It takes a fitness village
I cannot stress enough how crucial a strong support team is to our fitness and health-related goals.
It is difficult to establish any new nutritional or exercise regimen change, and having the support of others makes these lifestyle changes easier to implement and maintain.
For example, suppose a woman decides to lose 60 pounds. She starts a new exercise program and consults a nutritionist to adopt a new clean eating plan that she hopes to stick with for a while.
Her family, however, is used to her regularly serving them a mountain of French fries and eating at fast food restaurants several times a week. Bags of various types of chips fill the pantry, and there is so much ice cream in the fridge that they could build an igloo out of it.
During the holidays the woman's family visits her husband's parents, who show their love by feeding them constantly until they all feel like well-stuffed geese.
The best way to succeed with a lifestyle change is to enlist everyone's help. First, ask your loved ones if they would like to join you in getting healthier.
If they do, then it is a win-win and you're on your way. But if they're not interested, don't get discouraged. Your goal is still the same: to change your habits, not theirs.
Make it clear you will not be eating the same kinds of food in the same amounts as they do. Ask them to please respect your efforts and not flaunt foods you are trying to avoid.
Create your own space in the pantry and refrigerator so that when you go looking for something to cook or eat, your healthy fare is the first thing you see.
We all have a trigger for behavior. Make a note of what situations -- such as stress, boredom, sadness -- have typically made you reach for the cheesecake or potato salad.
Replace unhealthy snacking with better choices such as an apple, carrots with a little hummus, or some nuts. Or take a walk around the block.
If you are at a dinner party or restaurant, ask for a to-go bag. Saying, "I don't want to eat this right now" rather than "I cannot eat this right now" is a powerful choice of vocabulary that makes you feel more empowered with your decisions.
Don't be surprised if some family members and friends have a hard time adjusting to your changing lifestyle choice, either because they worry it will somehow change your relationship or because it reflects on their own unhealthy habits.
Your determination to succeed while continuing to rely on your support team will reaffirm that change is possible - and is worth it!
Magdalena is the owner of the Be Fit Fit Personal Training and Wellness Studio (www.befitfit.biz). Her Be Fit Fit Blog is available on www.verdenews.com