It’s amazing how easily we can fall into the trap of thinking negatively when we set out to be healthier. For example, this week I overheard my client say he was no longer going to eat bread. To him, this was “the sacrifice I have to make to loose my love handles.” I couldn’t help notice the look of disappointment on his face as he made this statement. At that moment I realized just how much this type of negative thinking undermines our success in achieving long-term health.
Sacrifice is defined as: the surrender or destruction of something prized for the sake of something considered as having a more pressing claim. Surrender? Destruction? I don’t know about you but that does not sound like healthy thinking to me. This kind of “sacrifice” actually sets us up for failure—if every healthy choice is a sacrifice, then we’re going to subconsciously associate it to a negative experience. The all-or-nothing scenario, where you always have to give up something to get healthy doesn’t reflect reality or long-term wellness.
At Nimble Fitness, we advise our clients to avoid focusing just on short-term goals and instead create daily health habits which, over time, will lead to permanent results. Why give up bread for 5 weeks, or even the occasional dessert, if what you really need to do is eat quality food and exercise more consistently? These health habits allow you to enjoy the process in the present, but also later in life as that consistency begins to pay dividends to your overall health, physical appearance and well being.
I reminded my client that whole grain and wheat bread in moderation was actually good for him and that it was silly to worry about having the occasional piece of toast. Being healthy should never be about worry or sacrifice. Look at your daily habits from a different viewpoint and treat each day’s healthy activities for what they really are: investments. Take each day as it comes and make decisions that you know will benefit your health, whether that means going to the gym or just skipping the french fries. Taking this new approach to achieving life-long health will positively change the way you become fit and allow you to enjoy the journey without sacrifice.