Sunday, January 5, 2014

Success or Failure.....What's Your Habit?

Hello to a brand new year!

 I love the feeling of a fresh, new start.

That feeling of a clean slate with nothing written on it yet.....the setting of brand new goals and switching things up....especially if we have actually completed our previous goals and resolutions.

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This year we are starting a brand new fitness program.

(See above picture of my handsome hubby and our favorite Christmas gift).

.  I have a vast array of fresh veggies cut up and ready to go in the refrigerator so we can kick off the new year with a great start, nutritionally and we are already enjoying the workouts in P90X3.

The Christmas season is over. The Christmas tree and signs of the décor that go with it have been taken down and tucked away for another year. All the songs of the Christmas season have been replaced with regular music and our home has been turned upside down and inside out as we have prepared to step into the new year with a fresh start.

Many people make new year resolutions and excitedly sprint out of the old year and into the new with great hopes and good intentions of actually keeping them.

For years I avoided resolutions. I  knew that I wouldn't keep them, so what was the point of making them in the first place?

 Over time, as I have done some soul searching, contemplating, praying, digging into the scriptures and reading various books on the subject, I have come to the conclusion that the reason for failure starts in the mind.

Try this little experiment: 

As you go about your day, make a conscious choice to notice what kinds of thoughts you think. When you are angry....stop and ask yourself what is behind the anger. Is it fear? Is it because you are late for an appointment or event? Is it because you are offended? Is it because you are over tired, over worked, and not getting enough exercise, good nutrition or rest?  When you take a bite of food, think about why you are eating it. Is it a craving you are satisfying? Are you truly physically hungry, or did it just "sound good?"  Emotional eating looks very different than hunger eating. If you are eating to live, you will pretty much eat whatever it takes to give your body the nutrition it is craving and it will taste good because you are truly hungry. If you are eating to satisfy emotional  needs, you will only eat what you crave and other things will not satisfy you.  When  you decide not to exercise, think about the reasons.....factually. Do you really not have the time, or would you simply rather fill the time with other things? What are your priorities and why?  When you have time to read, what material do you pick up? Why?  When you have time to relax, how do you spend that time? When you face a difficult task, what are your thoughts.....do you think defeating thoughts, or positive ones, or somewhere in between?

A huge key to success in meeting goals is understanding the deeper why behind your desire to even make a goal.  For example; if you are overweight, simply losing weight usually isn't a strong enough reason. You have to go beyond that and understand the importance of taking care of the only body you have to live in. If your goal is to get better organized, just having a clean desk or a clean house or a sparkling clean car usually isn't motivation enough. Contemplating the deeper reasons really is key. Having an organized home saves time and makes all the jobs in the home easier to complete. If I open the pantry and boxes and bags of food are piled on top of each other, I have to stop and dig through the chaos to locate what I'm looking for. Usually my hands are full of other things and I have to find a place to set those things before I can even begin to look through the mess. On the other hand, if I open the pantry and it's neatly organized, I can easily grab what I need even if I have other things in my hand at the same time. It's the same with laundry....if I have a basket for dark colors, towels, whites and delicates it saves me the time of sorting the laundry. I can just grab whichever load is full and start my laundry.

When you make a goal, going beyond that simple goal is important. I could say I want to lose fifty pounds, but what am I going to do when I meet that goal? If I simply go back to the way I ate before I lost that weight and I stop exercising, what do you suppose will happen? 

With each goal obtained, a new goal needs to be set. If you really understand why it was important to meet that goal in the first place, you will logically desire to continue on in your healthy, new life style.

When Rich and I started our health and fitness journey a few years back, we were under conviction that we needed to be better stewards of the bodies God gave us to live in.  We realized that we needed to make some serious changes for our health....not just to look good and that if we were going to have any chance of raising our children into adulthood, we had to get our blood pressure, blood sugar and weight under control.  I began to research like crazy and not only that.....I spent time asking the Creator of our bodies to give us a plan and to help us commit to that plan without looking back.  I spent time looking up scripture on gluttony and self control, what it looks like to sacrifice personal comfort, fun etc..  I knew I had to stop sacrificing to my idols of gluttony and laziness and start walking in obedience to God. 

As the primary cook in our household, I knew I had to be the "go to girl" for the necessary changes nutritionally for our family.  It was a pivotal point in our lives. Our kids were watching the examples we were setting and I was teaching them what foods to enjoy based on what I purchased at the grocery store and prepared for our meals. I came under conviction that what is not in our kitchen cupboards, cannot be consumed. It hit me hard that if they were going to have healthy habits and tastes, it was up to us as parents to teach them to choose healthy foods by providing them on a regular basis and not providing "junk".  God gave me the perfect plan and I got busy cleaning out the cupboards, freezer and refrigerator. I got rid of every morsel of unhealthy food and started purchasing lots of fresh produce, healthy meats, changing my mindset when it came to sweets and learning how to prepare delicious, nutritious desserts that were not sugar laden or processed. The more I read and researched, the easier it was to begin applying what I was learning.  We actually went pretty crazy with a huge change in the beginning. We did a six week "cleanse." It was only supposed to be three weeks, but we spent three weeks preparing for the cleanse and another three weeks on the actual cleanse. After the cleanse, we found a meal replacement shake with over 70 all natural, amazing ingredients.....it's packed with nutrition and these delicious shakes give me, as the cook, a little break since they are super easy to prepare. We felt great! We were exercising regularly as a family, we were starting to see the weight peel off, our blood sugar and blood pressure numbers started lining up, we were experiencing more energy...we were well on our way to meeting our health, fitness and nutrition goals.

Because our "why" was so important to us, as we reached each new goal, we were already prepared to set the next goal.

Some of the beautiful things that have come out of the changes we have made, are of course weight loss and much better health overall, we are in the best cardiovascular health of our lives which is pretty cool considering we are grandparents. We can keep up with our kids and grandkids and really enjoy them with all of their energy.  Our kids have learned how to eat and cook healthily and they have all developed a palate for good nutrition. We discovered that we have some serious food allergies that would have, over the long haul caused major health issues in our kids if we didn't catch them. My life long sinus problems are gone, my fingernails are stronger than ever and one of my thumb nails that had a split down the middle for over ten years, has totally healed up. I could tell you of other health issues we struggled with that have been overcome since we said good-bye to our old lifestyle, but that would take some time. If you want to know more, please feel free to ask.

So....in 2014, what goals would you like to meet?  What changes would you like to make in your life?  I encourage and challenge you to seriously contemplate areas that you would like to change, do some research, come up with a plan, get some accountability and overcome wrong thought patterns. You can succeed at your resolutions and if you let God lead you in setting your goals, your chances of success will be even greater.

Blessings to you in 2014! 

 

2 comments :

  1. Agree! Agree! and Agree! I just recently started (again) on a healthier journey. I love the new foods that I am eating and can't wait to feel the energy and see the results. I recently discovered that we have a quarter mile track right out our front door. Our dirt road circles up and attaches with another and it is exactly .25 miles in a circle from my front door! Now I can either get on the treadmill, or go out the front door for some easy exercise and not have to worry about leaving the kids or driving to a gym! :)
    Thanks for your encouraging post!

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  2. Jodi, that's awesome! I love getting outside whenever possible, for some fresh air and exercise. We have a couple of beautiful, long walking paths near our house and whenever the weather permits, we love to take the dogs and go for a good jog/walk. We also enjoy hiking whenever we can. Good for you and congratulations on your new and healthier journey. I'm excited for you! If you want a great support group, I'm starting another one here pretty soon on FB and you are welcome to join. :) (((Hugs)))

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