Are You “Getting Ready for Summer?”
Spring has sprung, and it’s prime time for many people to consider ‘giving something up’ as part of getting ready for summer.
If you’re like most people, then getting ready for summer really means you want to lose weight. So you’re thinking about ‘going on a diet’ or ‘setting goals’ – and those very words seem to conjure up the thought of giving something up.
But is that really a workable solution?
Giving something up seems so final. Those words have longevity.
But realistically, you can only really give something up for a period of time. Then it creeps back in again, back to the old levels.
That’s exactly why giving something up is a bad idea – it simply doesn’t work.
Considering that you are seeking realistic and long term outcomes, giving up is totally the wrong thing to do.
Here’s a litmus test – how do you feel when you read these statements?
I need to give up chocolate.
I want to give up alcohol.
I want to give up cake.
Even the words ‘give up’ imply that you are in a dis-empowered or inferior position.
Luckily, there’s a better way to make change that doesn’t involve giving something up.
Lose Weight by Finding the (Reasonable) Middle Ground
This surprisingly simple concept helps you enjoy everything in life in moderation, and still make a substantial change to the way you eat, drink, move and think.
Work out what would be a reasonable reduction for the thing you were going to give up.
- Let’s say you drink wine every night. A reasonable middle ground might be drinking wine on a maximum of 3 nights per week.
- Let’s say you eat 2 chocolate bars per day. A reasonable middle ground might be having one chocolate bar per day.
In both cases, you are reducing your intake by 50%. That’s surely a good start!
It means you get to enjoy whatever it is you’re doing – you are simply just doing a little less of it. After you get used to this new pattern, you could reduce further if you want or maybe what you are doing is enough.
That’s what getting ready for summer – and the rest of your healthy life – is all about.
Lasting Change is All About Numbers
As you can see in the above examples, one of the keys to finding the middle ground is knowing what your starting point is so you can work out exactly what the middle ground looks like.
How much and how often are you eating that cake?
How much and how often are you drinking wine?
It’s only when you know the current amount that you can define ‘moderate’. You can work out a smaller amount and/or frequency, which becomes the new target, or goal.
This is one of the key principles in wellness coaching – helping people define new behavioural goals that are specific, can be measured, and can be realistically achieved.
Sure, you can set goals to start getting ready for summer, but imagine if you could find the middle ground so you could enjoy the healthy body and mind you want, all year round?
The Benefits of Finding the Middle Ground
There are a lot of benefits for finding the middle ground.
- You get rid of FOMO
There is no fear of missing out, because you aren’t missing out. You are simply consuming less of something.
- You get rid of ‘all or nothing’
All or nothing is often doomed to failure and the middle ground avoids that sense of catastrophe and hopelessness.
- You remove excuses
If you are ‘allowed’ to have something, then you aren’t wasting time finding reasons to break you resolve, or justifying yourself to others, or making excuses for yourself, or sticking out like a sore thumb.
- You get rid of the ‘cheating’ mindset
Seriously, who actually wants to think of themselves as a cheat? Why have a cheat meal, or a cheat drink, or cheat yourself out of something? Sheesh.
- It’s reasonable, realistic and sustainable
Moderation is something you can do forever. ‘Nuff said.
If you want to give moderation a go, I recommend starting with one thing, and focussing on that one thing for 3 – 6 weeks. Really cement that new habit in place.
Then think about the next thing.
As a habitologist, I’ve learned that a single habit has a pretty complicated framework around it. Your habit is influenced by multiple factors, situations and conditions.
So start with the focus and resolve you intend to finish with, and tackle one habit at a time.
This is the number 1 secret for creating both success AND self-confidence and belief.
Which habit would you like to tackle first, and why?
Chief Inspiration Coach
I'm a quirky scientist and a Health and Wellness Coach who helps 35+ women to understand and eat right for their body type.