Appreciate the life you are living and achieve more through EnerG coach, Ellen Goldman. Your questions on balance, motivation and your lifestyle are answered through these simple tips and solutions. Get more out of your life with the help of Identity.
QUESTION: Why is change so difficult for most people? What are the most common roadblocks you see with trying to reach goals and get what one wants and what can we do about it?
Almost everything we do all day is habit. From the moment we get up until we go to bed, we respond to patterns of behavior that are ingrained in us. No matter how much we want the change, our current patterns are familiar and comfortable. Change is often uncomfortable and it is human nature to gravitate towards the familiar and comfortable, and steer clear of what causes discomfort. In the coaching world we say, no discomfort, no growth.
In order to change, we need to create a new habit, which requires work and repetition. And often we need to make room for the change, which means letting go of something else. For example, if we want to begin to exercise, we may need to forgo some TV watching or time spent online, or perhaps go to bed or get up earlier.
The most common roadblock to achieving our goals is not really believing you can be successful. You must change your mindset first. There’s an old saying, “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you are correct.” We need to be absolutely clear on what it is we want, and we better have a compelling reason WHY. It’s all about want power, not so much will power. The next roadblock is not having a plan and starting too big. Break the goal down into small, manageable bite size pieces, and plan how and when you will work on it. Once you taste small successes, it energizes you to continue moving forward.
QUESTION: What are the most common pitfalls when it comes to losing weight? Why is it so hard to stick to a diet, or keep the weight off once we lose it?
As crazy as this sounds, the most common pitfall to losing weight is deciding to go on a diet. The mere thought of a diet brings up ideas that will work against your efforts- there is a start and end to a diet. We expect it to be hard and that we’ll be hungry or deprived of our favorite foods. Following an exact diet plan will make going out to eat or socializing difficult. Each day we judge ourselves as being “good” or “bad” having stuck to our diet. It’s exhausting and a recipe for failure!
For all these reasons, it becomes really hard to “stick to a diet.” Diets put you in caloric deficit from what you were eating before. So the body burns fat stores for energy, and the scale goes down. But, the body gets used to existing on less calories. Once you increase your intake when “off” the diet, the weight comes back quickly and sometimes even more. If you’ve been on a very low calorie diet, your very smart body will have sensed starvation, slowing your metabolism. Unless you’ve been doing strength training to maintain and build muscle mass, this new slower metabolism makes it brutally hard to maintain the weight loss.
QUESTION: What do you think is the best plan out there for losing weight, the healthier way? There seems to be a new one cropping up daily, and it gets really confusing to know which to follow.
In order to lose weight, keep it off, and stay healthy, forget going on a diet, and work on creating healthier lifestyle habits. The diet industry is a multi-million dollar industry that has failed the public miserably. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is. Gimmicks, fad diets, break through plans – they all work if you follow them because every single one puts you in caloric deficit. But, it doesn’t mean they are healthy, and it certainly doesn’t mean you will sustain the weight loss.
I truly believe we all must be our own detectives. Tap into your knowledge of what healthy eating is. Begin to really pay attention to what you eat, when you eat, how much you eat, and most importantly, how you feel after you eat. If you feel satisfied, energized, and comfortable after a meal or snack, there’s a good chance you are on the right track. Do more of that. But if you feel bloated, sluggish, uncomfortable and have indigestion, your food choices aren’t serving you well. Do less of that! And of course, the scale is your GPS. If it’s headed in the direction you want, you are on course. If not, recalculate!
Unless you have a specific medical issue such as Celiac, or a metabolic disorder such as diabetes or insulin resistance, the guidelines of every health organization out there are the same, and work for most. A well balanced diet including all the food categories, coupled with portion control and moderation, plus a balanced exercise and activity program will get the results you are after. However, getting the sleep our bodies need, and managing our stress can also impact weight. So it really is not about finding the “perfect diet,” it’s about creating a healthy lifestyle and living it.
QUESTION: It seems more people than not are going through their days feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Why do you think this is, and what in the world can we do about it?
There is no doubt about it, we are living in more complicated times than the world our parents grew up in. The technological advances have led to our being accessible 24/7 and information overload. We have more choices, knowledge, and information flooding our days. Constant distractions- text messages, emails, calls, social media- are effecting our ability to stay focused, in the moment and engaged. Keeping up with it all creates a daily “to-do” list that is beyond humanly possible to complete.
If you really want to get out from the overwhelm and stress, start by getting self-care back on that daily “to-do” list, and make it your top priority. We need enormous energy to get through our days. Without proper sleep, highly nutritious foods to fuel us, exercise that keeps us strong and fit, and time for rest and rejuvenation, we are running on empty. Sets some rules around your technology- do not check emails first thing in the morning, keep cell phones away from the dining table, shut down the computer at least an hour before bedtime, and take technology breaks. Plan time to spend with your friends and loved ones, and schedule in “me time” to do the activities that bring you joy.