When Linda came to me she had already made a decision to make changes to her lifestyle and already started to act upon them.
First up move more. Since day 1 (and possibly 99.9% of days since) Linda has taken it upon herself to hit 8k walking a day (11,500 steps for Linda), a realistic sustainable target. This was a “non-negotiable” whether taking a long haul flight, at a rugby game, teaching, day off at home or in bad weather 10000 steps were crafted into every day. This was a promise to herself and something that not only ensured physical benefits but became a mental “anchor” allowing time to clear the head each day.
This ‘movement’ was also complimented with regular ‘rehab‘ and strength training, sorting out the niggles properly and looking to develop muscular strength. Over the 14 months, this started with twice a week and is now a maintainable 4 hours a week “homework needs to be done”
Then came reduce calories you drink. Alcohol, latte’s, soda’s, fruit juice and anything else you can think of “but I don’t like the taste” – you will get used to it, whats more important to you right now? how good that smoothie tastes or long-term health? A reduction over time works but so does total abstinence. Linda quit drinking alcohol except for a celebratory toast from time to time and reduced the cappuccino intake to almost 0.
Be careful of language, become a verbal lawyer to yourself. Should, could, wish, want and maybe’s are to be banned replaced with yes or no, will and will not. If you are setting meaningful and obtainable goals each week then maybe is not a word you need, “this week I will do …x…by this date…x…through the following actions…” Then it’s clear at the end of the week, you did it or did not. If it was a ‘did not’, reset the goal to make it more attainable or check you know how to do it.
Alongside this planning and scheduling was looked at. It’s impossible to make changes if you do not know when they will take place or how they will take place. Whether you write it down or use a scheduling app, start getting used to planning, yes #LifeHappens and plans go out the window but we can’t plan for those moments but we can set ourselves up for a better chance of achieving our own aims.
Part of this transformation came through developing more resilience. Through making a commitment to the non-negotiables (steps) or the weekly goals, every time something was carried out, even with some reluctance resilience was being built. Daily acts of hardship from getting up early on a busy day to walk or not drinking at a party build a toughness so when life really tests you, you are ready!
Linda also started to become more aware (mindful) of what she was thinking, feeling, sensing and how her actions impacted them. From slowing down at meal times, understanding what being full feels like compared to 80% full and being aware of her emotions in a given situation Linda made real strides and continues to do so. We can think and know everything but unless we are aware of how we feel that inner chimp of yours won’t let you change a thing.
Engage your tribe Linda had a close support system in which mutual support was fostered and relationships strengthened, my favourite part of this was getting her son to do his homework whilst she worked out…neither of them wanted to do it at first until it came routine!
Be consistent, health isn’t a badge you win for being good for a week, it’s a daily act of love you are giving to your older self and those around you. When you feel good about who you are, yes that’s cosmetically and emotionally, you are a nicer person to be around.
Be accountable, Linda has been consistent in measuring steps, weight and tracking food daily whilst completing a DXA scan (complete body composition scan of fat, muscle, and bone) every three months alongside speaking to me at regular intervals online to work through the sticky areas and celebrate successes. Making an investment in time and money is critical to moving forward, things will not just happen, you have to make them happen and know if things truly are changing through measurements.
Final words from me…
Linda continues to work with me on #OperationMuscle looking to develop fitness and strength alongside maintaining her lifestyle 2.0.
Linda, “Keep on Keeping on” being an inspiration to your students, your family and all those who know you, one day at a time.
Final words from Linda
“I hope this will lead to others reaching out to you for the support they need to move forward.”
Habitual has been created to help you achieve personal health goals without turning your life upside down. We don’t offer short-term quick fixes, as they simply do not work, instead, we deal with long-lasting Habit development building upon existing schedules and routines.
Habitual offers affordable individual support in getting your health back on track through #FOOD (nutritional habits), #FUN (exercise programming), #FOCUS (mental skills, grit, sports psych, lifestyle and organisation coaching) and now #FRIENDS (Positive social support and live events)
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Chris & Mel
Your Habitual Coaching Team