This blog is written by a Mom of 2 working and getting her degree. This is a long one.. but I have a feeling you're going to want to read the whole thing. You're going to relate to A LOT of what she says. And if I'm being honest this piece is going to make me a better coach.
The responses written in bold italic with ((parenthesis)) are my responses to her statements.
"One of the hardest things about making life style changes to lose weight, maintain weight, or to tone up is that it means making health and fitness a priority. Yes, I said it… If you are wanting any of the three things above, you need to make fitness a priority.
The funny thing about priorities is that some of them are not much of a choice. Sleeping tends to be a priority many people choose that takes up about 1/3 of the entire day! Another priority people tend to choose is going to work. Most people do not have a sustainable and reliable income unless they are working full time. This takes over a third of the day between the hours worked, a lunch break, commute, and time to get ready for the day. By the time people get home from work there really is not a lot of time left. This is when other priorities come in!
Here are priorities that many people have:
All of the above require time and the amount of time will vary on the priority and the person engaging in the task. There is no way that everything can get done every single day, so what do you do? You have to make sacrifices. Do you sacrifice living in a clean house and leave a pile of dishes in the sink until the weekend? Do you hire someone to take care of your kids and be absent as a parent until the weekend? Do you neglect to study and just pray you pass your exams? What about your significant other, do you sacrifice your relationship? Sometimes you can get away with multi-tasking and do some things at the same time. You might have a friend who wants to work out with you or you may be able to study on the treadmill. The point here is that it is not easy and it requires sacrifice.
So when I am asked something along the lines of replacing, “I don’t have time to work-out” with “I did not make fitness a priority today” and to assess how that makes me feel, I think it is kind of hard to take that seriously.
To someone who really does have a lot of things they want to prioritize it almost makes it seem like the other many priorities are a choice or that there are not consequences to taking something else off the priority list.
((This is making it sound like the people who make fitness a priority don't have just as busy of a schedule as you... we all make choices, we all have a busy schedule.))
Personally, I struggle with putting anything else above my kids ((which you should never have to do)) when I only have so much limited time and because they depend on me for so much. I also struggle with maintaining a positive relationship with my boyfriend when I prioritize working out in the evenings because then I don’t see him and we end up more like room-mates. ((Have him workout with you! Make it a couples journey you're doing together. It will strengthen your relationship instead of taking time away from it.))
Not everyone has those same “excuses” but everyone has their own obstacles and priorities that are hard to work around.
“But it only takes 30 minutes!”
This is a big one that drives many people who have a lot to do in a limited amount of time crazy! It might take 30 minutes to physically work out (if that is the amount of time you set as a minimum) but it takes time to commute to and from a gym ((Workout from home!)) (if you are at a gym multi-tasking is often easier/you are less likely to get interrupted) and then the time it takes to clean up afterward. This is honestly one of the biggest deterrents of working out during the busy week. Most people have things that they need to do afterward and need to shower and often prefer to be presentable as they are doing whatever chores are needed to be done in public. If you wait too late in the day to work out it is easy to turn the work out dedication time to sleeping time after a long day of whatever the priorities were. ((Make a schedule for the week and stick to it. Place the 45-1hr a day for working out and showering in the morning so you're not stuck with the problem of leaving it until night time.))
Another challenge in addition to the work out time is the clean eating. Eating healthier is something that not only people need to learn to do but they need to plan for. ((YES! Planning ahead is crucial and will save you a ton of time during your busy week!)) Convenience food is in general not healthy and meal planning becomes necessary. In addition to the extra planning and such, what is clean eating anyway? If I have learned anything through my own personal health and fitness journey it is that nutrition is like religion… Everyone has their own perspective on what is healthy or not and why. How is this related to religion? Because even people with similar religious ideas have their own branches and interpretations of their holy text. Suddenly a statement can go from “It is healthy to eat meat” to “It is healthy to eat meat if it is white” to “It is healthy to eat chicken” to “It is healthy to eat chicken if it is organic” to “It is healthy to eat chicken if it is organic and raised at a local farm”. And then there are people who don’t believe it is healthy to eat meat or chicken at all… ((You have to decide what is a maintainable lifestyle for you, what is considered healthy to you. I recommend getting a customized nutrition plan with your favorite healthy foods and eat a calorie dense diet. If you need one of these let me know!))
“But at school we learned about the five food groups!”
At school they do teach about the five food groups but they really scratch the surface. They do not teach you the important stuff that you really need to know. Unless you are eating a plant in its natural form, there are pros and cons to eating just about any food! They don’t teach us this. They don’t teach us how to look at those things when making decisions about what to put into our bodies. They don’ t teach us where our food comes from and how important the “where the food comes from” and “how the food was prepared/picked” is. They literally have people convinced that eating a McDonalds cheese burger is healthy because it contains grains, meat, dairy, and vegetables (yes, they literally count ketchup as a vegetable). ((This is why you should speak with someone with experience. They do teach this to the students who are Nutrition or Exercise Science. I have all of this schooling. If you need clarification email me!))
Another important thing to consider, the one thing that often drives our motivation, is that we expect to see results. If we do not see adequate or expected progress toward our fitness goals but we are making sacrifices and experiencing the consequences of the change in priorities, it is hard to continue with a program. We are all different. Someone who is doing the exact same thing as we are may be having great results but if we are not, it is very discouraging. This is a big reason why people quit programs. ((Sounds like these individuals need an accountability coach! Did you know I'm free as a coach?! It's important to remember what's happening on the inside before you see changes on the outside. Your body's getting rid of the fat around your organs, then you'll start seeing the subcutaneous fat burn off.))
What do you sacrifice to be healthy?
Do you sacrifice your social life? Do you sacrifice your education? What about your kids or family? Do you sacrifice a reliable income? There are so many things that each of us must sacrifice in order to be healthy and strong – including fitness coaches! With that said, there are things that we want coaches and our support system to know.
This is not easy! ((It's not easy for us either. We are not unicorns, we go through the same things.))
It is not easy to make life changes and sacrifice things that are important to us. ((We have important things in our lives too.))
They are important to us for a reason and implying that they should not be is not supportive. ((What are we implying shouldn't be important?))
Change does not happen overnight and some of us may need to make smaller changes before making big ones or making a lot of little ones. Habit is a hard thing to break and addiction to fat, salt, sugar, and oil is a very real thing. ((We all struggle with this.)) Making it sound like making changes in our diets is an easy thing does not make it any easier and can remove some of the hope we have. ((I hope I never make it sound like an easy thing to do. I struggle with it too. But there are many alternatives I can suggest for you if you're open to hearing them.))
Any sign of failure can be enough to make someone give up or make a choice that does not prioritize their health and fitness goals. It is not easy to see other people making progress to their goals while you are not. It does not have to be because one is not trying hard enough or that it is not a priority but that may be how someone will feel. ((Again, accountability coaches come in clutch in this situation. Talking to someone about your struggles as they are happening before you go off track is crucial!))
Typically if someone has a hard time picking out/choosing a nutrition program or sticking to a fitness routine it comes down to a handful of things.
Progress VS Consequences of what is sacrificed in return = Long term Motivation
Things to think about:
What is the cost of making health and fitness a priority in your life? What do you sacrifice?
What is the cost of sacrificing your health and fitness?"
A word from ME (KODIE) to everyone I've ever talked to, anyone who has ever read my blogs or a post on Facebook. I never, NEVER want to imply that this is easy, that you should give up time with your kids or job. I never want to portray health and fitness as something that comes naturally to everyone. It doesn't come naturally to me, it isn't always convenient. But what you have to understand is there are people in the world busier than you that make it a priority.
Do you make showering every day a priority? You would stink if you didn't, you'd likely get sick, and it'd be unhealthy if you didn't....
Do you make exercise and clean eating a priority? You would likely get sick and be unhealthy if you didn't. The longevity of your life would decrease. Your risk of disease would increase. Your energy levels would decrease. Your mood would decrease.
If you ask me exercise and clean eating is even more important than showering every day. I understand WE (MEANING EVERYONE) have a lot on our plates, but your body is the only one you get to live in, treating it right determines everything else in your life.