Aristotle is credited with the quote " We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit" .
We all have them - some good and some bad. Quite often though we tend to focus on our bad habits rather than the ones that are positive for us. Cleaning our teeth daily morning and evening is a habit but not one we would think of immediately as a healthy habit.
When we advise clients at Transform we like to start with the simplest and most effective habits to impact their health in a positive way. Then it's a case of a tracking them and scoring yourself out of 10 on each habit.
We recommend no more than six new habits to start or stop/reduce on our Daily Healthy Habits Sheet. There's an explanation on how to use the sheet too....
After testing the diary with our own food for the last two weeks in January we've made some tweaks to improve it. Now you have a time section for when you've eaten your meal and option to rate your mood during the day. We love feedback so do drop us a email@example.com if you have any suggestions to further improve the template
Finding your why? Motivation & Support are the keys to Weight loss
There are many reasons people decide they want to lose weight, get fit and tone up. Often this is sparked by a specific deadline or big event. Examples of this include wanting to look amazing on your wedding day, training for a specific event like a half marathon or marathon or a beach holiday. Sometimes it’s as simple as you want to look and feel better by losing some weight.
Every individual has their why? - i.e the real reason they have decided to embark on a course of change. In the end change is the key to a successful weight loss plan. If you change nothing you will continue on the path that has led you to putting on weight. A wise man once said “the definition of madness is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result.”
Once you have made your changes, then it is also necessary to make them a habit by continuing to do them. The minimum amount of time to build a new habit is 21 days but the longer you manage to do so then the more likely it is to become permanent. Here are some great tips and ways to stay focused and make those changes in lifestyle permanent:
1. Get inspired by others – surround yourself with positive people and ones who have similar goals. Having support from friends and family is very important especially spousal / partner support. Equally, avoiding individuals who are negative and unsupportive during your time of change is a good move. Positivity and support are essential.
2. Regularly reminding yourself of your WHY? - this can be done visually by putting a picture of yourself when you looked at your best where you can see it regularly.
3. Use your old clothes that don’t fit as a target to get into them - and once you have got to your target weight, reward yourself by buying new clothes – which will help you keep your new look as you want to continue to look great in them.
4. Don’t be scared to ask for advice or admit to finding it tough to making the changes - sometimes work pressures, peer pressure and home pressures can combine to make plans difficult. Seeking my help and advice is essential and something I'm always happy to give.
Change can be scary and difficult. But with the right people, appropriate knowledge, support and accountability, then your goals of looking and feeling great are well within reach. Plan, Focus, Implement, Get it done.
Top Tips for Brighton Marathon 2013
As I write this blog we have 6 days til my 4th Brighton Marathon. I said after the 1st one that I would never run another marathon but here I am about to do my 4th. Why I hear you ask? Well for a combination of reasons. Firstly, after my first marathon I started to get PT clients and running clients asking about training for the marathon, so I decided to start a free group that did the long runs on the Sunday and this has continued for years 3 and 4. Secondly, I really enjoy the discipline and the science behind the training – it’s a big commitment from January to April and even longer (up to 6 months) depending on the level you start at. Lastly, the day itself is fun (although painful) as it is the reward of months of hard work.
Anyway, here are my top 10 tips for the Brighton marathon:
- Same nutrition night before and the morning of the race. The night before the marathon, make sure you eat the same meal you’ve been eating before all your long runs. Similarly, have the same breakfast on the day of the marathon you’ve had before. This should ensure no surprises for your body.
- Sleep well. Try to getaround 8 hours sleep the night before and a few good night’s sleep the days before. I can’t overstate how important sleeping is for your energy levels.
- Organise all your kit the night before. For example, make sure your GPS watch is fully charged (if you have one). Don’t forget to get some Vaseline – on the morning make sure you lubricate all the possible points of rubbing – ankles, crotch, under the arms, and guys don’t forget your nipples as rubbing there is very painful.
- Don’t forget your gels, jelly babies, banana, cake or whatever you are using for fuel. Personally, I use a gel every hour although some sources suggest every 45 mins. Whatever you use you should have tried it in training. If you haven’t the safest thing to use is jelly babies as some people get adverse reactions in the tummy to gels.
- Know your pace. Hopefully, you have worked out your pace per mile in your training. Remember consistency is the key and try to settle into your pace quickly i.e. after a mile or so. It’s so tempting to go out fast when you have all the other runners around but be aware of your pace and don’t get carried away.
- Hydration– again hopefully this is something you should have been working on in training. It’s important to judge the amount of water against the conditions. For the last 3 years it’s been warm on the day especially the second year. Personally, I carry a bottle in a belt with my own mix of dextrose, lemon and salt and try to take a couple of mouthfuls every 10 minutes. Regular hydration and consistency is the key – don’t wait until you are thirsty and guzzle lots then. It’s difficult to swallow when running anyway so couple of mouthfuls in manageable. Too much water will lead to needing the toilet which is not good as you have to stop which means you lose time and rhythm making it harder to start again.
- Try to enjoy the day – I won’t say it won’t be tough but do take a moment in between battling the pain to look at the crowds and take the atmosphere in ...it really is a great day for the city and you are a privileged position to be taking part.
Every person who completes a marathon deserves their medal for crossing that line. Hopefully, you will have taken the challenge seriously and completed the training. If you haven’t you may get more in terms of pain than you were ever expecting!
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