Monday, October 25, 2010

Things I Wish Someone Had Said To Me

My co-worker has joined 24 Hour Fitness and signed on to Spark People. I’m happy for her, because those are the same two actions that started me on my own journey to a healthier lifestyle. 

Talking with her about her first steps has me thinking about my own. And that has prompted me to write this blog entry, “Things I Wish Someone Had Said To Me.” So here, in no specific order, is my list. 

*** Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. Yes, there are professionals who can teach you the perfect way to train, to workout, to eat, to cook, etc. And one day, you may want that sort of expertise. But starting out, it can be overwhelming. Just remember that no matter what you are doing to improve your health, it totally beats the nothing that you used to do. 

*** Don’t waste energy hating yesterday. Yes, you could already have that perfect body if you had started training ten years ago. But you could also have wasted another ten sitting on the couch. Instead of beating yourself up for not acting sooner, be grateful you have the sense to start now. 

*** You are not alone. No matter where you are on your journey, there are others ahead, alongside, and behind you. You are surrounded by people dealing with the same problems and struggles. So reach out. And let others reach out to you. 

*** Weight loss is not an exact science. Yes, it’s a matter of burning off more calories than you take in, but it isn’t as easy as a math formula. Our bodies are so complex and there are so many variables. You may work like crazy and gain a pound, then slack off and drop two pounds. It can’t be about chasing a number on a scale. Eat healthy, be active, and repeat consistently. The weight will come off. 

*** Celebrate the victories. Drinking enough water every day for a week is a reason to be proud. So is choosing an apple over a candy bar or a brisk walk instead of junk food and a nap. There are so many things you can do on this journey to a healthier you, why not celebrate every single one of them? 

*** Use Spark People. Make buddies, join teams and challenges, and let the Spark Points guide you through every cool part of the website. There is so much great information here and the encouragement and the motivation can make the difference between sticking with it or quitting. 

There are more that I would say, of course, but these are the basics. So what about you? If this list was mandatory reading for anyone starting out, what am I missing? What helpful advice do YOU wish someone had given you? 


(Originally posted on SparkPeople.com)