By Leanne Hawker

Did you know that by the 2nd week in February most of us have given up on our New Year’s Resolutions altogether?

Why? Because we set unrealistic goals, impossible standards and a lot of the time just don’t want to do it! In the last issue we looked at how to set more realistic goals and maybe some of you have managed to do this and stay on track with whatever you set out to do this year. If you have, then well done and keep going!

For most of us, we’re already in a slump, feeling like we are walking around with a big fat ‘F’ over our heads – F for Failure! This can start the ‘what’s the point’ thought process. We start beating ourselves up, putting ourselves down; “I can’t stick to anything”; “I put on half a pound this week and I’ve been so good?” as we reach for the half price, jam filled, chocolate coated with extra sprinkles, doughnuts in the supermarket.

The problem is that we are bombarded with pictures of ‘Sally’ who lost 5 stone in a month and now has a physique to rival that of… someone with a very good physique and is filling up Instagram with pictures of her and her pancake flat stomach frolicking in waves in a variety of bikinis that she ‘didn’t feel confident enough to wear before.’ Or Jim who spent just one week on a healthy diet and exercise plan at home without any equipment and now has a six pack and thighs you could crush a python with!

Ok maybe I’m exaggerating slightly, but the point I’m trying to make is that changes are sold as ‘so easy’ now that when we don’t achieve the same miracle transformations we are left feeling deflated and once again… like FAILURES!

So, what can we do?

Firstly, let’s be realistic – change takes time and the internet lies. You’ll know this if you’ve ever googled ‘celebrity dress sizes’ or ‘I have a headache symptom checker.’

Now, going back to Sally, her fast transformation is probably completely unsustainable. She probably hasn’t seen her friends in forever as she can’t eat out or enjoy a G & T and can now only be found sobbing in between selfies.
Jim has had to leave the darts team and lives off chicken and rice. He can often be found just driving round and round McDonald’s drive-thru just for the smell!
Sound appealing? Despite the speed in which they have made these changes, there will have been a lot of sacrifices and it’s almost near on impossible to maintain in the long run.

Becoming healthier and fitter is about small changes over time, often longer than we would like maybe, but it really is the only way. Small changes mean we don’t feel deprived. Being healthy is about being able to live life after all and I firmly believe that the journey should be that way too.

We don’t have to be building empires to praise ourselves!

Turn those negative thoughts around. Ok, so you had a biscuit on non-biscuit Friday, it happened, don’t let it overshadow all the good things you’ve done. You didn’t have two biscuits, you ate well all week etc. If we let the negative thoughts overshadow all the good we do, we’ll never get anywhere and we find ourselves in a destructive spiral. We don’t have to be building empires to praise ourselves!

This way of thinking can be applied to anything. Dig deep if necessary, but you’ll find a positive somewhere!

Strike ‘failure’ from the dictionary!

Do you think that successful people haven’t had times when they’ve felt like failures? All that we do is a learning opportunity, sometimes we learn from it, sometimes we don’t immediately, but either way, it’s an opportunity. Maybe a change needs to happen to allow success – is your goal achievable, what else is going on in your life that could be impacting on you?

If you’ve read this article and are wondering how this relates to health and fitness, (where’s the how to do a squat picture?), then remember that a lot of our wellness is about the mind. Without the right mindset, the changes we hope to make are 10x harder, start with the mind and the rest will follow!

Stay healthy,

Leanne xx

I started working in the fitness industry over 15 years ago and have since developed even more of a love for all things health and wellness. I have trained to be an NHS Food Champion, which basically means I can help people find a healthier way to eat and have also completed another Level 3 nutrition qualification. I am qualified in Children’s fitness and a Stop Smoking Advisor. I also have experience in motivational coaching. My mission is to help people find a fun way to get fit and sift through all the madness to help find a more balanced approach to healthy living, both mental and physical. When I’m not thinking about health I can probably be found reading and trying not to eat Nutella from the jar! If you’re interested in trying any of Leanne’s community fitness classes your first session is always free. Please visit her Facebook page for more information.