
These little tips will help you find balance and harmony within yourself. The more you are consistent, the better the results you will see. So what are you waiting for? You have today, and you have now – this very moment in time to make a choice. Just like before, the choice is yours and will always be yours.
Sharee Hendry is a women’s confidence coach and personal trainer with FitnessGuru. Visit @sh_theconfidencecoach for more information.