Baby or bold steps?

Baby or bold steps?

You are ready to make a change.
Do you start by baby stepping your way into exercise with five minutes at a time or do you sign up for a 10k race six months from now?

Do you start by turning off your email and checking every hour or go from constant notification to processing twice a day?

Knowing your habits and the performance and outcome goals will determine whether that step should be baby or BOLD.


Does a cookie at the airport while on business count?

Does a cookie at the airport while on business count?

How many times have you said,

“I'm on vacation. I'm going to eat what I want.”
“I've had a rough day. I'll eat what I want.”
“I've been really good all week. I'll eat what I want.”
“My business is paying for this. I'll eat what I want.”
Really, never?

You're lying.
We've all done it. I've done it.
I used to do it all the time when I would have a long training day or workout because I had burned a lot of calories.

I did it when I first started traveling for business and felt like I didn't want my per diem to go to waste. Heck, I even did it at Qdoba in August because they offered me something for free (and then I kicked myself the rest of the lunch for getting sucked in).

I am not against treating myself nor do I have the perfect diet 100% of the time. To me, the perfect diet doesn't exist because it's always evolving. Depending on my lifestyle, health issues, latest research and so on….what is great for me this year may be different next year. However, some people will give themselves waaaaayyyyy too much leeway by telling themselves the things above. At some point, they may even be telling themselves that every day.

When you are looking at a giant, pancake-sized cookie after you've had a long workout, do you think that cookie knows or cares that you sweated for an hour?
No. It will still metabolize the same. The Cookie Fairy will not say “Hey good job Marcey! You deserve for NONE of these calories to affect your recovery, stimulate an insulin response or make you crave more later. You rock, Girlfriend!”
When you are on your third glass of wine at your company dinner do you think that wine knows that this is a special occasion (which you have a few times a week because you are always traveling)?
No. It will still metabolize the same. The Wine Fairy will not say “Hey AJ, you deserve for NONE of these calories to be metabolized into sugar, affect your sleep and make you wake up dehydrated with a headache. High Fives!”

Yes. I believe in moderation.
But how many people abuse the concept of moderation?
If I snorted cocaine, would it be okay as long as it was in moderation?
If I drove 70mph down the winding, hilly road by my house, but only did it 1-2 times per week, would it be okay since I'm not doing it every time?
Your body doesn't know you are on vacation. It doesn't know or care that you have a $75 per diem. It doesn't even know that it's Halloween! (Yes, for real, it doesn't recognize Halloween)

Marcey eating burger
If you want to have something, have it. I had this beignet on my first trip to New Orleans. Was it delicious? Abso-freakin-lutely. Did I make sure I ate very healthy the rest of the day? Yeppers. Did I pretend that it wasn't going to affect me? Nope. I was honest with myself.

Tricking yourself into thinking that the effects will somehow bypass whatever the effects are in a normal situation (which is almost every situation to your body, who doesn't have the capacity to rationalize) is not going to help you.

Get real with yo' self.

What's the biggest falsehood you tell yourself to rationalize what you eat? Are you brave enough to put it out there to the world? C'mon, I just posted a photo of me big-mouthing a beignet! 
Know someone who has rationalization-disease? Share this post!

The fairy cookie photo was from the Bubble and Sweet blog – check out her book Sweets on a Stick!

Are your habits a choice?

Are your habits a choice?

You drink coffee all day.
You check your email until 2am.
You eat candy every afternoon.
All of these are habits. Most reasonable people know that they are bad habits.
Once you know a habit exists, is it your responsibility to change it?

Habits are a process of our brain. It's automatic or done without much thought. It didn't automagically occur after one time, but for some habits, it doesn't take long for it to become routine.
In the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg talks about a parent that stops at a fast food restaurant one busy evening after picking up kids from practice or lessons. The next week on the same night they do it again. It becomes a habit. Or does it? If that restaurant closes down, do you think they pick another one? Nope. They actually don't.

I had a client that used to overeat when he came home from work. I instructed him to have a snack before his 45-minute commute and go in the house by a different door. Boom. Habit broken.
Some habits are harder to break than others, especially when it is something addictive like food, caffeine, email (yep – it's a process within your brain). However, if you know that you have a bad habit, not doing anything to change it is your choice.

Not doing anything to change a bad habit is your choice.

Maybe you aren't ready to change it right now. Perhaps you don't have the tools to know what to substitute. Sitting around talking about your bad habit is, for sure, not going to do anything. One of my clients doesn't like to exercise in the morning, but when planning to do it in the evening, rarely gets it done. I told her to forget about her fancy PJs and sleep in her exercise clothes. If she takes off her exercise clothes in the morning without doing something, she feels guilty and stupid (her words). It wasn't that big of a change, swapping PJs for technical clothes, but it made a HUGE difference in whether or not she exercised that day.
There are keystone habits that can predict if you continue other positive patterns throughout the day. One of the biggest?

Making your bed.

When you make your bed in the morning, it leads to more productive habits later in the day. You have created order right away, within minutes of waking up. You also see the order before you go to sleep. When your brain perceives clutter or things that ‘don't fit', it tries to create order.
Logging your meals is another keystone habit. When you write down what you eat or even take photos of it, you tend to make healthier choices throughout the day, whether intentional or not. Eating meals at home makes you want to eat more meals at home.

This is the time of year when people start thinking about creating new habits, but not start until January (what's so magic about that month?). Start planning your strategy now. Mull it around in your head. Consider all your whines, your wins, and be very specific about what you want to accomplish. WRITE IT DOWN. Tell someone about it. Hold yourself accountable.

Habit change isn't always easy. Sometimes it's easier than you think. Bottom line? It's your responsibility to change it.
What one habit do you want to change and how will you do it?

Automate to Keep Your Willpower Bucket Full

Automate to Keep Your Willpower Bucket Full

You enter your kitchen after a long day and go straight to the refrigerator for the most convenient, fastest, processed thing you can get to put in your piehole. There is no way you have the energy to even THINK about what to eat.

You stand at the ice cream/cupcake/bakery for several minutes before deciding on the flavor because the choice overload is too much. Then you get the same kind you always do in defeat.

You're asked to sign a contract that you are a little nervous about at 4:30pm on a Friday. You default to the status quo and just decide to decline the contract.



Struggling with how to eat healthy on the road?

Check out this excerpt from Beyond Travel: A Road Warrior's Survival Guide

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