Small Changes For A Big Impact

Before I get into today’s post, I wanted to update you on something.  As you know, Kellie Davis was gracious enough to drop by the site several weeks ago and do an interview.  She mentioned in our interview that she would soon be competing in an upcoming figure show.

That show was this weekend, and Mrs. Davis walked away with a (monstrous) first place trophy!

Congrats Kellie!

When I start working with a client, I always talk about the fact that what they put into their mouths is going to greatly impact the outcome of working with me.  One of my favorite sayings is ” you can’t out-train a crappy diet.”

It’s true.  If someone is filling their face with Twinkies, cheeseburgers and soda all day long, there’s only so much I can do.

When i first talk to them, I usually (not always, but usually) I get one of two responses.

The first is something along the lines of, “I might cheat here and there, but all in all I eat pretty well.”  Uh huh..right.  Eating well is the reason that you’re in here asking me to help you lose 50 pounds.

The other typical response is something like, “I’m going to eat only healthy stuff, just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.  No more junk for me!”

These are both equally dangerous, but for different reasons.  The first is dangerous because the person isn’t being honest with me or with themselves.  Not having a good understanding of, or being willing to admit, where you’re starting from is never a good thing.

The second is dangerous because it represents an all too common belief within the fitness world…

If you want to get in shape, you must be extreme.

Whether it’s extreme dieting or extreme training or a combination of both, people are usually willing (or so they say) to drop all of their old habits in the blink of an eye in an effort to have a body they’re more comfortable living in.

The trouble with this is that it almost always ends in a disaster. 

People stop eating everything they used to and eat only salads, only to end up being miserable and throwing in the towel.

Or, people go from sitting on the couch to training as hard as they can 5 days a week, and wind up either hurting themselves or feeling exhausted all the time.

What people often fail to realize is that small changes can have a great impact.

When I start to work with someone, I have them keep a food journal for a few days so that I can get a sense of what their typical day to day diet looks like.  Once I have a chance to look this over, I make some recommendations for them to follow. 

Though it may be surprising to some, my recommendations are rarely huge, sweeping changes that result in a massive dietary overhaul.  They are usually a couple small and very doable changes, resulting in my client feeling like they have control over what they are eating as well as control over their well being.

Common changes I make are along the lines of:

-Eat a regular, healthy breakfast

-Try to get veggies in at every meal

-Pack a lunch so you’re not eating fast food every day for lunch

-Drink more water

-Eat a healthier late night snack

-Cut your soda consumption in half

Changes like these are doable and easy to remember.  They also give clients an opportunity to turn those changes into habits without feeling stress over trying to adhere to a dietary plan that is completely foreign to them.

Once these become habits, we make a few more changes.  And then again.  And again. 

What happens is that, usually, after a few months, a client has made several positive changes to their diets and is enjoying a leaner, stronger body because of it.

Chances are, if I threw everything out the window and made them follow some plan that they barely understood, they would make no lasting changes and would never get any closer to their goals.

What about you?  What are some changes you can make to what you’re currently doing?

Do you need to eat a regular breakfast?  Or how about getting more veggies in your diet?  Maybe you need to get to the gym an additional day of the week.

Whatever it is, make the changes one or two at a time.  Make them a habit and move on from there.

Remember, living a healthy life is a marathon…not a sprint.


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