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Feeling Guilty

About Those


Lynn Smith
Professional Health Coach

It's been 17 days since we made our New Year's resolutions. How's
it going for you? Not so good? You're not alone. We start with good
intentions but it doesn't take much to derail our plan. We're going
to take a look at two reasons why our resolutions have failed and
then we'll come up with a better plan, one that will get us back on
track and leave us feeling better about ourselves.

Unrealistic Resolution

When we watch all the ads on TV for diet pills and weight loss
programs there's an expectation that, if we give it a try, we can
lose 25 pounds in short order, maybe even in two weeks. That is not
necessarily true. The marketing experts who write those ads are
good at what they do, so good, that we expect those results to be
normal. Then, when we give it a try and we don't drop weight that
fast, it leaves us giving up in frustration.

In this case, the goal to lose 25 pounds is a good one but we
weren't being reasonable in the amount of time it would take. The
adjustment needs to be in our expectation.

Resolution Too Complicated

Joining the health club and committing to Pilates three times a
week is a great goal. But when you were scheduling those classes,
did you have to put your schedule through contortions to get it to
fit? Therein may lay the problem. If you had mental dialogue that
went something like this: "If I leave work a little early on
Tuesdays and my husband picks up the boys from basketball practice
on Thursdays, I can do this!" that should have been a little red
flag telling you that this would not dovetail very well into your
lifestyle. No wonder you've only been to class twice this month.
Admirable goal, too complicated to carry out.

So your plans haven't worked out as you've hoped. Don't beat
yourself up and don't feel guilty about it. Any experience that
causes us to learn something is not failure. You learned that
packing too much into your week doesn't work, which is a valuable
lesson. Keep on applying that and you can reduce the amount of
stress in your life.

Now it's time to re-group. We aren't giving up on our goals and
we've learned what doesn't work. How can we have reasonable
expectation and reduce the impact on our lifestyle? Creating a
healthier lifestyle comes down to our daily choices. How can we
make different choices in our daily routine to promote good health?

Start by looking at what you already do everyday to see where you
can improve your health habits. Do you go out for lunch with you
co-workers or hit the drive-thru for your meal? If your goal is
weight loss, regularly eating fast food will make the achievement
of that goal pretty difficult. Have you considered packing your
lunch maybe just once or twice a week? Fast food is full of fats,
calories, and sodium. The simple decision to pack your lunch a few
times a week can have a significant impact on your health long term.

How about the goal of exercise? Is there a simple way to increase
our activity without playing havoc on our schedule? You might want
to take a look at how you are using your lunch hour. There was a
study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine on the effects
of moderate exercise. Researchers studied 252,925 men and women
between the ages of 50 and 71. Those that did a moderate amount of
exercise (at least 30 minutes most days of the week) had a 27%
decreased risk of death. A brisk 30 minute walk each day can have a
powerful impact. What are you doing during you lunch hour?

The most important element in improving our health is consistency.
It would be far better to do a 30 minute walk a few times every
week than to do Pilates a few times a month. Look at how you are
spending your day. There are always ways to make healthier
decisions. And give up on those quick-fixes. Truly being healthy is
not something a quick-fix will achieve but the accumulation of
healthy daily decisions will.


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