The arrival of Spring always brings about a kind of panic among us women. It reminds us that summer is around the corner and the extra weight we’ve gained over the winter months!
Pills and potions to Lose Weight Fast!
I have been tempted to try the latest crash diet in hope of losing weight fast. Banting has worked really well in the past, so it would be rather easy to go back to it. I’ve also considered buying the latest magic diet pills, but I really happy to say I haven’t!
I know and truly believe gradual healthy lifestyle changes is the only thing that will really last!
At the beginning of August, I started what I refer to as The Brave & Broken Lifestyle Challenge. The purpose of the challenge is to help me deal with and overcome the little coping mechanism or crutches that I’ve learned over the past couple of years.
I only really had 2 goals for the first month of the challenge.
- Nourish my skin by using a quality body lotions daily
- Track habits in my bullet journal
The habits I were tracking included water intake, stretching/going for walks, helping the kids with specific school related things and working on my B. Psyc application.
The effects of these two minor changes have been quite rewarding.
Nurture Goal – Nourishing my Skin
Finding ways to nurture and look after yourself, after going through hectic stress, such as divorce or retrenchment is crucial. If you are anything like me, my instinct is, take care of things that are priority. Kids, finances and hustling to solve to unsolvable mysteries of life. (Like, what could I have done to save my marriage?)
Learning to look after yourself is imperative. Taking time for long baths, focusing on posture is imperative. Doing everything in one go remains impossible.
Taking care of my skin, every day, helped me notice the change in elasticity. I also no longer have dry itchy skins, which never bothered me much, but now that my skin is looked after, I can’t imagine going back to scratchy, itchy skin.
I also believed, taking the time to rub in lotion, make me focus on me. Some days, I would think, if only I could get rid of my pregnancy pouch, life would be better. Other days I found myself thinking, small changes, big difference and honestly envisioning the changes I am working towards. Without obsessing!
Habit Goal – 5 Benefits of Tracking Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Firstly, I wasn’t successful at doing every item I was tracking. Tracking was the goal and the simple goal of tracking had a number of benefits for me, in my journey.
1. Tracking Lifestyle Changes Brought About Increased Awareness
Tracking activities like stretching made me aware of my posture and the amount of tension and stress I am walking with in my body. Stretching really is a post on its own, but just stretching my spine a couple of times a week, brought about a huge amount of relief!
Tracking my water intake, gave me a goal of drinking at least a litre and a half of water at work. It forced me to (1.) walk around with a bottle of water, (2.) drink while driving to/from work and (3.) force me to take bathroom breaks every 45 minutes to an hour. Tracking the water intake also, made me realise that I don’t drink nearly enough water over the weekends. This, in turn, led to increased awareness over weekends to make sure I drink more water.
2. Little or No Fear of Failure
Water intake or the number of activities wasn’t the goal. The goal was tracking to see what I’ve done, and where I slacked. There was very little pressure to perform and because there was little pressure, I ended up doing more and not stoning myself when I didn’t get around to a stretch of a workout.
3. Tracking Habits Leads to Greater Motivation
I honestly believe, because I was tracking I was motivated to tick off boxes. I was even motivated to manage my time more effectively, steal a couple of minutes here and there to complete the tasks. At times I caught myself, considering my water intake and taking five minutes to drink a last glass of water before bed.
4. Practice Patience through Tracking
By not piling on huge amounts of pressure, I am forcing myself to take things step by step. Our quick-fix, instant gratification society isn’t pro gradual changes and neither am I. But what I want less in life, is to look at myself in 5 years time and still have health and weight related issues.
None of the items I was tracking was a priority. But it forced me to be patient and diligent in the little things while building momentum and getting excited about habits.
5. Tracking Habits Leads to Openness to New Experiences
Tracking my exercise led to trying new things. During the month, I tried a HIIT workout and even though I nearly died, I felt amazing afterwards.
Trying something new also meant that I identified a new habit for focus for a coming month and I have started jotting those down.
I am really happy with the progress I made in the first month of my lifestyle challenge. By starting small and focusing on a hand full of things, I didn’t feel overwhelmed and I certainly didn’t put myself up for failure.
Tracking healthy lifestyle habits, was by far the best decision I made. I realised that tracking works for me, even if it doesn’t feel like it. I now know that when I don’t track, I give up. Now I can keep an eye on tracking whatever I am implementing every new month.