“You make decisions, you live out commitments.”
You have made a decision to get your health, fitness, and body composition back on-track; you are not where you want to be, not where you were, and may be frustrated with where you are (hence the resolutions), so you have made a decision to make changes. I think the key here is to differentiate that there is, in fact, a difference between making a decision and living out a commitment. You have made a decision to marry someone: this decision is confirmed by marital vows, but the commitment itself is lived out on a daily basis (or not lived out, in some cases; in these instances we can see a lack of commitment despite a specific decision at one point in time). You have quite possibly changed your habits from healthier ones to less-than-healthy ones. These habits took time to get into, they will take time and conscious effort to uphold your commitment to change. Look at the reasons why you “fell off the bandwagon” of your prior commitments. Were the decisions you had made too much for what you were ready to handle? We tend to default to the easiest way of doing things—perhaps there is a way to make those healthy decisions and commitments easier to live out. A few examples of healthier habits that people decide to begin but can easily fall away from are:
1) Working out/exercise: let’s face it—workouts are hard. They are especially hard if you are not used to exerting that level of energy. It will get easier…to an extent…however it should never become easy. If you’ve ever run or biked hills, they NEVER become easy, you will either progress to being able to get up them without stopping, or you will just go up them faster as you become better conditioned. You will breathe hard, you will feel the burning of lactic acid within your muscles—this is perfectly normal and you should learn to love it because it isn’t going anywhere. You will be especially sore as you begin your workout regimen—also normal. You won’t feel like that every time, just for a while. The best way to stop this from happening isn’t to stop exercising, it is to keep exercising and enable your body to strengthen and adapt to the workload so that the next time you are hauling a dresser up two flights of stairs, you have less-painful or pain-free mobility the next day.
2) Healthy eating: this is perhaps the most difficult in our extremely convenience-based society. I will state the obvious: fruits, vegetables, and good protein sources (legitimately good, not 8g-of-protein-for-40g-of-carbohydrates-sad-claim-to-be-good-but-really-are-trying-to-sell-you-a-mediocre-product) are not readily available in vending machines. That being said, in order to put yourself in the best position to succeed in living out this commitment, keep healthy options on-hand. Fruits come ready-packed and are easy to store; vegetables require minimal preparation and can be made in bulk. Any foods you plan to eat away from home, or even at home, can be prepared ahead of time and simply frozen or stored in Tupperware. If eating well at home is a struggle, prepare your meals and snacks for home as well.
Make these commitments as easy as possible to uphold by making them convenient and leaving yourself without excuses to do something besides uphold them. If you put your gym clothes and shoes on and show up to the gym, you have no excuse but to exercise. If motivation is a struggle, look for someone absolutely rocking their workout and pushing themselves hard. If that person cannot be found, be that person. If you have healthy, prepared foods on-hand (and even better: no processed, refined foods in the house), you will increase your likelihood of eating these foods. If you do not have the processed, refined foods in your house, you are left with no choices but to starve or eat the healthy foods you have prepared.
You have taken some time off from healthy living—perhaps a few weeks, a few months, or a few years. That is okay—you cannot undo that time, but you have the power to “do” moment-by-moment. Be honest with yourself regarding where you are at right now and where you would like to be. Practice good habits consistently, but do not beat yourself up over one missed “healthy” meal—it wasn’t one meal or one missed workout that got you to where you are, it was practicing those things consistently.
SO…GET IT DONE.
YOU HAVE MADE A DECISION—LIVE OUT THE COMMITMENT.