Invest in You, Part 2: Changes
It is the beginning of the 2012 and many of us have set New Year's resolutions.
There's something about the start of a whole new year that makes us believe that, this time, we will achieve our goals.
I am a resolution kind of gal - so much so that I'm also what you'd call a Monday gal.
I have to set my new goals and start my new training or nutrition routines on a Monday.
Now, some people would see this as a weakness - just as some people see New Year's resolutions as a waste - but for me it's like a mini-new beginning.
One of the biggest things I have learnt over many years working in the health and fitness industry, as well as through my own trials and tribulations, is to make the most of your weaknesses rather than feeling guilty and beating yourself up over them.
For example, one of my weaknesses - or what other people called a weakness - was that I liked to look good. It gave me confidence, and when I had confidence I always enjoyed whatever I was doing more.
So instead of beating myself up for "vainly" focusing on how my butt looked in lycra, I used that as my motivation or my CORE - the compelling reason that got me through my tough days.
On the days when the couch and chocolate called to me, when I just wanted to give in, I used my weakness.
I would put on a pair of my favourite jeans, check out my butt and say "Nah, not yet - gotta hit the pavement and do a run". That's what motivated me.
USE WHATEVER WORKS
Forget about what other people say. It's not selfish, vain or self-absorbed - it's about using what you have to your best advantage.
Focus on how to make things work rather than on what's not working.
Below are some techniques I use to stay healthy, fit and motivated. You'll hear me say this often: It's the little things that make for great changes. So here are two little things for you to try this week:
1. Get to bed by 10pm
I know it sounds soft and girly, but this is key for weight loss and health.
The body physically repairs and heals between the hours of 10pm and 2am.
If you miss any of this valuable healing time, your body cannot repair itself and recover to the best of its ability, so you will feel a little jaded and under the weather the next day.
Even more importantly, this is the time when your body reduces its stress hormone levels.
We all suffer stress (more on this and how it increases belly fat later) and if you miss this time, those stress hormones are not totally reduced.
This means you start higher up the stress scale the next day and the day after that, until the body is in such a state of stress that it starts breaking down, which leads to weight gain.
2. Swap your milk for cream
Yes, you read this right! And no, this will not make you fat! Fat does not make you fat. Lots of sugar and processed foods do.
But back to cream. There are two reasons why I think cream is great and why I recommend it to every client who wants to lose weight.
First of all, milk contains sugar, which makes you fat and makes you feel like garbage most of the time.
The fat has mostly been removed, which means when you add it to coffee it actually destroys the coffee's life-extending polyphenols and antioxidants. Adding cream does not. My favourite is a long black with a dash of cream.
Another reason I use cream is to help curb sugar cravings. These cravings are mostly because we do not have enough fat in our diets - take a swig of cream and the craving is gone.
I like to use coconut cream because coconut products come with a huge amount of health benefits, including increased energy, improved thyroid function, and fat-burning and anti-bacterial properties.
I could go on, but l'll save that for next week.
Which little changes are you going to make this week?