Cautious or Risky

Cautious or Risky
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

My gym is re-opening June 26th. As much as I’ve missed it, I’m not totally excited about going back.

I finally had a haircut, but I certainly wasn’t the first in line.

As much as I’m craving being in a crowded, noisy restaurant with friends . . . I’ll wait.

You might say I’m a fairly cautious, rule-following type. In this case, with a history of pneumonia I should be. But I’m noticing that the more of a homebody I become the less adventurous I feel.

If you’re feeling timid or cautious about addressing a weight issue, know that here too it’s good to be cautious. Small steps that you’re ready for, one after the other, is the route to sustainable success. Boldly trying to change everything at once is not the answer. It’s too hard to maintain, so most people tend to quit altogether. It’s the infamous “all or nothing” way of thinking that is so pervasive amongst weight watchers.

Potential steps regarding food intake:
_ Include vegetables or fruit whenever you eat.
_ Eat at a table, not in the car, at your desk or in front of the TV.
_ Drink less soda, diet soda, juice and alcohol.
_ Drink more water.
_ Skip the sugar in your coffee.
_ Track your intake.
_ Measure your hunger and satiety (1 – 10).
_ Examine why you’re eating if you’re not physically hungry.
_ Eat slowly and mindfully.
_ Don’t bring food into your home that you’re trying to avoid.
_ Eat in full view of others.
_ Stop grazing.
_ Cook at home more.
_ Consume less white stuff.

Other important steps:
_ Start with 10 – 15 minutes of daily physical activity and add on.
_ Don’t say yes when you want to say no.
_ Stop beating yourself up.
_ Learn to accept yourself as you are.
_ Notice what you’re grateful for and feel it.
_ Breathe deeply.
_ Stretch.
_ Limit screen time.
_ Keep a journal.
_ Practice healthy coping strategies for stress.
_ Get off the hamster wheel.
_ Give up perfection.
_ Stop trying to please everyone.
_ Minimize your intake of the news.
_ Do things just for fun or the joy of it.

Of course nutrition and fitness are vitally important. But there is a lot to do beyond that that also has impact on your weight and wellness journey. Regulating your emotions and stress is integral, for example.

It’s okay to be cautious. I will go back to the gym eventually, but not on June 26th. It’s important to discern between fear and true risk. Change is scary, but we can all benefit by reaching out beyond our comfort zones now and then.

Like a rubber band, you can try creating a little tension by stretching as far as you can see yourself and then stepping back into your comfort zone. Keep stretching and relaxing. Before you know it you’ll be different inside and out with the resilience of a sturdy rubber band.

Coach’s Challenge

Print out and use the above ideas as a checklist to work through. Create success and build confidence by starting with what feels easy and working up to tougher challenges. You get to choose. You can do this!