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In case you need some inspiration today:

Arthur Boorman was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War for 15 years, and was told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk on his own, ever again. His story is proof that we cannot place limits on what we are capable of doing because we often do not know our own potential.

Take One Small Step

How are those New Year’s Resolutions coming? Are you still plugging away or have they been put aside to show up on next year’s list?

One of the things that can cause people to pass on meeting their wellness goals is the overwhelming feeling that can come from trying to go from chip-eating coach potato to food-measuring athlete all at once.

There really is no rule that says you have to change all of your behaviors at once to succeed.

I didn’t.

Three years ago, for various reasons I went from a runner to a walker to not doing any exercise at all. During that period of inactivity, I didn’t curb my eating and pretty quickly reached my heaviest weight ever.

I found myself starting over with exercise and losing weight—again. And it didn’t feel good.

It actually took some mental preparation and the support of a friend to overcome the inertia to get out of bed and start exercising. At first, all I did was walk. I didn’t even look at my diet. I just focused on getting out of bed every morning and moving. That is what I counted and celebrated as success.

To begin, I set a minimum goal of 10 minutes a day, and then I went up to two hours a week. Slowly and steadily, I increased my exercise goals until I was back up to a fitness level that felt good. By then, I had only lost 5 pounds and I knew it was time to take on the eating.

And even that was a process of cutting back on portions and making better and better choices. Heck, I’m still looking for ways to eat cleaner and healthier. (If you had told me three years ago that I had to drink protein shakes with spinach in them, I would have quit in in horror. Now that’s something I want to do, but it was something I had to build up to.)

Yes, it took me a year to lose 34 pounds and get back into great shape. But at the end of that year I was a lot happier having slowly and steadily made those small decisions towards a healthier lifestyle than to try to do too much at once and give up, only to be faced with the same goal and results a year later.

What small decision can you make today that will move you towards a healthier lifestyle? Do that for a week and then look for another tiny step to make. Do that consistently and you will build momentum and achieve your goals. Do that consistently and next January 1 you will be celebrating your success rather than being faced with the daunting decision to start over once again.

Together we can do it!

Photo by anankkml / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Look for the Solution

It used to be that when I had a problem, I talked to everyone about it. I hashed it and rehashed it, and asked everyone’s advice. What should I do?

Often, people would want me to do things that I really didn’t want to do, which created even more stress and struggle. Sometimes even making small decisions—like where to go to dinner—was laborious and emotionally draining. Typically when the time would come to make a decision, I still wouldn’t make one—which is in itself making a decision—and I would just let events and situations play out.

Talk about giving up all my personal power! It was a painful and unhappy way to live.

Part of the process of taking back my power was to stop talking about the problem. Talking about the problem can feel like we are looking for a solution, but truly it is just making that problem seem more stubborn and feel more insurmountable. You cannot see the solution while you are so intensely focused on the problem.

Shifting your focus to finding the solution takes energy away from the problem and opens your mind to possibilities that you would otherwise be blind to.

So how do you shift from focusing on the problem to focusing on the solution?

Being solution-focused is really being future-focused. You have to look away from “What was” and “What is,” and instead look towards “What will be,” and even more powerful, “How you would like it to be.”

Part of it is also trusting, believing, and knowing that there is always a solution to every problem. This is one of those Universal Truths that people don’t always believe because they are so problem-focused that they often miss the solutions, so they think there wasn’t one. Being solution-focused does take a certain amount of faith or confidence that the solution is there and that you will find it.

Taking responsibility for the choices and decisions you are making is another piece. For instance, if you want to reduce your weight, you have to take responsibility for the food you eat. While your eating can feel out of your control, it isn’t. No one else is forcing you to eat anything. Whether you are conscious of it or not, there is always a thought and emotion behind that action. Until you take responsibility for it, you give up your personal power.

And finally—and probably most challenging—is you have to stop looking outside of yourself for the answer. Sure you want to analyze data, understand the problem, and do your research, but people often get stuck in that analysis phase thinking the solution will magically appear. That’s still being focused on the problem. Once you have a good grip on it, turn your focus towards looking for the future-solution. This is when you want to stop asking other people for their opinions of what you should do.

Other people don’t know who you are, what your experiences have been, where you are on your path, and where you want to go. They know what they want and that is not the same thing.

This is where a coach is helpful. A well-trained coach is not going to give you advice, but instead is keenly aware that you have the answers for you, and helps you find them.

Your path is your path. No one else can walk it. When you take your focus off the problem and instead look for the solution, the absolute best step for you will become clear.

Together we can do it!

Photo by Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Accountability

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Accountability for December 30, 2011

After falling into the cookies, on December 20, I committed to being accountable through the New Year to you Fabulous Readers about my diet and exercise as I recover from surgery.

 

Weighed this morning and I have maintained over the holidays, surgery, and recovery. Woo hoo! It’s clear I will meet my goals of maintaining my weight and feeling great on January 2.

In addition to 20 minutes of walk/jog intervals, I got in two short walks yesterday. Also ate well with the only splurges at dinner out with friends being half a cocktail, two bites of apple cobbler, and two peppermint hard candies. I’ll take it!

Today I will do a low-weight upper body workout and will get in at least one short walk. Tonight’s New Year’s celebration with friends will be my free meal for the week, and I will be back on track tomorrow with our area’s traditional New Year’s day meal of collard greens and black-eyed peas.

Thank you Fabulous Readers for helping me meet my post-surgery diet and exercise goals!

 

Are you making New Year’s Resolutions and have a goal on which you would like to be held accountable? Feel free to use the comment space on each of my accountability blogs, and I will cheer you on. Just let me know what your goal is, what you will be doing to meet it, and how often you will be reporting in.

 

Accountability

Aside

Accountability for December 29, 2011

After falling into the cookies, on December 20, I committed to being accountable through the New Year to you Fabulous Readers about my diet and exercise as I recover from surgery.

With my doctor’s OK to slowly go back to my regular workouts, yesterday I did a low-weight lower body workout and it felt awesome! Also go in a nice walk with the dogs. Am a little sore this morning, which lets me know I hit the intensity level just right for where I am in my recovery.

This morning I did 20 minutes of walk/jog intervals and I plan to get a walk or two in, as well.

Eating was pretty clean yesterday. Only thing off plan was two peppermint hard candies to satisfy my post-dinner sweet-tooth. We are going out to dinner tonight with friends, so will do my best to stay on track.

Definite progress!

Are you making New Year’s Resolutions and have a goal on which you would like to be held accountable? Feel free to use the comment space on each of my accountability blogs, and I will cheer you on. Just let me know what your goal is, what you will be doing to meet it, and how often you will be reporting in.

Accountability

Accountability for December 28, 2011

After falling into the cookies, on December 20, I committed to being accountable through the New Year to you Fabulous Readers about my diet and exercise as I recover from surgery.

Had my first post-surgery appointment with the doctor yesterday and he confirmed that I am recovering remarkably well. He even expressed surprise at how well I’m doing! I attribute this to the power of a positive mind-set, minding the doctor’s instructions to walk and drink lots of water, and eating well most of the time. As my accountability posts attest, perfection is not required for fabulous results!

I have permission to slowly go back to my regular workouts. My body will let me know if I am doing too much.

Did get in all my walks yesterday, and ate clean until we joined friends for dinner and drinks. I splurged a bit on two drinks, a few bites of my husband’s French fries (they were worthy!), a couple of bites of the macaroni and cheese appetizer, and a bite of peanut butter pie. All in all, I think I did pretty darn well.

Did stay up probably a little too late (thus the tardiness of my posts this morning), which I think contributed to the headache I went to bed with last night, but I feel great this morning!

Looking forward to getting a gentle workout in today, as well as a couple of walks!

 

Are you making New Year’s Resolutions and have a goal on which you would like to be held accountable? Feel free to use the comment space on each of my accountability blogs, and I will cheer you on. Just let me know what your goal is, what you will be doing to meet it, and how often you will be reporting in.

 

Accountability

Aside

Accountability for December 27, 2011

After falling into the cookies, on December 20, I committed to being accountable through the New Year to you Fabulous Readers about my diet and exercise as I recover from surgery.

Was another day of eating clean. Only splurge was a tiny bite of a homemade peanut butter cookie that a merchant gave us. But I let my husband have the rest. Win! Also got in all four-doctor-prescribed walks, and upped my time and distance.

I go to the doctor today for my follow-up appointment. My expectation is to be able to report tomorrow that I am back to normal activities, or close to it!

 

Have a goal on which you would like to be held accountable? Feel free to use the comment space on each of my accountability blogs, and I will cheer you on. Just let me know what your goal is, what you will be doing to meet it, and how often you will be reporting in.