I get many health questions from people and as a health coach I think this is fantastic, I love curious people. Below I will give my advice on my top three frequently asked questions.
Diets, do they work?
Maybe not surprisingly one of the most common health questions I get is how to keep a diet. While I don’t believe in diets myself, it still boils down to the same answer. It’s a choice. It’s something you want to do. As I mentioned before I think diets that restrict you from eating food you like will never work. I believe in it when they are born out of necessity. Like allergies, illnesses and such.
What do you choose?
I’m on a flexitarian diet, however, I don’t restrict myself from meat. But both for health reasons (my stomach feels a lot better when I don’t eat meat) and the environment I have chosen to eat more vegetables and other types of food that are vegetarian. The key is, I don’t deny myself anything. I chose this for myself and I see the value it’s adding. Instead of what I’m not getting.
While I don’t want to talk about weight, I also realise that a lot of people do want to go on a diet for that reason. Again, decide what you do want. You want a stronger body, a healthy relationship with your body image. When you go after what you do want, rather than focus on what you don’t. You get one step closer to your health questions answered. They do work if you want them to.
An important note to this health questions about diets – Never ever put your health in harm’s way. To live healthier is not about starving yourself.
Health question number two, how do I get to the gym?
I have to be completely transparent and honest about this. I really dislike the gym. Don’t get me wrong, if it works for you, enjoy it! But I don’t like being in that environment at all, it doesn’t suit me.
What is your goal?
However, if you want to go to the gym, firstly, be clear about what your goal is. Is it to be stronger, is it to get in shape or maybe you just want to do something on a weekly basis? If you are clear about your goal, it will be a lot easier to achieve it.
Whatever you want to achieve remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. I know I know, it’s boring. But really sustaining change will only work if you keep being consistent over time.
If you want to make a change don’t go from zero to every day. You are setting yourself up for failure, which will only set you even further back. It has to be sustainable. What does your life look like? Where are you at? And then decide from that what’s realistic for you.
Small changes that you actually do implement are what will be the most sustainable over time. Maybe decide that taking the stairs, going for a walk during your lunch break is enough for now. Or that you really like running and that twice a week that is what you will do. Whatever you choose, choose what’s right for you and make yourself a priority.
Time management and accountability
For a very long time, I was a single parent. Going to the gym, running (honestly, if you ever see me running, run too. Because someone is chasing me.) or going to a yoga studio was out of the question. I worked full time and after my son was asleep I couldn’t go anywhere. That’s right I was stuck in my house. Now there are a lot of things you can do in your own house. I found fitgirls and I could join a challenge with others who kept me accountable but be in my own house and their concept really spoke to me at that time.
A lot of people need that in order to take those first steps, someone who holds you accountable. Find that group or friend and ask them to help you. I have found that by just saying the words I actually get the motivation to follow through.
Health question number three, I don’t want to, but I need to
Stop. Just stop. If you do not want to do something chances of following through is very slim. Even if you intellectually realise that you should be doing something it’s not the same as actually doing it.
Firstly, identify why you think you need to do something. What is it that you think you should or shouldn’t do. A lot of times people do things because they think it’s expected of them. And that they will disappoint someone if that expectation is not met.
Secondly, change your mindset. Sometimes just doing something different for a few times will change the way you see things. Maybe you have tried something in the past and you didn’t like it. However, now it is something that you enjoy doing.
Sometimes viewing the problem from a different angle makes you realise that it isn’t a problem at all. And you do want to do it.