It’s the beginning of a new year. It’s the time when we typically set resolutions and intentions. We start off with a hiss and a roar out of the starting blocks, all fired up to make a change. We have an idea of where we’d like to be and it’s not where we are now. And we want it all to happen yesterday! WE HAVE A RESOLUTION TO FIX IT!
But change takes time and most of us don’t want to put in the hard yards. We live in a quick fix world, everything happens instantly, well at least we think it should. Something’s wrong so pop a pill and it will all be made better. We all want the easiest solution, the one that will take the pain away quickly, and then we want to go back to the way we were before, doing the same things we were doing before it all went pear-shaped. When it comes to health and fitness, this approach does not work.
Your health should be forefront of your mind each day. Without it you have nothing! In my profession women come to me because something has “broken” for them. They’ve gained weight or they can’t lose it. They have sore shoulders, sore knees, sore hips. Most of the time these physical issues can be fixed with the right habits.
Click here for some examples of achievements and wins some of my clients have had.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some instances when medication or surgery is needed, but for a lot of the people I see there is still time to address the issues before it comes to that. Properly guided professional coaching is what’s needed to help you achieve this. And it is needed to help you prevent this happening in the first instance.
Here’s the thing: you need full body functional training to stay physically active throughout your life. Many women I talk to say they are active, they walk. Yes that is part of being active but just walking does not cut it. Don't get me wrong. I am not poo-pooing walking as an activity. It’s great, gets you outdoors, gets you moving. What I am saying is it that doesn’t build strength, and it doesn’t build the flexibility you need, and if it’s the only thing you do, it’s not enough to keep you properly fit to enjoy what life has to offer.
You also need to be looking at your nutrition. What worked in your 20s and 30s is NOT going to work now. You have to change what and how you eat, especially when it comes to processed foods and in particular alcohol! What you eat impacts your body composition, even down to what muscle mass you have.
As women, and as we age, we need to be paying special attention to maintaining our muscle mass. It is vitally important for healthy aging, and for navigating through the menopause change successfully. See last week’s blog on strength training here. In addition, a women’s risk of heart attack goes up after menopause and nearly 50% of all deaths for women over 50 are due to some form of heart disease!
A decline in the natural hormone estrogen may be a factor as many changes in the body occur with menopause. For example:
So it makes sense that something else needs to happen to reverse any issues, or stop them from happening. But where to start? Well, you first need a goal. Who is it you want to be 3, 6, 12 months, 5 years from now. Picture what it is you want to be doing, what do you look like? Write down a description of your life as you want it to be. Is it to be pain free? Is it to be able to do 10 full push ups? Is it to go on a 2 week backpacking hike? Is it to be there for your children as they grow up? Is it to rough and tumble with your grandkids? Who are you in the future?
Then you need to plan towards these goals and there are two types of goals:
Taking tiny steps works, here are some stats for you:
“If you improve by 1/10th of 1% every day, 10 years from now you’ll be doing 1000% better”
Isn’t that great!
So now you can write down the steps you need to take in order to reach the outcome you desire. Be specific, write down every little thing you can think of that will help you achieve it. As you write picture yourself doing the steps. And then set yourself a do-able timeline. Tiny steps.
The final piece of this exercise is you have to decide to accept who you are today and move forward from there. You are not perfect, I am not perfect, no-one is perfect and none of us ever will be. But you can be the best version of YOU and you owe it to yourself to do this. But without accepting yourself TODAY, you can’t move forward to the new you.
So here’s the take home message: Forget trying and stopping every new year that rolls around, find your compelling and inspiring goal, take progressive action, don’t quit and finish strong!
I look forward to hearing your stories so comment below or send me a message.
Click below to listen to a podcast episode I was interviewed for, about building resilience and my journey to being a Health Coach