Get moving, and be sure to drive towards your weight loss finish line as you drive your car. You have your driver’s license because you demonstrated to the examiner that you look out your front windshield, to the sides, turn around to look behind you and make use of your mirrors, while also making driving adjustments as needed. You ensure survival and arrival when you aware of and constantly adjusting for what is happening all around your vehicle.
Are you driving your life
as if you only have a windshield?
From departure to arrival you are constantly making adjustments: speed up, slow down, change lanes, sway to avoid fallen debris, alter trajectory based on conditions, blinkers for a turn, hazards for a problem, headlights for low visibility, honking at daydreamers or any of the other many adaptations you need to make while you are behind the wheel. Paying attention all around you and adjusting as needed ensures you survive and arrive. You want to survive and arrive at your weight loss goal too.
After you exercise and the day or two that follow you need to look in your side and rear view mirrors, because that is where the hindsight insight is located. Here are just a few questions to get you started.
♣ How did your body feel before? During? After?
♣ What food choices did you make the rest of the day? Was your appetite healthy? Better? Usual? Unusual? Or ravenously obscene?
♣ How were personal interactions? Typical or less than? Productive? Erratic? Convoluted? Foggy?
♣ Did you feel more upbeat and positive or did it zap the life from you? How and in what ways?
♣ Was your thinking clear and sharp? Or sluggish?
♣ How did you sleep that night?
♣ How did you feel on waking? And how did the following day unfold?
♣ How were past or current injuries feeling before, during and after? Do they feel challenged in strengthening and healing ways? Or aggravated and more injured? Did you notice changes in health conditions?
♣ Did you do anything particular or different that may have altered the outcome for better or for worse?
You find information by asking the right questions
Your personal truth IS the RIGHT answer
When results are good then discover what about it worked so well. If the experience is not as expected then it is time to decide if it needs to be abandoned, or just simply adjusted, for a new test drive. Free think it. Taking time out for hindsight and observations produces big wins. Not taking time out to look back is like driving towards your weight loss goal using only your front windshield.
Begin to pay deliberate attention to the seemingly little stuff, it isn’t so little. Walking seems pretty standard, but that isn’t so. Your walking experience will not be the same if you walk alone, with others or with earbuds. Even your choice of music would change your walk. Compare walking the same distance and speed on sand versus concrete, or city sidewalks versus nature, or flat unpaved terrain versus hillside roads. A treadmill is better than nothing, but walking on a treadmill is not going to prepare you for a trek on solid ground, nor would a stair master prepare you for doing real stairs.
Food choices the day before, of and after effect energy, as does the quality of sleep, strong emotions (unpleasant as well as glorious), recent illness and life’s tempestuous passages. Lifestyle changes are also big influencers even if they are positive upward ones: marriage, childbirth, work promotion, change of employment, break-ups, divorce, change of home, loss of a loved one, electronic devices or exposures. Look at all areas to find the gems.
Hunt down the insights
Insights are hidden in what went RIGHT
as much as they are found in went WRONG
If a certain type of exercise powers you up and prevents you from falling asleep, then move it to the morning hours to power you through the day. Or maybe a certain choice takes you out for the count – that would be a good one in the evening before bedtime. It could even replace your sleeping pill. Each exercise affects you and your body in a unique way. Use what you discover to your advantage. The only time a test drive is a “mistake” is when the insights on offer are lost in the ether.
Don’t forget to use Goldilocks’ strategy. Take your time. Test drive all your options. Determine which is best for you and figure out why. Every detail you discover is grist for the mill. Goldilocks has another quality worth adopting. She was confident about her knowing and would never have allowed an expert, or the media, tell her that a different chair, bed or porridge were the better option for her. Do the same – stand confident in your knowing. Let THAT be your guide.
Personally, I have found I do best when I prioritize how my body responds to a given exercise over my emotional desire. I liked Yoga, but my body categorically vetoed all three different yoga classes with three different instructors. Each of the following mornings I felt like humpty dumpty after the fall as my pieces were put back together again by the physical therapist and chiropractor. I don’t do yoga anymore, but did discover that walking outside, alone, without earbuds, preferably in nature, gave me the same Zen experience I liked about Yoga.
Dynamite high impact classes, momentum and group sync has my battery all charged up, but a few hours later I am ravenous. No matter what I eat I can’t seem to compensate for whatever the class takes out of me. The roller coaster ride dominos into my decision making and behavior which isn’t fun for me, or anyone in my life, so I don’t do that anymore either. Then I tried water aerobics. It had my heart racing, muscles working, was fun to be in the water and with no gravity impact, my joints were oh so happy comfortable. Not a single negative side effect.
When my life is smooth sailing I do better when my exercise is lumped into one moment during the day, BUT when I am frayed at the edges and my mind is racing as if it were in a blender, than breaking up my exercise into smaller sessions throughout the day can keep me Zen.
I give priority to my physical body needs over my emotional desires when choosing exercise, but you may benefit from using the emotional draw to motivate the movement. What I shared were just examples of what I have found. You will discover very different findings! Don’t ever get locked into a fixed exercise routine, leave wiggle room to change it up. There is only one rule – Move Each Day! It doesn’t have to be elaborate – walking is moving.
Drive your weight loss endeavor the way you drive your car. Look ahead, to the sides and behind you. Adjust as needed in the moment, the same way you do when you are driving. Figure out what roads are best for you. The scenic route may be longer, but that may be the path of least resistance, most enjoyment and permanent outcomes. Whatever destination you have for yourself and no matter the roads you are driving on, if you get stranded or want some roadside assistance I am here for you.