Taking an holistic approach
I've been pondering this health and fitness thing recently, specifically my reluctance to diet. My first thoughts were that I had to take a mind over matter approach to my own laziness and that my reluctance to diet was weak willed. Upon reflection I think my reluctance stems from the knowledge that diets are short term, you shed the weight, you feel amazing, you tell yourself you will never go back to how you were before and yet... Diets are often event orientated (slimming for a wedding or holiday) but once those events pass it is easy to slip back into old habits.
This is why step five is going to be so key, mindfulness. Being mindful of the long term goal of a healthy and fit lifestyle, knowing that you're not aiming for a short term fix but a lifelong change in habits.
At work a couple of weeks ago as part of a staff festival event Sally Gunnell came to give a presentation about healthy eating and I had a real light bulb moment. For years I would reach for the weight watchers cereal bars or bottled smoothies thinking I was making healthy choices, and don't get me wrong in comparison to eating a Mars bar usually you are making a healthier choice but the simple answer is to try and eat food that has not been processed at all. PING! Oh yeah, I can't believe that hadn't sunk in until now. So instead of pasta or gnocchi have rice or sweet potatoes (not all carbs are the devil), instead of fruit leather just eat the fresh fruit! Duh.
Calorie crew? Fitness friends?
Whatever term best suits, but basically surrounding yourself with people who will challenge your choices and keep you on track. I have a friend at work who when she sees me reach for a snack or contemplate a biscuit she will challenge me on it. Because of her actions (and my own willpower of course) I am building a habit around questioning each food choice rather than mindlessly grabbing the free pastry or biscuit just because it's there. My friend Sarah and I keep one another on track at the gym pushing one another to attend when we might be wavering, it helps that on a Friday before yoga we get there early and take stupid photos and selfies to track progress!
What habits or tips work well for you I would love to know?