One of the biggest downfalls many people have in starting a new program is doing too much, too soon, too fast, and too hard. It took me FOREVER to figure this out on my own, which is kinda sad. As an animal trainer, I would never in a billion years think to teach an animal a new behavior in one quick step.
When a trainer teaches a new behavior, they break the learning process into small steps. The animal can certainly progress through each step faster or slower than anticipated, but only in rare instances does an animal completely understand and learn the completed behavior in one session, or in one lesson.
So why do we as humans expect to do so much in such a short amount of time? If most animals need to learn new behavior in steps, why don’t we?
New Year’s resolutions
A fantastic example of what I’m talking about is New Year’s resolutions. Every year, gyms see a huge influx of members, as people swear to workout everyday, eat only healthy foods, quit smoking, quit drinking, etc, etc, etc. The first couple weeks of the new year are the busiest at any gym. But come February and March, those gyms are empty. Well, not completely.
I would venture to guess of the thousands of people who swear they are going to get in shape each year, there is about 5% who start big with workouts 5 days a week and completely upturn their entire diet, and it sticks. For most people, we cannot sustain such enormous changes to our routine all at once. We have to find balance. Start small, or have someone to help guide us until these new behaviors are learned and we develop healthy habits.
The Conservation Fitness Guide is one way we can help ourselves learn healthy habits to change our lives for the better. Each week I introduce eating lifestyles which have been deemed beneficial to our health and well-being. In addition to these lifestyles you get to test drive for a week, I pair them with an Eating Green concept which will help reinforce healthy habits and make them stick better.
How does my system work?
My Eating Green tips are professionally supported suggestions for a fit and healthy lifestyle. Ask any fitness professional if they think meal prepping is helpful for someone looking to get fit, and you’ll be hard pressed to find one who disagrees completely.
But telling someone to meal prep for themselves isn’t easy. So I give an outside motivator. I show you how this life-changing habit can help save forests and reduce single use plastic.
Reducing the amount of animal meat we eat is not as easy as it sounds. But if I share how eating less meat also impacts the environment in positive ways, it helps make the healthier and more sustainable choices.
But even in this program, there is still a balance I am trying to figure out. I have so much to share with the world that my words get jumbled and I am not sure my message is clear. So I end up writing sections of a book over, and over. Trying to make sense of all this crazy information I have. It’s a struggle to stay motivated to write and keep up with my work.
I am also balancing my nutrients. We all need protein, carbohydrates, and fat everyday. Not too much of one thing, or too little. So, when I am trying to balance my meal plan, I find some days I am way over on my carbs, and not nearly as much healthy fats as I would like. Other days I go overboard on the protein (yes, you CAN go over on your protein- ask my husband). Finding this balance is tricky and it’s still a process for me. So, even though this is an official test run for Conservation Fitness, it’s considered a work in progress.
Today I changed some things on the meal plan for the program, but since I already have my groceries for the week, I’m going to stay the course for what I originally planned. I think I may need to do more calculations for macros for the coming weeks before I get started on the shopping and meal prepping.
A slightly sluggish day for me-
Breakfast – Ginger-Pear Oatmeal Crumble
Lunch – Fried Rice
Dinner – Veggie Stew with crackers
Snacks – Banana with peanut butter and Great Balls of Fire (oats, dates, and peanut butter)
Pilates, aka my weekly “Be Humble” session
Legs strength training at home (lots and lots of glute work)
Mood – feeling a little better. Not tired. Had trouble falling asleep last night but woke up immediately with my alarm, which I think is a great thing.
Challenges – Often, when I get home, I want to stay home and nothing can get me out to do extra activities. I’m trying to be a little more active and go somewhere like the library or a writing place to do deep work, but it’s hard once I get home. Especially after a shower. Today I took my shower after our workout at 3:30 pm. I got right into my pajamas afterwards. No cares given. Not sure how to break that habit, but I know it will likely take time, no matter what method I use to teach myself this new behavior.