Four Reasons You May Feel Stuck
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Setting goals for oneself can be tough, especially when they’re not being achieved. Not only can this impact one’s mental health, but many tend to fall into the yo-yo diet pattern which can lead to greater weight gain and unhealthy cycles. If you’re feeling stuck, here are some tips that might be the culprit:
- Your overall daily movement isn’t great. Daily movement, sometimes referred to as non-exercise activity, is a very important part of living a healthy lifestyle. Not only is daily movement helpful for weight loss, it also improves risk factors such as lowering cholesterol and blood sugar. Fitness watches and trackers have jumped on board with helping us increase our daily movement such as tracking our steps and telling us when to stand. When I started paying close attention to this, I was only getting in around 5,000 steps a day, and that is with a 30-minute strength workout most days. My current goal is at least 8,000 steps a day (*this depends on where you are starting at as to what YOUR goal should be. See #2 below. Always talk with your physician before beginning a new exercise regimen). While planned physical activities, such as sports, exercise classes, strength-based workouts, etc., are beneficial as well, simply walking more throughout the day has a huge impact on our health, and our goals. Some ways to improve those steps is by setting an hourly timer to walk around your office or your home for 10 minutes, parking further away from the store or your office door, or getting up to speak to a coworker rather than calling or emailing them. Aim to up those daily steps to reap the benefits!
- Your goals take way more work than you realistically CAN or WANT to do. Do you have this image in your head of you with the perfect body? What do you think it takes to achieve that body? Do you really think a life in that body will make you happy? Typically, this requires lots of planning, lots of time at the gym, prepping most meals, and even skipping events or dinners with friends and family. Does that sound like something you can handle? Although it’s important to have goals and take care of our health, our mental and social wellbeing are a part of our health too! So, make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Realistic, Time Specific) and will not stretch you too thin mentally, physically, or emotionally.
- You have an All or Nothing mentality. I’ve talked about the all or nothing mentality before, but this is a common area many people struggle with. It takes out the balance in living a healthy life by thinking to be “healthy” we can’t move for just 10 minutes a day, or we can’t have just one cookie and still be a healthy person. It’s the thought that I have to do it ALL – cut out all the foods, skip all the events – or I can’t do any of it. Did you know you can be a healthy individual and still have a doughnut every day? Did you know if you only have 10 minutes to get in physical activity, it still counts? Ditch the all or nothing mentality and put more focus into what you can do and what is best for you in the moment.
- You struggle with getting in nutritious foods. In a more direct context, you eat like a child. You don’t eat fruits, you don’t eat vegetables, you don’t cook, everything has to be extremely tasty all the time, and you have to be in the mood for what you’re eating. I’ve heard this referred to as “food is always only yum yums.” There is this thought that food has to be something heartwarming and delicious, overly satisfying, and gives you this temporary mouth pleasure. Yes, you should enjoy your food, but it is allowed to occasionally be more on the “fuel” spectrum. Food is important for more reasons than just tasting good, such as benefiting your overall health and nutrition. You also can make “healthy” foods very tasty and satisfying, while also realizing it is good for you. If you need help in this area, make sure you check out our At the Table show by visiting https://go.ncsu.edu/atthetable.
Maybe you find yourself in one or all of these areas, but know that there are ways to get out of them! Whether it’s slightly tweaking your daily routine, or adjusting your mindset, you can achieve your goals! If you ever need help, give me a call at 910-592-7161.