Everyone makes excuses about one thing or another. That’s especially true when it comes to health, fitness, and nutrition. For me in the beginning, I’d eat healthy Monday through Thursday and Friday through Sunday I rationalized by saying I would reward myself on the weekends. Well, I don’t need to tell you that doing that was no reward. Friday through Sunday ended up being Friday through Friday until I completely fell off the wagon.
On some level, I don’t even believe I was ever really on that wagon. It takes several weeks for there to be any marked changes to the body from improved diet and nutrition behaviors. That’s one reason why people give up. They start out with their new healthy lifestyle but when they do not see immediate results, they give up and go back to their old ways. You might possibly see a subtle change here and there right away – those superficial, perfunctory changes – but the real changes come over time when your mind and your body become a new organism to complement your fitness and eating habits.
As you maintain healthy living, your new habits soon become ingrained within you and you find yourself spending less time thinking and planning. Maintaining healthy living eventually becomes natural, and all it takes is having willpower and dedication to keep doing it amidst the temptation.
Experts agree that it only takes 21 days to change behavior. Keep doing the same thing over and over again exactly the way you want to do it and after three weeks, it will become a new habit. Maxwell Maltz first introduced that concept in a book, Psycho Cybernetics. His training was as a cosmetic surgeon who advised his patients to try changing how they viewed themselves before getting surgery to change their aesthetic appearance. Did you know that several of his patients developed a new and better self-image and opted not to get the cosmetic procedure? The 21-day concept worked for them. Over the years, the concept has been used for virtually everything, as the premise is the same no matter what the topic. That’s particularly true when it comes to eating and living more healthily.
Stick with your eating plan for 21 days – consistently and passionately – and you will notice several things. First, your body will begin to adjust to your new habits and will help you to burn more calories. Consequently, you’ll notice how your weight loss and your toning will soar. Second, getting more exercise and eating a more healthy diet will come more easily and naturally to you and you’ll likely enjoy the new habits. Third, you’ll notice improved changes in your numbers (i.e., blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar levels), and for most people, the changes will be significant. Lastly and most importantly, you’ll love how you feel both inside and out. You’ll have more energy and you will sleep better and find yourself more productive throughout the day. But you will also feel good about yourself for making progress and moving one step closer toward your goals. That will go a long way to motivate you not to give up. Just remember these changes don’t happen overnight.
Apply the 21 day thinking to your life. As you’re starting out, 21 days may seem like an eternity, while you’re thinking of that three-cheese lasagna or that Red Velvet Cake. But with a little effort and motivation, those 21 days will zoom by and you will be well on your way to the new you.