Dear Winter Self,
My Summer Self 🙂
It’s exactly this time of year that I get envious of my affiliate retailers in Florida and Southern California. The motivation to stay healthy when you’re bundled up in jackets, scarfs, sweaters and wool socks is nearly non-existent here in the Midwest. How envious am I that you can simply slip out of bed and into some shorts and tennies, hop onto your bike and peddle your way to a high intensity workout under the warm, Vitamin-D-rich sunshine.
Winters are long here in St. Louis, particularly this year. And before I get angry emails from dieters in Milwaukee and Detroit, suggesting that the climate in St. Louis is a beach vacation in comparison, cold is cold. In late March, when you’re still ankle deep in snow, then I’ll sympathize, but at the moment, we’re in this together.
So, how do we motivate ourselves when it’s still dark and Alaska cold outside as our alarm goes off in the morning? Below is a list of recommendations from myself and my patients. It’s all about accountability. And if you’re like me, help is a must…
Find a workout/diet buddy – “Success happens when people work together. Failure tends to happen alone.” ~Deepak Chopra. It’s true. I always recommend that if you can find a partner to accompany you on the HCG 2.0 diet you’ll have more success. The reason being, competition. We all want to succeed. We all want to take pride in what we do. If you have a partner, someone that knows your struggle, you’re validated in what you do. It’s not about winning or losing the most weight, it’s about a shared struggle – the assurance and motivation you get from someone that is undertaking the same challenge as you. Am I right? In addition, when you’re faced with temptation or distraction it’s easier to succumb to those distractions if YOU are the only one in which you can confide and/or make excuses… sound familiar? A workout buddy also holds you accountable in a way that you alone cannot. You depend upon each other, therefore your obligation is greater and with greater obligation comes greater results. Let’s face it, it’s easy to let yourself down, but nobody wants to let other down.
Find workouts that are rewarding in themselves – A perfect example of this is hot Yoga. If you’re living in a cold climate I’m sure you can relate to days that you just absolutely CANNOT get warm. It doesn’t matter how high you crank up the heat or how many layers you apply, you just can’t get warm, right? Hot yoga is the perfect remedy. I don’t go for the workout, I go to warm up… the workout is a bonus. If you don’t have a hot yoga class available to you, try the steam room or sauna at your gym following your workout. It’s a nice reward, which leads me to my next point…
Reward yourself for a job well done – Whether it’s a steam or sauna following your workout or a delicious, yet healthy meal, you earned it, so reward your self. This is how I survived chiropractic school. After studying anatomy for 3 hours I would reward myself with a beer and a slice of pizza. I wouldn’t consider that appropriate now, but 15 years ago, it was legit… and I earned it. Now, I’ll treat myself to some sauteed veggies and/or sushi…. and a glass of red wine. Maybe two, maybe the bottle… we’re rewarding ourselves, right? Even better, reward yourself with things that AREN’T food… a new book or a sexy pair of shoes!
No one has ever said “I really regret working out today.” Or, “I’m so disappointed that I ate healthy today.” We diet, we work out, we stay fit in the pursuit of well-being and happiness. The choices that you make during your day are the things you’ll be congratulating yourself (or beating yourself up) about as you go to bed. And speaking of bed, make it in the morning when you get up. Making your bed is your first opportunity to accomplish something in the morning. Although simply getting myself vertical when it’s still dark out sometimes feels like an accomplishment in itself, it’s actually what is expected. Making the bed is the accomplishment. Give it a try and see if it inspires more motivation throughout your day.
Let me also add that there is no shame in putting on a few pounds over the winter. Our weight is often cyclical like everything else in life – highs and lows, expanding and contracting.
As you’re gearing up for the Super Bowl or any manufactured excuse to indulge in all of your favorites – wings, nachos, booze aplenty – these are some tips you should keep in mind come Monday. It’s fine to indulge, but eat smart. That’s what HCG 2.0 is all about: Eating smart and budgeting your calories. If you’re yet to read the book, the theme I’d like to best leave you with is that eating healthy can be very tasty and satisfying…. you just have to make the time to prepare your meals. The lousy foods you eat are likely NOT your foods of choice, but your foods of convenience. Think about it…
If all else fails, think of me, your summer self, who is ready to get in those shorts and swimsuits. The choices you make in the winter months will quite literally, “shape” us. Don’t let us down.
Thanks for your hard work this winter… We look awesome!
Lots of Love and Dedication,
Your Summer Self
P.S. The beach won’t know what hit it.