For a long time I really struggled with living a healthy lifestyle. You know what it’s like. I was up and down and just when I thought I was going well I felt like I fell back into the same hole I was in before. Years of going around in circles became really frustrating. I felt like I had tried everything and every time I went to try starting something new, there was an underlying feeling of knowing how it would turn out. Each time I felt more lost and confused.
As I have said before, all I wanted was to feel confident, proud and happy in my own skin. I thought I was really trying. I thought I was really working hard. I’ve learned since then that I wasn’t. I was fooling myself into thinking that I was working for it because I didn’t know what working hard for it was actually like.
All of these circles and feelings of frustration finally came to a tipping point. I knew that if I wanted different results that I had to do something different. That something different finally worked out for me. I can hand on my heart say that i feel the healthiest and happiest I have ever felt. The biggest thing for me though is that every day I am making more and more peace with my relationship with food. In a hope to inspire you with ideas to get you moving to where you want to be, here is what I did:
As I said earlier, I wanted something real this time, something that would stick so I had to get brutally honest with myself. I sat down with a piece of paper and a marker. I split the page in two and wrote down all the behaviours that were helping me and hindering me from achieving the fit body that I wanted. This list included anything from water intake to sleep to stress levels, how much I was eating out, how often I would eat junk food, how often and how hard I was working out. Anything I could think about went on this list. I really took my time with it and wrote everything down because without a clear and honest slate, I knew my future efforts would crumble.
Once this list was complete I made a start. I didn’t put some huge plan in place. That would have overwhelmed me and felt like every other time. I also felt like I would have rushed through the steps. So I looked at the list of bad habits and picked one thing that felt achievable. For me this was my sleeping patterns. I started by aiming to get 8 hours sleep every night. Once I could nail this for 2 weeks, I started to make another change. I needed to build my confidence and belief in myself that I could do it this time, so I took my time. No pressure or expectation.
Now that sounds all good and simple but without a few other key differences, who knows if this method would have changed my life as much as it did. Here are the subtleties that not everyone talks about that helped me change my life:
I had to make a true commitment.
Not just a “I want to lose weight let’s do this diet”, but a true commitment to myself that something absolutely had to change. This isn’t something you can just tell yourself though. You have to feel it and truly believe that you deserve more. You might mess it up along the way but that’s okay. It’s a part of the journey.
The next was support.
The people who believed in my conviction to make a lifestyle change and supported the decisions I made really filled my heart. These few people would workout with me, hold me accountable and make an effort to choose healthy options when we went out. My boyfriend started cooking with me more especially when I couldn’t be bothered in order to make sure we still ate a healthy meal. I could also turn to them to talk about breaking through some of those emotional connections to food that I had like comfort eating when I was down or boredom eating. These were things I was quite embarrassed about so talking to people who didn’t judge me really helped me break through that barrier.
Lastly, I had to get organised.
At the start of every week I would look at my diary and see when would I realistically workout, when did I need to make sure food was prepped. I also kept an eye out for tips and tricks on how I could make it more convenient and enjoyable.
All these details are what made the above process actually stick.
I wrote this blog purely from the heart from me to you. I know what it’s like to be in a position of wanting more than anything to create a change in your life and more specifically your health and feeling overwhelmed, confused or lost. As a personal trainer I have learnt that everyone is different. There is not a one size fits all approach. So explore, try things out, be kind to yourself and find what works for you to make you happier and healthier every day.
Ellisa Haddad as a Personal Trainer and Life Coach, servicing the Cranbourne, Narre Warren, Lynbrook, Clyde, Berwick and Pakenham Areas. Ellisa focuses on obtaining balance between physical, emotional and mental health, for all her clients, and is particularly passionate about supporting women in achieving their goals.
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