Newsletter Vol 29 Dec 2015, Stratford Upon Avon
It's January 1st and I am excited to share with you the things I am going to be differently with my nutrition in the new year!
I am not going to “tighten up” or jump on a cleanse do a drop a dress size challenge I’m going to continue doing what I do, which is eat moderately 365 days of the year.
Not perfect. But 100% of the time, making moderate choices.
Besides, what is “perfect” anyway? Most people think of “perfect” as close to a competition body builders diet or a specific plan, like eating “perfectly Paleo” or “Dukan” “Atkins” “5:2”. For me, the perfect plan is the one that I can do every single day, regardless of the time of day, day of the week or time of year.
I want to tell you why the old way of deprive-then-binge or yo-yo dieting doesn’t work. And I want to convince you to join the moderation movement, to be an example of someone who eats sustainably year round and creates an efficient way to exercise that you enjoy and doesn’t take up your entire day. This is what Zig Zag Women’s Fitness & Motivation is all about and our Forever Kick Start Challenge is the entry program.
But isn’t moderation settling??
First, you might ask, “But Allison, why moderation? It seems like settling. I mean, if you can’t at least try in the New Year, when can you?”
And I get that. I actually had that same mentality for years – until it kept not working.
See, it's not that I'm anti-strive. It's just that I've seen this kind of fast-out-of-the-gate approach work for so few people in the long run that I actually feel obligated to help women find a forever-solution now.
Because constantly pushing only to be let down later is not a benign process. It's discouraging and defeatist mentally, not to mention the toll it takes on your metabolism, year after year yo-yo'ing, is not without effect.
So while in theory I understand and even appreciate the "go hard or go home" attitude, my personal experience is that is does a disservice to more women than it helps.
Our Forever Kick Start Challenge does include a 1 week Detox. We focus on consuming whole foods, optimum amounts of water and sleep. We do this for 1 week only. Why? Because this is when your motivation is at it’s highest. Physiologically this 1 week Detox helps ladies with cravings going forwards ( THE #1 killer of all healthy eating plans). After that it’s all about moderation and taking the long view. Establishing a way of eating that is effortless, effective and enjoyable for you. We consider YOU
My view is the longer-term one, and it's not for everyone (at least not for where each person is in their journey) so I do think it's important that people follow their heart -- whether that's toward a more strict/"attain" approach (and have the experience, again!) or a sustainable/maintain low-stress forever solution.
Don't do anything that doesn't feel 100% exciting and right for you.
You'll know you're ready for moderation when it doesn't feel like a hard sell. In fact, you're ready for it when it's your only option.
Extremes are easy
Going to extremes is easy – just look around you. Probably 90% of the people you know are getting their food lists together, breaking out their Tupperwares, eating every sweet and treat in sight in anticipation of being “super good” for the whole of January.
This is the Meal Plan Culture and I can't get on board with it anymore.
And it's the easiest thing, isn't it? You just give your process over to some coach or expert or diet book and try to white-knuckle your way through the plan they give you. It’s easy because you get to shirk responsibility and when it inevitably isn’t sustainable, you get to blame that program or coach or expert: “They must be crazy! No one can do this!” I agree. But we are actually the crazy ones, thinking anyone can do this for us.
And yet, we have all done this a million times. I used to looooove meal plans. It felt so organized. I got excited anticipating the control it was going to give me. It would be so perfect!
Until it wasn’t, because it was impossible to keep up. Of course it was! *cue the defeatist thoughts and discouragement*
It took me literally dozens of back-and-forths, excuses, blames, complains and more to finally, finally start taking control of my own process. No one could help me. The only way I was going to find a sustainable approach was creating one myself, using tactics that were mentally difficult to accept, like “moderation” and preemptive cheating and navigating a middle ground.
Scary, because moderation is a lot harder.
And I’m asking you to try it.
I’m asking you to harness the courage to try a new way, and find a potential forever-solution.
What is the Forever Kick Start Challenge?
It’s the anti yo-yo. It’s making the same choices with your nutrition day after day, month after month with zero consideration of the day, week, month or time of year. It’s the anti-situational eating.
There are no tupperwares of dry chicken and broccoli. It’s not about saving up calories for a treat later. In fact it’s not about counting anything at all.
If you’re going to count anything, have it be your lucky stars that you are not obsessed with food anymore!
Our approach is a final approach. It’s about reducing the amount of mental energy food takes up in your brain. It’s automating your eating so that you just wake up and eat “how you eat.” No considerations, no deprivation, no binging,no stressing, no white-knuckle willpower, no burning off treats with exercise.
How do you know if you are eating with a moderate approach? You’ll know you’re doing it when things get easy.
Depriving yourself = not easy
Eating everything you want = not easy
Eating to feel satisfied but not stuffed = easy
Moderation is about satisfaction, not discomfort on either end of the spectrum.
Feeling satisfied is what makes this approach doable. And if it’s doable forever, then you are, in fact, going to be able to eat the same way 365 days of the year.
You’ll know you have it mastered when you eat the same on Saturdays that you do on Mondays. New year, same approach.
A lovely "Zig Zag" lady posted this recently. Got to say I agree with her every word.
You in? ;)
See you in 2016!
8 Week Forever Kick Start Challenge.
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Be You...but even better.
Allison Harding,Fitness & Motivation Coach
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