In this weeks weekly wrap I’ve got a strong habit focus… in fact I want to share:
3 Keys To Make A Challenging Habit Stick.
I’ll certainly chat a little food, exercise and mindset too. And of course I’ll share what’s been rockin this past week and what’s been a tad more struggle street.
Let’s get rolling…
First up FOOD,
My thoughts regarding food this week relate to the law of diminishing returns. There is very definitely a point at which the benefit you get to enjoy for the effort / restriction you apply to your food is less than that sacrifice / energy invested.
I was reminded of this yesterday when a client and friend asked me how I was going with Vegan’ish.
To be brief, because I know I’ve covered this multiple times (!) I’ve changed my eating a fair bit this year in an attempt to prove that fit, lean, buff and meat + fish + dairy free is doable. (I’m working on ditching eggs too)
One of the other trainers then piped up with: “Goodbye lean muscle mass!”
To which my nervous response was: “Yeah, I don’t think I’ve lost muscle.”
As my colleague so correctly pointed out: How do you know if you don’t measure? He then offered to skin-fold test me and this is where my lesson this week becomes applicable to you…
Over 5 years ago I trained for a body sculpting competition.
It wasn’t my goal. It was mandatory for all owners in the Personal Training Franchise I was then a part of. Ok, I exaggerate I did have the choice to either run a marathon OR compete in body sculpting and as a weights-LOVING-cardio-HATING chick I chose what seemed to me the lessor of two evils.
I hired a trainer – mostly to help me with the toughest part… posing in stripper heels and also took on her (supremely non vego friendly) nutritional advice.
So here’s the thing, yesterday my skin folds put my current body fat at 13.9%.
The leanest I ever got with that body sculpting prep was 12.9%.
Here’s the comparison… the sacrifice-Restriction-ZERO-FOOD-JOY I inflicted on my body for a mere 1% difference:
Then, I drank ZERO ALCOHOL. Zilch-zero-nothing-at-all-ever.
Now, I enjoy 2 bottle of Shiraz a week and as many vodka, sparkling mineral water, fresh lime and fresh pink grapefruit as I want.
Then, I gave up pretty much ALL FAT. No egg yolks just whites. Close to zero oil just a tad of spray. No nuts. No seeds. No avocado.
Now, I enjoy 2 whole eggs a day. 75 grams of roasted cashews a day + more nuts in my vegan pesto. At least a tablespoon of olive, coconut or avocado oil a day. 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds, 1 tablespoon of tahini and 1/4 of an avocado a day.
Then, I gave up those things you thought were the better choices. Like balsamic vinegar to dress my salad. And grainy rolls on the weekend. AND I even limited my protein powder (mixed with water or in my carefully measured oats) to 2 scoops a day.
I cheated on the protein powder occasionally and had 3 scoops.
Now, I use balsamic freely… and vegan pesto and hummus. I eat 3 cape-seed rolls and a spelt scone every weekend. I can eat out! I use as much vegan protein powder as I want and I could go on and on…
That’s not to mention the hour of cardio I suffered through DAILY in body sculpting prep versus the 5 minutes a week I do now (though to be honest I’ve skipped the past 2 weeks – so I’m very over due to ‘get my treadmill sprints on’ tomorrow!).
It’s also disregarding the fact that I became super-ultra-moody-and-scarily-less-efficient-Effective-EMPATHETIC.
Everything revolved around my next disappointing meal.
If that doesn’t demonstrate diminishing returns I don’t know what does.
I guess my point is when it comes to nutrition, YOU and your body are unique.
As such, only you can decide on the delicate balance that works sustainably for you between your own:
Effort v. Sacrifice v. JOY v. Results ratio.
Equally, each stage in life for you and your body is going to necessitate an ever adapting, ever progressing balance of the:
Effort v. Sacrifice v. JOY v. Results ratio.
To get a little actionable early in todays show my question to YOU: Are the effort and the sacrifice you’re currently making so far as your food choices worth the joy and results you’re getting to experience?
As I pose the question I realize it’s likely an entire show on it’s own (!) and if you’d like I’ll cover it in more detail in an upcoming show.
For now let’s move onto EXERCISE,
This past week I’ve noticed a couple of our gym members struggle to stick to their hard won exercise routine.
It compels me to give a shout out to show #250: Align Your Fat Loss (Body Gain!) Goal, in which I discuss, How to break free of your “Will I, or won’t I?” self negotiation. When it comes to questions such as…
=> Will I get to bed 30 minutes earlier tonight to be rested for an ideal body gaining day tomorrow?
=> Will I make my scheduled walk – in the wind and rain – happen this morning?
=> Will I be the odd one out NOT skipping training to go to the pub after work?
The decision making process is eliminated. You simply do the do because that gets you the result.
I’ll link to show 250 (which is #2 in a 6 part series) in the show notes for today.
The HABIT I’m loving right now might at first glance appear a little unlovable!
I’m loving my new habit of getting up at 3.30am. Here’s why and also here’s how it’s applicable to you…
Do you ever-Often-ALWAYS feel like there’s not enough fresh and focused time in your day for your most important tasks? Perhaps you might even – if you’re honest – have an hour or so to spare at the end of each day however by then your brain is fried… or at the very least your daily discipline quota is all used up.
I’ve been feeling that way this year. No matter how well I plan and even how disciplined I am in executing the plan there’s stuff that always misses out. Important stuff.
I’ve written so much about overwhelm that my own advice really has sunk in so I can’t say I was feeling overwhelmed however certainly I was feeling frustrated.
Hence the new habit I’m taking for a spin. A 3.30am wake up 4 days a week (the days I see clients at 5.45am) allows me to get a super fresh and focused 45 minute block of my most important task done before anything else.
Perhaps it’s not a 3.30am wake up for you however is there a habit that could help you make swifter progress towards the attainment of your most important goal?
Here are 3 keys to make a new valuable yet possibly challenging habit stick:
One: Deploy the power of the Reframe to ensure you focus on that which makes it easier to stick to the new habit.
As the alarm sounds rather than “Ughhhh, it’s stupid-crazy-early!” I think: “Precious ME time!”
Two: Piggyback your new habit with an existing habit.
So perhaps this is when Sunday chatting on the phone time also means walk time.
Three: Test your habit in an achievable Sprint Timeframe.
This removes any “Do I have to maintain this forever?” pressure. I’ve chosen the 6 weeks till the Easter long weekend to test my 3.30am habit. Chose whatever feels doable for you. Best case scenario you have a little reward for your effort at the end of your sprint – for me that’s a long weekend (of sleep-ins!) in Noosa.
My PODCAST recommendation this week is another from Tim Ferriss.
In the Tim Ferriss Show # unknown yet published on the 10th Feb 2016 (!) Tim interviews author, blogger and marketer Seth Goden. I’ll link to the show titled: How Seth Godin Manages His Life — Rules, Principles, and Obsessions in the show notes for today and I highly recommend it.
To finish todays show and this week in Healthification let’s talk STRUGGLE-STREET.
Again I’d like to shout out to a past show #014: Why ‘Struggle-Street’ Is Your Most Important Training Session This Week.
This morning was definitely struggle street. As mentioned at the start of todays show (which I starting writing yesterday)today I was way overdue for interval training. I’d done my 3.30am most vital work, I’d trained 4 clients with another 4 clients and an afternoon of podcasting remaining and the treadmill in my 30 minute break was looking hugely UN-appealing.
A jumbo coffee and some ME time was decidedly tempting.
Until I reminded myself: Exercise is precious me time / I’m lucky I can exercise / I never regret a workout / I always feel energized after a workout AND probably most compelling… When you fire up and push yourself through a ‘struggle-street’ workout it makes it that much easier to train again the next time – as opposed to a whole lot tougher.
That brings us to the end of another week in Healthification. Huge heart felt gratitude flowing through the pod-waves to you from me for your support and for sharing this week with me.
If you liked this you’ll also like: Keystone Habits (daily and weekly most effective actions).
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.