Monday, April 16, 2012

The Best Way to Eat an Elephant

You know the story about the person who wants to eat an elephant? Long story short...or short story even shorter...
Elephants are huge.
You couldn't possibly eat one in one sitting. (Why would you want to? Gross.)
However, you could eat it one bite at a time.

There are so many situations that could be paralleled with this scenario, but I think health goals fit right along perfectly. Trying to lose weight, improve your diet, and work at any other health goals can be very daunting. Trying to do it all in one day is impossible. You may last a day or two if you go at it %250, but if you last longer than that I'd be surprised.

I don't mean to sound discouraging I am just being realistic. The truth of the matter is when you are attempting to do something hard, the best way to do it (and stick to it) is by doing things a little bit at a time. My sister's cute sister-in-law, was chatting with me on Sunday about eating clean and such and in talking about eliminating sugar and processed foods she said, "I guess I need to just do it one thing at a time." I have been thinking about just how RIGHT she is.
In working with my clients I have them pick something they want to work on for the week. We usually have a dietary goal and an exercise goal. Something measurable, something manageable, but something that will help them to reach their ultimate end goal.
Examples of these goals may be...
- ___ times of exercise per week for 45 mins
- eliminating _____ food that seems to be causing upheaval in the diet
- eating 4 servings of veggies per day
- Getting in ___ runs per week.
You get the point. Each of these goals is specific. You are taking the steps necessary to achieve the bigger picture. If a client tries to make a goal that is too overwhelming I always make them seriously question the reality of the scenario. I am a huge fan of accomplishing big things, and if you are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to accomplish those big things than BY ALL MEANS... DO IT! However, if by setting your goals you are only setting yourself up for failure, you are getting NOWHERE.

You might not lose 30 lbs in a week, but if you stick to your plan and lose two pounds a week you WILL get there. You may not have a perfect diet today, but if you are willing to keep working towards it, changing what you can, you will be amazed at what you are capable of. You may not be able to go outside and run a marathon today, but if you train properly and take the necessary steps towards doing so you CAN do it. Speaking of...Congrats to my sweet friend Rachelle who OWNED the Boston Marathon today!  She finished in 3:22. AMAZING. Congrats to everyone else who ran it as well!!

Bottom line. Start somewhere. Instead of going for the whole elephant, just take on the elephant ear this week...but don't you dare actually go eat elephant ears! ;) (Did you guys call those giant scones elephant ears? Just me? No?) Prepare yourself for success, and not for failure. Make a plan, a feasible one, and stick to it. Changing your life and your body means actually making changes. I love the quote..."If you always do what you've always done, you'll always be what you've always been." You absolutely cannot expect to do the same things and get different results. So, pick what you are going to change, and DO IT. :)

What changes are you going to make this week? Do you find it easier to ease into change or to go cold turkey/100%? What were your habits when you have seen the most success in your accomplishments?


Cotter Crunch said...

i needed to hear this today, so true meg! and way to rock it rachelle

Tina @ The Bandit Girl said...

This is so true. I think I dive in wanting to change everything over night and when that turns out to be impossible, I throw in the towel on the whole enchilada. This was a great reminder that real change, sustainable change, is something done thoughtfully, purposefully and with a plan. So, to answer your question about what am I going to change this logging. I am going to be a better food logger. That' s my bite...this week. Thx for your post!

Rachelle Wardle said...

Megan thank you so much for the shout out you are the best!

I absolutely LOVE this post. It is so so true. The hardest things we work for in life are always the most worth it. It is so disheartening to see people give up on goals because in the end it is always worth it.

Fro-yo soon please? Or a run together or something. We must make this happen. :)

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