5 Steps to Changing Your Behavior

Know Yourself

Explore the possible origins of your unwanted behavior, as well as your motivations for change, through keeping a journal, mindful awareness, or talking with a partner. Be realistic about who you are and how you operate. We cannot change every little thing about ourselves, so a little self-awareness can save us a lot of stress and frustration. Pick your battles, and know what motivates you – and what doesn’t.  Work out with a friend if you’re more motivated by spending time with others than going to the gym alone. Feeling competent reinforces healthy new behaviors, so do what works for you. Work with, rather than against, your strengths, abilities and natural disposition.

Be Prepared

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” – Carl Rogers.

Now that you know yourself a little better, learn to anticipate your triggers – and avoid them! The easier you can make it for yourself to succeed, the easier it will be to create new behavioral pathways in the brain. Be prepared for obstacles and challenges. Avoid places and people that may sabotage or tempt you.

Accentuate the Positive, Minimize the Negative

Unfortunately, biology doesn’t always help us.  We can’t get rid of all negative signals – we need some for survival – but us modern humans can minimize our negativity bias by intentionally focusing on the positive. Write down three positive things that happened to you this week and call them to mind often. Keep a gratitude journal. Be your own cheerleader. Become aware of negative self-talk and counteract it with positive affirmations.

Practice Acts of Self-Care

Unwanted behaviors are usually attempts to manage stress, anxiety, and overwhelming emotions. Sometimes our attempts turn into problems rather than solutions, but guilt, shame and self-punishment do not help. In fact, they usually create exactly what we are trying to avoid: stress, anxiety and discomfort. Stress-reduction and good self-care are essential components to long-lasting behavior change. Become aware of your mind-body vulnerabilities. Most of us resort to unhealthy behaviors when we are tired, hungry or emotionally triggered. Reduce your stress by slowing down, doing yoga, meditating, gardening, exercising, laughing, helping others, and/or seeking support from positive friends and family.

Be Patient and Persistent

Change takes time and persistence. It took a long time to entrench your unwanted behaviors, so it takes a little while to undo them (perhaps 30 days for lasting change, but you can start to feel a healthy shift sooner, if you’re consistent).  When you are consistent and persistent, though, the muscles get stronger, and it becomes not only easier and less painful to work out, but part of your muscle memory. Give yourself permission to go slow, and know that setbacks are part of the process (but less likely if you pace yourself). We may have to do the opposite of our urges for a while, and fake it until we make it, but the human brain is much more plastic than previously believed.

Veronica Weismann’s Success with 90 Second Fitness Solution

“When I started training with Pete, I weighed 247 pounds. My blood pressure was 145 over 120 and my blood sugar was high enough to earn me a pre-diabetes diagnosis. The excess weight put pressure on my joints, creating so much back pain that I could barely move.

                Veronica Weismann

My husband accompanied me to my first appointment with Pete. I was frightened.  I figured that I was going to be the fattest and the oldest person (at the time I was in my late 40s) in the gym. I also wasn’t completely convinced that Pete’s workout was going to work. In fact, I thought it was impossible that 1 short, weekly workout was going to help me lose nearly 100 pounds. He has since made me a believer. As I tell all of my friends, one workout with Pete is equal to 6 workouts somewhere else.  At first I went just once a month. I was worried that doing anything more would hurt my back. Somehow I managed to lose 10 pounds. Six months later, after I was convinced that my back pain had resolved, I began training once a week and I also began taking Pete’s eating suggestions seriously.

Instead of skipping meals (my usual weight loss tactic up to that point), I began eating regular meals, especially breakfast. I reorganized my kitchen, stocking my shelves with high fiber, whole foods and getting rid of tempting foods that I didn’t want to eat. I stopped going to coffee houses to avoid the temptation of eating one of those huge, 600 calorie muffins. I began planning my meals better to avoid the temptation of coming home from work, feeling too tired to cook, and consequently ordering a pizza. Finally, I stopped celebrating with food. Instead of going out to eat to celebrate, I would go for a walk or go shopping.

It took me 1 ½ years, but I did it. I got down to my goal of 150. As the weight dropped, my health improved. My blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar are now all normal. As I lost weight and got stronger, I transformed. The more I strengthened my body with Pete, the more I wanted to move and exercise. I now love to work out. I can’t stand it if I can’t get to the gym to move my body.

It’s now been 10 years since I lost the weight. Last year I tried the indoor climbing wall at a resort and was able to go higher than two people who were in their 20s! The last time I had my bone density checked, my doctor told me I had the bones of an 18 year old. Pete’s program absolutely, positively works. I’m living proof.”

Eating Real When Dining Out

It’s not always easy having a healthy meal in the hectic lives we lead. Even on a dull day it’s easy to fall on the wayside and sneak in a poor dining choice (or several). We can stock our kitchens full of healthy options, but when we are in the outside world, temptation is all around. Here are some tips to make good choices when dining out.

Thinking Ahead

Are you able to get the menu ahead of time? Planning ahead with a full stomach and without the restaurants tempting smells will help put the focus on making smart choices. When you are able to look over the menu, try and hold yourself accountable for the following:

  • Look for your lean proteins, turkey; chicken; fish.
  • Substitute starches (rice, potatoes) for vegetables
  • Stay Away from the appetizers, free chips, breads.
  • Skip Dessert

    What you put on your plate is up to you.

Enjoy The Experience

Whether you are celebrating a special occasion or relishing in the company of good friends, enjoy this moment in your life. By taking the focus off food and on the experience, you will gain the memories of a wonderful meal and not any extra weight.  If having a glass of alcohol, have it with the meal, and not before. When was the last time you really sat down and enjoyed every morsel of food and conversation? Take this time for yourself. A fine night out does wonders.

Passing Pete’s Test

Did you nibble on a few breadsticks? Sneak a bite (or two) of cheesecake? Guess, what? It’s all mind games. If you tell yourself that you will not have any starch and sugar, you’ll end up eating only a reasonable amount of the stuff. If you tell yourself, however, that you are going to eat a reasonable amount, you’ll probably eat a lot of the stuff. It’s mental. In my three step eating out approach, the cheating is factored in.

So psyche yourself out of snarfing every delicious thing in sight. Realize that the experience of the meal is more important than the actual meal. Stick to the mindful food choices and treat yourself now and again to that tiny bite of mousse. After all, you are only human.

Wake Up Energized and Happy With Water

Looking to feel happy and alert in the morning and all day long? Grabbing that cup of coffee or your favorite caffeinated beverage is actually having the opposite effect in both sustained energy and hydration. Many people think that they can drink soda, coffee, or juice instead of water and get the same level of hydration. This is simply not true. You need a true fuel, water.

Tired? Cranky? Hungry? Stressed? Drink Water!

Brain Boost
The brain, a vital organ, is approximately 85 percent water. Brain function depends on having abundant access to water. When your brain is functioning on a full reserve of water, you will be able to think faster, be more focused, and experience greater clarity and creativity. Your brain does not have the ability to store water. When your body loses more water than you are replacing, dehydration will set in and brain function will be affected.

Moody Blues
Now, research from the University of Connecticut have found that keeping the brain completely hydrated is critical for its happy performance. In a crossover study, researchers documented the subjects’ moods and their cognitive function during and after exercise. The authors report that there were negative affects to vigor, fatigue, and mood after only mild dehydration, which equaled a 1.36 percent drop in body mass from water loss. A 2 percent drop in body mass from water loss is the “red flag” for full-blown dehydration.

Ever feel like this?
Some of the other mental symptoms of dehydration include brain fog, afternoon fatigue, focus issues, depression, anger, emotional instability, exhaustion, headaches, sleep issues, stress, and a lack of mental clarity. For the first time, this study shows that mood and concentration can be negatively impacted by a nearly insensible water loss. Simply drinking adequate amounts of water may help maintain mood and fight fatigue.

Get A Glass Now
According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult loses more than 80 ounces of water every day through sweating, breathing, and eliminating wastes. So be sure to keep yourself fully hydrated and functioning. Give yourself that extra glass of water when you are feeling a bit sluggish or even a little blue too. Keeping a glass handy may be all it takes to keep mood and concentration up. Leaving you feeling at your best and ready to take on the day.

Don’t Fall Into Fitness Traps

A common frustration for those trying to get more fit or maintain their body is how to find the time. Or if you have the time, finding the motivation. We all have different personal motivators, and here are some tips to get you moving in the right direction. In fact, any physical activity will have you moving in the right direction of personal health and well-being.

Use Your Time Well

We have all experienced the days and weeks filling up with responsibilities and appointments. Don’t let these be an excuse. Utilizing the powerful 90 Second Fitness Solution will even free up time once-wasted at the gym needlessly doing cardio and repetition sets. Make sure to have easy strength training workouts prepared if you find you’re unable to get to the gym.

avocado

Nutrition packed Avocado

Make It Easy to Eat Healthy

Eating habits can fall by the wayside when you get busy. Always have some stock of essential staples such as: canned tuna, nuts, and seeds, whey protein for shakes, carrots, avocados, and other yummy vegetables you like. Having these on hand will enable you to have quick and healthy meals and snacks when you are pressed for time.

Celebrate Success and Seek Support

It’s always hardest at first, but once you reach your momentum…wow! Now you are really moving! Track your progress and celebrate your results. Even the smallest of milestones can have deeply rewarding incentives. And if you find yourself off-track, do not become your worst enemy and mentally berate yourself. You’re bound to get off track once in awhile. The important step is getting back on track. Someone that will hold you accountable for your workouts and eating habits can make all the difference in fitness success and reaching your goals.

So, get moving already. No better time than to start right now. Unless you started yesterday. Either way – good for you! You only have extra weight to lose. In the process you will gain happiness, body strength, self-confidence, fast-acting results and long lasting health.