If there was one thing I made sure my daughters learned from me it was that you can only change yourself. You cannot change anyone else and the sooner you learn this lesson, the easier life will be. This really applies to everything we do in life from the choices we make first in high school then after high school to marriage to raising happy kids to how we live our lives. For me, when I finally figured this out, my life was so much better! Gone was the aggravation of trying to get my husband to do what I THOUGHT he should do – not what he thought he should do. Ditto when I made the decision that I was going to succeed at not smoking then later at being fit. Do you see the recurring note – I am the one that made the choices to succeed. So what is your choice – success or failure?
The choice as to whether you will succeed or fail is within you. You must be mentally committed to change whatever it is that you want to change. At the end of the day, if you are not mentally on board, you will not succeed in changing whatever it is within you that you want to change. When it comes to fitness, the changes are two fold – you have to make the commitment to change your eating habits and to exercise. These two things go hand in hand and does not take a rocket scientist to explain how to lose weight – eat less and healthier and move more.
First the nutrition side. This is where many people really struggle but you have to take a step back and look at food as fuel. Your body needs fuel to function correctly just like a car needs good gasoline and oil to run smoothly. If you put crappy gas in your car or the wrong oil in the engine, your car many not run as smooth as it should. The same thing can be said for what you put in your body. As my BFF Coach Becky always tells me – you are only as good as your last meal. You have heard the saying, garbage in – garbage out which is usually referring to what you input into a computer. This same principle is true for what you put into your body as well. If you consistently live on junk or fast food, your body becomes sluggish and you become tired. When you become sluggish and tired, you do not have the energy you need to get moving throughout the day and into the night. I really became aware of this while training the past year for the triathlon. I always watch what I eat but over the past year have really focused on what goes into my body and my endurance and performance levels have improved immensely.
After you have cleaned out your kitchen and removed the foods that you know are not good for you (processed, junk, fried) you are ready to make the commitment to moving your body. Doesn’t matter what you do – the key is that you do SOMETHING. If you are just beginning, start with walking. Walk for just 10 minutes each day. You can do this in your own yard, at the mall, park or anywhere. Each week add 5 minutes to your walk and as you find it becoming easier, add more time or increase speed. As it’s summer, this is a super activity to start right now today and create a lifelong habit. If you are ready to move past walking, do some jogging, take an exercise class that you have always wanted to try or choose new activities with friends. Below is a pic of me zip lining in Ohio early spring for the first time right before I turned 50. What a blast – even though it was chilly, I had so much fun. I love to bike, canoe, run, swim, and just about anything outdoors – including zip lining. But remember – just do something. You CAN do this – the choice is YOURS.
Denise Sanger is a high energy business owner with over 30 years experience in the marketing area. She has transitioned her love of fitness and marketing into helping others succeed in their own businesses. She founded How To Stay Fit Over 50 to provide hope and support to others by motivating them to take the first step in their fitness journey no matter what age.