When you make something more difficult than it has to be, it can become so overwhelming that it seems impossible to actually do. Take health/nutrition/the quest for the body you have always wanted. You could read a thousand different articles, theories, magazines, blogs, tips, suggestions, etc…You’ll read about counting your macros, eating certain foods, wearing special shoes, doing your workouts at specific times of day, walking vs. running vs. HIIT workouts vs. crossfit, cardio vs. strength-training, and on and on…But when you boil it all down, all that you really need to do is 2 things: eat well and exercise. That’s it.
I have had challenge participants in the past who have become overwhelmed during the process, because they start over-thinking it. How much protein should I eat? How many days should I lift weights vs. cardio? What shoes should I wear? What if I miss a day? What muscle groups should I focus on/how many days per week? How many reps should I do? I’m not saying that these aren’t important questions to ask. But they’ll spend all of this time scrolling through pages and pages of different tips and pictures and workouts and diet suggestions and recipes. Before you know it, they have spent SO much time thinking about working out, that they never had the time to actually do it! And even though they have read about clean eating, and healthy foods and pinned a bunch of recipes that they wanted to try, they have to grab something quick to eat because they ran out of time.
I think there are a couple of things going on here. I think there is an element of avoidance. Since they’re spending time reading about health and fitness, somehow it seems productive. But they’re not actually DOING anything productive. We live in a world where information is everywhere, at our fingertips, on t.v., your computers and tablets, anything you ever wanted to know about anything is right there. And you could never read it all! You’ll find 10 different theories about healthy eating in less than 10 minutes on the internet. You’ll find dozens of workout theories in the same amount of time. So what’s right? What do you do? Well, don’t spend so much time looking, scouring and pinning, that you become paralyzed by all of the information. All you need to know is 2 things. Eat well and move daily!
We all have a basic enough knowledge of food to know that some things are good for you, and some just aren’t. I mean the absolute BASICS!
- Fruit and veggies = GOOD!
- Chips = BAD!
- Whole grains = GOOD!
- Box of mac and cheese = BAD!
When all else fails, avoid the aisles (where all of the processed food lives) and shop the perimeter of the store. You’ll get most of your healthy food there.
And as far as exercise goes: lace up a pair of shoes and move: dance, run, jog, walk, jump rope, dvd workout (I can certainly recommend a few!), box, pick things up and put them down, air guitar! Whatever floats your boat, do for 30-60 minutes every day! Go ahead and get a little sweaty! It can’t hurt! 🙂
Once you have that totally mastered, and I mean MASTERED it – Like it’s an everyday daily non-negotiable habit, THEN you can pay a little more attention to details. Go ahead and read about protein and the many benefits of strength training, and calculating your macro-nutrients, and picking the perfect fitness shoe, etc…but wasting time on the minutia, especially at the beginning of your fitness journey, just takes your attention away from the basics. Find healthy foods you like to eat, and find a workout or 2 that you enjoy doing. Get yourself an accountability partner, fitness coach (ME!) or join an accountability group (check out the 30 Day Challenge tab at the top of this page), and get working on making a lifestyle change that involves just the 2 basics. It takes 21 days to form a habit (good or bad). Do these 2 basics for 21 days, and you’re set!
In short, don’t make it harder than it has to be. Put down the smart phone, step away from the lap-top, stop pinning and start DOING!