Let's say you want to grow a big beautiful cauliflower in your garden. It's easy to understand that just visualizing a beautiful cauliflower will not grow it. Nor will planting the seed and then waiting until harvest time to pull it from the ground. Duh, right? It takes work. But you can break it down into easy daily activities like weed, water, and fertilize- so it doesn't seem so difficult.
This is also true for looking better, feeling better, or even recovering from chronic health issues. We've heard a million times that anything worth doing takes work. But if you're tired, stressed, or sick, you're probably not excited about putting more work on your plate.
Here's a strategy for getting what you want. Decide that healthy living is one of your virtues and tell yourself that you are a healthy person. But you can't stop there. That's like wanting to go upstairs and just standing at the bottom hoping to somehow beam up there. If you need to lose weight, know that you are not going to lose weight today. You need to make daily habits. The more days you can string together that contain the good habits that you have defined, the sooner you will be who you say you are. When you do something good for yourself tell yourself, "That's just like me." Positive self thought feeds your ego and helps you make more good decisions. I even like to smile a little smile to myself when I choose to make a good decision- like not reaching for the gf-pretzels and grabbing some fresh raspberries instead.
So this is all easier said than done right? Well let's assume that your life is one big growing season. As with growing a garden, consistency is the key. When growing a cauliflower it's easy to see that if you miss a day or two of watering, you will still grow a cauliflower, it might just take a little longer. If you don't take time to weed as much as you should, by the end of the growing season, your veg may not be as big and beautiful as you had hoped. It is the same with our bodies. The more consistent you are with the right choices, the sooner you will see changes in the way you look and feel. The more times you slip up, the longer it will take. Often when we "fall off the wagon" we beat ourselves up and quit. If you miss a day of watering your garden does it make sense to give up and quit gardening all together? No. You keep on and learn from your mistakes. There is a lot of growth and good work there even if you don't see the results right away. Remember it will not happen overnight. Just as seedlings and small plants often go days and weeks with out any visible growth, our bodies can be the same way.
I think most of us know to a degree, what things can help us lose weight, get more energy, and stay healthy. If your not sure about what will and what won't work for you ask a professional. Sometimes people have a "more is more" mentality when it comes to exercise. People think that if a little is good then more will get them to their goal sooner. Does over watering or over fertilizing a plant make it grow faster? Sometimes. But usually this causes the plant to get out of balance, opening it's delicate biological system to damage and disease. Implementing the correct inputs for your individual metabolism can be a daunting task. A good physical therapist or pilates instructor can find imbalances in your structure that can cause hidden stress. A functional medicine/nutrition practitioner can help with proper supplementation. A counselor, coach, or mentor can help eliminate stress in your work and personal life. Don't assume you and Dr. Google can do it alone. There is a lot of noise and lies out there that can slow- if not entirely up root your progress!
So, make health a virtue. Come up with daily habits of the proper inputs and be consistent. If you mess up, keep on! The sooner you get back to watering and feeding your "garden," the sooner you will grow the body you hope to have.