Getting Started - Man eating

Have you ever said this before: “I don’t know where to begin?!”

Getting Started - Protein ShakeAre you lost in all of the weight loss and exercise information out there? Do you want to become healthier but need a starting point? Do you wonder if you should be drinking a protein shake for dinner or eating broiled chicken? Have you ever wondered if you should focus on cardio or strength training?

Here’s the good news – you have already started becoming healthier because you are asking questions! You have made the decision to become healthier. You have already begun!

Every bite you take, every exercise you perform (or don’t perform) is a decision. We simply need to get to the point where we make more healthy decisions, than non-healthy ones.

So, you’ve made the decision to commit to a healthy lifestyle, what now?

Getting Started - Working OutBefore beginning a weight loss program, check with your doctor. After my back injury, I started with small goals (that’s how I came to write Small Bites), I did water aerobics three times a week.

If that sounds like too big of a commitment or you hate water, pick your own way of moving.  Walking for 20 minutes a day, biking for 30 minutes every other day, playing basketball twice a week.

What do you enjoy? Think you don’t have time. Think again and do something for 10 minutes a day. If you can’t find 10 minutes, you don’t really want to do it.

You have to decide what your goals are and they need to be attainable and realistic. Don’t be a Sunday Sally and promise yourself you’ll workout every day for three hours a day – starting Monday. You know you won’t.

Use my SMALL Bite method to help you set realistic goals:

S – Specific – What exactly do you want to achieve? i.e. I want to lower my blood pressure to normal levels.

M – Motivational – Can you envision your goal? How would achieving it make you feel?

A – Action – What action are you going to take to reach your goal? i.e. walk 20 minutes every day.

L – Likely – Is it an achievable goal? Are you likely to walk every day?

L – Let it happen – Don’t fret and worry about it. Don’t check your blood pressure every hour (unless your doc has told you to do so). Don’t worry about whether you should walk on the treadmill rather than outdoors. Just do it and let it happen. You will reach your goal if you continue to make more healthy decisions than non-healthy ones.

Getting Started - ClockIt takes about a month to create a habit, so decide what type of movement you would enjoy doing for the next four weeks. Give yourself time and don’t try to focus on two things at once.  Choose to focus on food or movement, but not both for right now.

What should I eat, now that I’m exercising?

Getting Started - Food-VegetablesYou can use the same SMALL Bite method for your eating plan; set realistic goals. How about starting with fruit and veggies? Could you commit to eating 3 vegetables and 2 fruits every day? No? How about 1 more than before? One more fruit or vegetable than you ate yesterday. I know you can do that! What about water? Could you decide to drink 8 glasses of water a day?

Let’s focus on adding good habits rather than eliminating “bad” ones.

Getting Started - Cindy NewlandWhat’s Next?

Sticking to a wellness program is difficult and requires sacrifice. Make the decision to stick with it and achieve your goals. Remember, this is a lifestyle – not a diet. Intentionally Eat and make it a Small Bite!