“You’ve given me a lot of great information. How do I get started? What is the first thing you would do?”
A woman asked me this question yesterday. I took her on a grocery store tour with her daughters. She is FED UP with feeling fat. She’s had ups and downs with her weight, never getting close to a size that she feels good about. She and her family are ready for a gradual, and permanent, health makeover.
Here is what I told her: “Plan. Plan every single week. Prioritize planning.”
I gave her an abundance of information about food shopping, label reading, cost-effectiveness, meal preparation, meal ideas, and best selections within a food category. I explained about the roles that protein and healthy fats play, and to never walk in the door hungry. She got breakfast ideas and snack ideas for herself and the girls. I gave her ideas for new healthy habits that focus on mindful eating and staying full.
All that detailed information, and I told her the absolute most important thing to start with is PLANNING! Before you decide to get healthy by “drinking more water,” “going to the gym 4 times every week,” or “making a healthy dinner five nights a week,” HOLD UP. What is the best way to accomplish these goals? What will help these habits to really stick? SCHEDULE them.
- Carve time to go grocery shopping twice a week. This lady found herself running to the grocery store nearly every day. She can save herself more time by planning ahead, and so can you. This grocery shopping time should be on your calendar like an appointment.
- Carve 1-2 hours each week to brainstorm and write down what your meals and snacks are for the week. Schedule this time in, just like an appointment.
- If someone asks you short-notice to take a yoga class on Monday night at 6:30pm, or your girlfriends want to get together for an impromptu dinner at that time, you say NO or re-schedule. Just as you wouldn’t miss an important work meeting, do not miss this appointment with yourself.
- Schedule these things several weeks out.
- Schedule and measure your success every three weeks. Measure your body and try on your “thermometer jeans.” (The jeans that tell you how HOT you’re getting.) Put this reminder in your calendar six months out. You are making a commitment. This is one way to solidify it.
You have an unusually insane week coming up. There is minimal time for workouts and putting meals together for the week.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Good thing you looked ahead to see next week is crazy! Before the week even begins, ask yourself the following:
– When will I write my grocery list and brainstorm a few main dinners for the week?
– When will I chop my veggies and prep as much as I can ahead of time?
– When will I get to the store?
– When can I get some exercise in? (Advice: If you have to make a choice between spending your time working out or filling your fridge with healthy food, get to the grocery store!)