Developing A Lifestyle, not a Diet

Learning how to do something difficult is always going to present you with a significant challenge, but it’s learning how to do difficult things consistently that truly separates the couch potatoes of today from the lifelong gainzillas of tomorrow.


Okay, okay so maybe you are not looking to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger but still, there is something to be said about pushing past those hurdles in your life and being able to come out on the other side feeling like a champion. This should not just be the endgame feeling however, this should be an ongoing experience that’s felt throughout the process of maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

Day in and day out many people make plans to accomplish a goal. Goals are excellent things to have and one of the most important things to know about having goals is how to really set them.


IT’S OKAY TO HAVE MULTIPLE GOALS:

I have learned in my fitness journey these last couple of years that it’s about setting realistic and (ideally) trackable incremental goals. For most people reaching a weight loss goal isn’t really where they run into a problem. It’s after they’ve lost all of the weight and they come off of the diet plan that they run into some major issues. If you place all of your eggs into the single basket of some cookie cutter diet and exercise program you are not only limiting your potential for growth but you are setting yourself up for some major setbacks in the future. Now I’m not saying bog yourself down with dozens of goals at one time but don’t be afraid to have a few really solid ones that you are working towards and begin to cultivate the flexibility and wisdom over time to add on, tweak and take away as necessary.


MAKE YOUR GOALS SUSTAINABLE:

When I first started training and trying to eat better my approach was very legalistic. I cut out so many things in the pursuit of hitting my weight loss goal that I found myself developing a just as dangerous problem as being overweight, an eating disorder. While never officially diagnosed, my life became about reaching and hopefully maintaining a solitary goal of being under 200 pounds. While I did eventually reach that goal I struggled with serious binge eating problems and my workouts became inconsistent as I strived to outwork my constantly fluctuating weight gain that came as a result of improper stewardship.

It was at this point that something shifted in the way that I saw being healthy. What I had been doing simply wasn’t going to be sustainable as lifestyle and so that is when I started to set more frequent and realistic goals for myself.


One of the first goals that I set for myself was to actually put some weight back on in the form of muscle and another goal that came out of that was to learn how to make meals that would not only fuel me for my daily energy expenditure (or TDEE) but would also be something that I would enjoy which would help keep me on track. These weren’t part of any set plan so to speak but just things that I learned and implemented over time that have helped me to maintain my overall healthy lifestyle while providing me a buffer to enjoy my life, enjoy some amazing food and get right back on track without much difficulty.


HAVE FUN!:

While looking better in or out of your favorite clothes is a huge motivational benefit to losing weight and getting healthy our mission should always center around having a better quality of life. We all want to enjoy life to its fullest extent and we can choose to sometimes accept that this has to come at the expense of our health but that does not have to be the case. I do not by any means consider myself to be a gym rat but I have found a deep passion for taking care of myself and stewarding this temple that God gave me. Not by adhering to a super strict diet or by punishing myself in the gym every day but by setting several attainable goals, crushing some while making mistakes with others, but always learning, always making adjustments and always finding ways to genuinely enjoy the process.


by Zach Roberts

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