Making a decision once is far easier than making it over and over again. If each day you're asking yourself "Should I work out today? I really should..." or if you're asking yourself "Should I eat that doughnut? I really shouldn't..." then you've already resigned yourself. It is exhausting to burden yourself with questions about when and how to exercise, and when and how to eat right.
The solution? Get into a habit, fall into a rut, ease into a routine. In other words, make your decisions once and stick to them rather than going through the exhausting process of asking yourself over and over. Your brain really doesn't like to be bothered with things like that.
If you've committed to eating right, then that decision has been made, and you don't need to be tempted by that doughnut at work, or that brownie you love at the store, or those treats offered at the wedding reception. Am I saying become a robot and never eat those foods? Haha, well you can decide how strict you want to be. But don't leave choices up to the moment of temptation, make them beforehand. For example, since I'm still trying to lose some weight I know that if I indulge each day I'm not going to meet that goal. But also, I don't want to feel deprived or feel like certain foods are completely off-limits or I might actually start to crave them more. So at the moment, I give myself a "cheat" meal each week. My wife and I have a weekly date where we typically go out, so I tell myself I can splurge then. One meal is not going matter to your body or jeopardize your goals. So that makes it easy - I pass up all the treats I see during the week and know that I can have something yummy on my date. Another good thing about that strategy is that if you eat it when you go out, then it's not around the house. If you make your indulgence ice cream and get a half gallon, after that one scoop the rest of the carton will probably be calling for your attention.
With eating, you need actually need a plan for success as well. I already spoke about calories and macronutrient balancing a bit, but you really need to think about what you're going to eat on a weekly basis, get those foods on hand so that it doesn't boil down to you, driving home from work, nothing at home to eat, and settling for Burger King.
With exercise, planning is key as well. I'll talk more about exercise planning in another post, but I give myself an hour a day, five or six time a week for exercise. That's it. And that hour is planned into my day, so I don't need to ask myself each day when I should exercise and have it take a back seat to all the other urgencies. My personal routine is to get up at 5am, drink a small protein shake, pray, read scriptures for about 30 minutes and be at the gym by 5:30am. Strength training for 1/2 hour and cardio for 1/2 hour, then back at home for breakfast, getting ready for work, and to work by 8am. I know you're thinking "5am? Really?" Well, I'm a morning person. If you're not, that's fine...just make sure that you have a daily time set aside for exercise, and plan around it. Mornings just happen to have far less interruptions, and after a while you get used to it. I might even say you look forward to it ;-) And it starts the day out on a good foot.
A simple but powerful concept. Make your life more routine. Haha, I didn't say more boring did I? No, just make your decisions to eat right and exercise once, up-front, then put plans into place to carry them out. Try it, I think you'll like it. And you'll probably start noticing other (more healthy) people that do the same thing. Yep, now I've told you our secret.
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