The Keys to Success in Health and Fitness Week 1: Your “Vehicle” for Success
- Created on Tuesday, 13 March 2012 13:36
Last week we focused on the importance of creating your road map for health and fitness success. Now you know what “there” looks like for you, as in how you'll know that you've arrived at your health and fitness-related goals. You know what your “mile markers” are so you can measure your success along the way.
Now it's time to answer the next question: How are you going to get “there?” After all, when we plan a trip we don't just decide where we want to go. If we're going to the corner grocery store we'll (hopefully) decide to walk; if we're going up North, though, we'll probably want to drive, and if we're going to Tahiti a plane is probably in order.
The same concept holds true for reaching your goals for health and fitness – how you get “there” is going to depend in large part on where you want to go. If you want to lose 100 pounds and you're having trouble walking around the block, for example, you're probably going to create a fitness plan or “vehicle” that revolves around slowly increasing the amount you walk every day while improving your food choices. If your goal is to take on a triathlon by September, your approach is going to be very different indeed.
At this point we will work under the assumption that you have been cleared to engage in an exercise program and that you have consulted your doctor regarding your daily caloric needs. We will use this information to create our Triptik - or healthy living diary. The diary will track three key elements each day:
1. Calories Taken In
2. Energy Expended
3. Challenges faced and how they are met.
Most of us agree that working within the constraints of a budget is inhibiting and frustrating. We would love to be free of these constraints, spending with wild abandon, never denying ourselves a single desire. If you have been eating without regard for the number of calories you are consuming each day, that is precisely what you have been doing - spending with wild abandon - going deeper and deeper into “debt” which is paid with shortness of breath, tight-fitting clothing, and that overall feeling of being out of control.
Keeping track of every calorie passing between your lips is the first step toward getting your food budget under control. Each day starts with X number of calories, and just like writing a check, you must account for every calorie you “spend” in order to ensure that your checkbook balances everyday. DON’T OVER DRAW!
Keeping track of our energy expended is the best way to add “deposits” to our account. Be sure to track your exercise each day so you can get a good picture of how it is improving your... bottom line! Get out your diary, right now, and decide the times and days that you are committing to exercise this week. Then, depending on your goals, decide what kind of exercise you'll be doing. Of course, I recommend indoor cycling classes, but will you commit to doing when you're not at RydeOn!? Your plan can, and should, include everything from taking stretch breaks at work every hour to your indoor cycling classes to scheduling an extra ten minutes in your day to take a walk during lunch.
CAUTION - do NOT get on the slippery slope of “buying” more calories by exercising. Particularly in these early days when we are in the process of creating good habits - this can be among the most dangerous.
Keeping track of the challenges you meet each day - those forks in the road where you choose the healthy path - will prove to be an invaluable learning tool. Committing to paper or audio taping your thoughts and feelings about your progress EVERY day will help build those important muscles known as willpower, resolve, and self-esteem.
Your specific “vehicle” to achieve your health and fitness goals is going to be as individual as your actual goals. The point is to choose that vehicle, get out your Triptik, stay the course, and RydeOn!