The secrets to fast and forever fitness after 50 are the same secrets to weight loss after 50. This post includes practical examples of the a most basic principle.
Before you read it, you have to want to change before it matters. I just yesterday spoke with a friend who referred to some recent major health changes like this:
“…easy, I was ready. Once I made up my mind it was easy.”
Releasing this post on July 4th, Independence Day in the U.S., I think of the simplicity of the message and how it must be a guiding mission for anything, any business, any country, or any one of us.
When I’m working with a coaching client there are two parts to coaching. I play the expert in providing the science, and the assessment of need, the next steps based on current status, and on smart progress to goals. Then we flip more internal changes 1. old thoughts 2. old habits.
Science … has changed since many of us over 50 have learned how to exercise and what to eat. I help clients shift so that we’re using and applying the best science we have now to their exercise and eating.
Assessment … includes the physical assessment of measurements, weight, body fat – yes- but far beyond these it includes the body mechanics, the daily postures and physical demands of life, and the conditions of joints, muscle, hormones, together with the signs and symptoms something is not currently working.
Next steps …are determined in collaboration of my using the science and assessment above and you providing the willingness to do. We determine a strategic look at what happens first, next, and criteria for when those next steps happen.
Each and every stop on this path comes with two questions that determine if what you do meets these two criteria.
Your optimal health habits are both attentional and intentional.
If a choice is attentional it means you are paying attention to how you feel when you do it.
If a choice is intentional you make it choosing with both short and long term outcome in mind.
I’ve had many women over 34 years circle back again and again. Some because they’ve reached a new level of comfort with goals we’ve set and they want to do something new and exciting. Yet sometimes clients haven’t actually made their minds up they’re ready to feel better. They don’t realize that they are comfortable with that discomfort so much that they aren’t willing to do the changes recommended to get better. They’ve actually made a hobby of asking different experts, trying different programs, and deciding why a program won’t work for them. They’ve invested a lot of time and energy, possibly money, in gathering information they never intend to apply.
As complicated as that may sound, it’s as simple as changing your mind. It is like sharing the same difficult message with someone and changing your delivery. Coming out of love, concern, sharing facts, and relaying your fear of how they might react before you begin completely changes a conversation that could be perceived as threatening or judging. If you approach a conversation with attention and intention you can say most anything in a positive way.
Don’t let yourself get caught up in an idea that changing your mind has to be a long, drawn out thing. Have you been dressed and changed your outfit? Had on one pair of shoes and changed? Decided while the waiter was standing there to go with another choice? Change about health is easy…when you know which changes to make for impact.
If you make your mind up that you 1. want to change and then 2. pay attention to how your body feels when you make specific choices then 3. you can make each choice with the intention to feel better.
If you’re already thinking that it is your intention to feel good eating sugar or “carbage” if and when you want it you can feel good fast, but not forever. You have to have made your mind up you want the two-for-one.
It is possible to have dessert, have treats, and enjoy life. It, temporarily, may not be possible for you to reach long term fitness and health by doing that. Something like drinking wine daily is a fast feel good that will sabotage long term feel good. Each of us varies in where we get our “fix.” Make no mistake, it may be legal, but over exercise, over indulgence, and over commitment, for that matter, can all be true addictions.
When you flip the switch in your head so that you are ready, you are willing, and you want to change the pattern you’ve been repeating keeping you where you are now you simply need a few tools:
- to know the science that applies to you right now*
- attention to the choices you make daily
- intention to do the best thing for yourself
Of these three, the greatest of these (we are, after still in wedding season) is knowing the science. You can be making attentional and intentional decisions that are taking you in the wrong direction. I’m inserting several posts about that here.
How does intention to fitness after 50 show up?
- you always have healthy-for-you options in your purse, desk, or carry on to eat
- you plan exercise sessions that fit into your life easily
- you say “goodnight” according to your body’s best needs
- you say “no” to others to say “yes” to you when needed
You may not be ready. You may not have made up your mind. If you carry old beliefs about what exercise or healthy eating has to be, that may be a big part of it. I encourage you to read the posts I’ve linked to above. Or try 8-game changing habits that can set you on the right path.
A small step is a step.