So I thought I’d send out an email of little snippets of what we’ve talked about, as together in there you might find something that helps you.
Being as structured and organised as possible is so key in this mad, hectic world. Most of my clients are fairly non-stop with kids, family, work and a social life to maintain. So sitting down at the weekend and planning food for the week can be a HUGE help. Decide what you’re going to eat and what you need to buy, then go out and buy as much of it as possible so it’s there in the house when you need it. Even better, batch cook up a meal (slow cooker is amazing for this) like a curry / casserole / stew / anything else that can be kept in the fridge and eaten for lunches, or frozen for future dinners.
Also plan when you are going to exercise in the week. Make this non-negotiable, like an important meeting in your diary. It’s your regular meeting with YOU, and you need to stick to it to be looking and feeling your best.
Having emergency foods in stock
If you’ve made plans and bought the food you need, most of the time it will be easy to stay on track. But what about when you find yourself delayed getting home and it will take too long to cook the meal you’d planned, or you didn’t get chance to buy the fresh ingredients you needed, or you just somehow seem to have go through all the food in the fridge?
This is where emergency foods can come in really handy. A healthy frozen ready meal, frozen vegetables, meat or fish that can be oven cooked from frozen, even frozen chips (McCain 5% fat chips are actually not bad at all and taste really nice). If you get back and can find this stuff in the freezer, you’ll never go off track. You might not have the perfect meal, but you can still make it very decent, and save yourself the money and tons of extra calories you would otherwise have spent on a takeaway ‘because we had nothing in the house’. All you need to do is bung it in the oven, and that will likely take the same or less time than it would to order and receive a Dominos (so that’s that excuse out the window too 😉 )
Take away the need to make decisions
We have so much to think about and decide on in day to day life, and it can be exhausting. Our brains don’t like thinking too much and making all these decisions – it gets tired and you start to lose motivation and make poorer choices. When you’re drained from a mentally taxing day, it’s a lot harder to say no to that piece of cake you’re offered, decide you’re not drinking tonight, or choose a healthy option out at dinner right?
One of the best ways we can combat this to make food and exercise decisions in advance, so we have much less to think about and decide when we’re in the moment. Here’s some ideas:
– Know what you’re having for breakfast the night before (and get things out ready to make it)
– Take lunches with you to work rather than going to the canteen / restaurant and having to pick something
– Have healthy snacks available for if you get tempted at work by cake / chocolate
– Don’t keep foods in the house that you know you’ll end up eating and regretting
– Have dinners planned and make sure everything you need is available
– If going out to eat, look up menus in advance and pick a healthy option you know you’ll like
– Keep a protein bar / Trek bar in your handbag for if you get stuck out with nothing healthy to choose
– If you want to cut back on alcohol calories, have a rule that you only drink wine when you’re out / you only have 3 glasses per week or something similar. Or drive to places so you take away the chance of caving in while you’re there
– Have your gym / running / walking gear ready for when you plan to exercise – keep it in the car or lay it out if you plan to go first thing in the morning. Have it available so you just put it on and go without needing to find your shoes / top / sports bra etc.
– Book yourself onto a class so you know you’re going and it’s in the diary
– Arrange to do exercise with friends so you’d be letting someone down if you bail (and you’ll have more fun exercising too)
Sometimes you need to Just Do It
Do you know what you need to do, but struggle to motivate yourself to keep doing it?
It’s ok to not be motivated to do something, in fact it’s normal. But that doesn’t need to stop you from doing it anyway. We often feel that we need some flash of inspiration or life changing event to get us motivated, and THEN we’ll jump and commit to doing something. We see it as:
Find motivation >> take action >> get results
But the only words that belong next to each other are action and results. Motivation is great, but alone it gets you nowhere. Action, on the other hand, is what propels you forward. So how about we change that sequence to:
Take action >> get results >> find motivation
which then leads to more action, and more results.
Sometimes you have to just act without the motivation. If you know it’s right for you and it’s what you want, make a plan and just start doing it. Once you get going, you’ll feel better and wondered why it took you so long in the first place. Then you’ll start to see results and want to keep going anyway. But it all comes from making a decision to do something.
Many people don’t take action because they’re afraid of failing. But you only fail if you don’t try, or if you try and then completely give up. If you try, fail, and then try again or look for a different solution, you are another step closer to succeeding. Generally, the more successful people are, the more they’ve failed. They’ve messed up tons of times, but they’ve learned from it, gained valuable experience, and kept going until they succeeded. You can do that too.
Hope that helps!