Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Funny Thing About Regrets

Disappointments, apologies, and yes regret, whether because of something you’ve done, or in this case, haven’t done, all come down eventually to what you make of them.

It’s Friday night, and you’re ready to sit down with beer and a box of pizza, and then maybe ice cream. You deserve it after the week you’ve had is a great excuse (and isn’t that what it so often is?). It’s Saturday,  and you want to sleep in. Your legs are already sore. It’s Sunday.  It’s your day to be lazy. You have a busy week ahead. It’s Monday, and you don’t feel like getting up half an hour early for a quick run, jog or walk. It’s too cold, it’s too hot. You’ve had no trouble coming up with close to a zillion reasons why you spent the weekend the way you did. And now, you might be thinking something along the lines of, “I should have done something.” 

And, what if you had? Chances are good you wouldn’t be regretting those things you didn’t do. Have you ever regretted doing something for your health? Even when you didn’t want to do it, have you ever regretted that walk, or bike ride?  Have you regretted the feeling that you persevered, that you stuck with it because it was the right thing to do? Have you regretted the feeling that you actually felt good about, as Nike says, just doing it?

Think about it this way. Increasing your health and well-being doesn’t have to mean “giving it all up.” It probably does  mean making changes in certain lifestyle behavior choices. It doesn’t have to be about high-energy, sweaty sessions at the gym, unless you want it to be—but it can be as simple as getting up and going for a walk. Dancing to music while you clean the house. Trying a few simple, healthy recipes. Setting a good example for your kids.

The idea is to avoid those “I should have” regrets. Start moving a little more, start eating a little less.  You won't regret it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Beyond the Scale

First, I’m not saying the scale isn’t important, but it’s only one measure of several. Yes it’s The Scale, it’s numbers, yet it’s only one indicator of progress. Your wellness journey is much more than numbers on The Scale.

We’re talking about wellness, and in this, we’re talking about health, and so we’re really talking about thriving. The decision to make positive lifestyle behavior choices, and becoming mindful of those choices isn’t something reflected in your scale’s vocabulary. And while the magic number is important, moving beyond that number to the what, how and why significantly increases your chances of success.

When you only look at the number on the scale to gauge your progress, what happens when you build muscle (which we know weighs more than fat)? What happens if you retain water? What about when you hit that plateau? What about vacation, or special occasions, and sometimes just plain life? These are all very human realities, and they’re all good reasons why The Scale isn’t the only indicator of success.

If you’re making positive lifestyle choices and are becoming more physically active, The Scale might actually report a gain—yet you’ve lost inches and maybe a size. You look better, you feel better, you have more energy, and you feel good about what you are accomplishing. Rest assured, keep going and The Scale will follow your lead.

As an alternative to becoming a slave to The Scale, I suggest you focus on those personal victories that take you toward your goal to lead a healthier lifestyle. Playing with your children, setting a good wellness example for your family, giving away pounds of clothes that no longer fit, dancing into the night, actually chasing the dog, going out to eat and taking half home, discovering a taste for vegetables . . . and the list goes on, and is personal because your list reflects your accomplishments.

So, what are you after that goes even beyond the numbers on The Scale? And, what are you ready to do to get there?