Is your new year motivation already being worn down by aching muscles, new pimples, and complete confusion over what to eat after you’re sick of hummus?
You’re in great company
Here’s the truth. Healthy changes often make you feel worse for AWHILE before you start to feel better! Your body will detox, muscles will hurt, and you will crave everything you’re attempting to limit. Your mind might even turn on you, shaming you more than when you were eating burgers on your couch. I’m a firm believer that accurate expectations make life, and change, much more manageable. Anticipating what’s really going on will give you a much greater chance of success.
So let’s get real, the beginning totally stinks! You’re not doing it wrong. You’re not a person who the rules of health don’t apply to. You’re just struggling with the part that’s not glamorized or spoken about. The people who promised you healthy bliss are likely pretty far from the awful beginning part, so they weren’t lying, they’re just talking from a position you’ll be in some time in the future.
How do you fight through? Set realistic expectations, get some support, and have a plan for those nasty thoughts.
Preparation and Expectations
Anticipate the first few months will be pretty darn miserable and plan for it. There will be lots of decisions to make, routines to change, and social situations to navigate. Allow extra time in your schedule and don’t tackle too much at once. A lot of things will be trial and error, so expect any changes will take at least a month or so to show. Bodies are stubborn, it’s normal to hit resistance before getting to the good stuff. Have faith, you will get there!
Find the Right Support
This can be a make or break. Friends, coaches, and family can help or hinder, so find people who truly feel supportive and resist the urge to tell unsupportive people about your efforts. To help your support system guide you, give them feedback on the balance of kindness and motivation that feels right to you.
Watch Those Nasty Internal Thoughts
Have you ever felt fatter than the first day back on the treadmill after a long break? Or is it just me? The huge spotlight on health at the beginning of a routine can stir up those negative voices big time. While you may think beating yourself up motivates you, try not to use shame as fuel. Self affirming thoughts might be too far from where your head’s at, but at minimum, tell the negative ones to hold off (or shut up!) for now. Allowing yourself to postpone the judgment rather than get rid of it completely works better than you may think.
I truly hope these suggestions, and dose of reality, help you stay your path. There is huge payoff for finding your way in a healthy lifestyle, but not before some rough road. Have faith, and feel free to reach out if you or someone you know needs a little support.
Dr. Lynn Saladino
I am a New Yorker, clinical psychologist, fitness and food lover, and a woman on a quest to bring a REAL spin to finding balance in hectic lives. As my clients know, there isn't much I won't say whether it be about sex, relationships, crappy bosses, or "strange" eating habits. The goal of this blog is to share what I'm learning from my unique position as a helper of hundreds to bring you a greater sense of understanding and calm.
Lynn Saladino, Psy.D.
Dr. Lynn Psychology, PLLC
Clinical Psychologist and Coach
All rights reserved © 2015 Dr. Lynn Saladino
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