Sitting in my kitchen listening to the birds chat, I am enjoying the last few quiet moments before my three kids wake up and the daily chaos begins. We are headed south this morning to a food truck festival. The one thing the four of us can agree on is that we like to eat and are willing to try most foods. We find great pleasure in searching for the unique delicacies.
Have fork? Will travel.
Recently, we found these incredible, delectable donuts that are made from scratch right in front of you. You get to pick your own toppings including different glazes, syrups, sauces, crushed cookies, cinnamon sugar, bacon, and sprinkles and then they are served to you still warm from the fryer. The donuts literally melt in your mouth. The kids were ecstatic. I was ecstatic! Definitely worth the trip, the wait in line, the time together, the adventure and of course, the donuts.
My clients, colleagues and friends always find this to be a strange past time for a personal trainer and nutritional coach.
“How can you eat that junk?” “You of all people let your kids have that?” Yes. Yes, I do! But our day did not begin and end with just donuts, nor did we sit there and eat two dozen donuts or even one. We ate in moderation and then we finished the family outing with a nearby hike. The kids spent the remainder of the afternoon playing in the woods, climbing fallen trees, sword fighting with broken branches, and jumping over stumps. The point of the story is not to defend, or sound defensive of our actions, but rather to give an example of creating balance in moments that seem difficult or unlikely.
When a client approaches me and says, ”I know what I need to do… I just cannot seem to keep disciplined,” I tell the client, “Nutrition and weight loss are not about being disciplined.” The client always looks at me like I have three eyes.
However, we as individuals still have to live in society, we still want to participate in family events and friend outings. And this can be done without feeling deprived and without foregoing family and friends. The key is conquering one small goal at a time or, think of it this way, doing a little bit better than the day before until you find that you have made lifestyle changes that are good for you.
Break the large task into small doable chunks.
Every step and every bit, no matter the size, eventually contribute to the greater whole—CHANGE. Real change takes time because there is no long-lasting quick fix. What works for someone else may not work for you. Therefore, experimenting and trying new ideas is a good practice. And speaking of practice, these small changes take daily practice to become habits. Everyone has individual needs, time constraints, and body types. So, it may take a few tries before you find what is best for you and your family.
Each person creates their own “balance” as they set forth on their nutritional journey.
Weight loss does not occur, and is not maintained, through extreme measures. It is not an all or nothing task. Weight loss is consistently trying to find ways of making small, doable, and sustainable changes in your daily routine. This could be as simple as adding a walk to your day or decreasing your evening wine from two glasses to one glass. Life is already overwhelming at times so keep your health goals simple, one step at a time.
Lori Sternberg, NASM CPT, FNS & PN1 ACE Group Ex, is a certified personal trainer and nutritional coach. She has worked with both corporate and private clients and creates individual programs specific to her client’s needs.