Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Change is...

Difficult. At least for some it can be. While others think and experience change as an easy process where one simply makes a choice and follows through with that decision no matter what.

Exercise, nutritional modifications, programming, waking up early or going to the gym after a long day at work: all are decisions that when compounded over days, weeks, months eventually should result in change. That change may be weight loss, weight gain, muscle size increases, strength increases-whatever it is, the result is usually victorious and celebratory.

But when one doesn't achieve those goals, what then? Even as a personal trainer, change is hard. Balancing a home life with a wife and two dogs, a full time "9-5" job on top of running a business, client programming, personal commitments and other endeavors...it's all hard to manage and balance sometimes. Even as I sit here trying to get my weekly post in (which has now been sitting in drafts for weeks) is a challenge as I sit and think of all the other things that should and could be getting done...like sleep!

So, how do we do it? How do we decide we're going to keep on doing the exercise we want to commit to or making a choice to eat healthier? As with most things it's a process of sorts naturally. But "that process" that is bottled up and sold online, in the infomercials, on the "As Seen On TV" shelves at the stores-well, it simply doesn't work for everyone.

There are apps, tools, books, podcasts and other ways that some of us find as a way to mark off the days of workouts or the logs of meals consumed all to track the process of our change. But what works?

Well, you have to try it out. For example I've been using Lose It! for years to log meals and gain visibility into the calories I'm consuming. Others find the task of tracking food daunting. I certainly don't do it everyday and had to use it for two weeks in school. But there are other ways to track your food, so try some apps, use a journal, give them all a go.

Meal plans are tricky and having recently purchased a fitness and food programming-type book from some well known fitness gurus, I can say that those books are not always realistic. My wife and I followed the program to the 'T' buying the foods given on the shopping list, attempting to prep according to the program and found that we were spending hours each night prepping and then cooking beyond what I've typically followed in meal prep behaviors. Some people can't eat the same thing 5 days in a row, I get it, my wife's tongue is fine tuned that way, mine however is not. I could care a less if I have chicken and rice for 5 meals or 10 meals and add a salad with it. But it can get boring. So, finding a meal program can be a challenge. To liven it up and get more specific to your needs, consider working with a Nutritionist or Dietician who can learn your likes and dislikes and cater an eating program to your biological needs. As a trainer, we can speak to big, general, food recommendations, but can't tell you specifically what to eat and when, which are sometimes the missing links to compositional changes and overcoming fitness hurdles.

The "Take-3"
1. Change can't happen overnight or all at once. Oftentimes, we try to do it all at once. "I'm going to cut out sugar;" "I'm going to workout 5 days a week;" "I'm going to eat Vegan and Gluten-free;" well, good luck, because as I've witness for myself and others, taking on too much is nearly impossible. It's not sustainable and often results in all of the above failing at the cost of maintaining one or the other.

2. You have to experiment with different tools like trackers, logs, etc. Ask yourself what you need to track: Calories consumed? Macronutrient intake? Calories burned? Then look for a resource that gives you just that and in the simplest way to do it.

3. Find someone else who needs to make a change as well and keep one another accountable. I text my clients or message them throughout the week to simply say, "Hey, I'm thinking about you..."or "How are the workouts coming this week?" It's a little reminder that they're not alone and there's someone who cares about their success in the changes being made.

So, go out there and change something for the better, healthier, stronger you!

In health,
Corpo Fitness