The Perfect Ten

Training and nutrition is not just about a quest for the perfect physique. It’s about uncovering the fit, motivated, inspired individual within. This report is designed help you to shape your lifestyle to your own unique needs and goals, so you can find that inspired, energised, fit and healthy person within!

Long Term, Do-Able Changes…
Fitness and weight-loss are goals we want to achieve as quickly as possible, but for them to be meaningful we need to maintain them once achieved. We do not put on the weight that bothers us overnight and we should not expect it to ‘melt’ off overnight! Quick fix approaches
are doomed from the outset, and the first stepping stone to success is to acknowledge this fact.

We really need to find out what works for us, individually, and learn how to apply lifestyle changes to our lives, in a way we actually enjoy and can maintain for life. We also need to take full responsibility for making these changes, and doing all we can to make them work for
us.

Incremental changes to our diets and lifestyles mean that our new habits have a chance to become second nature. If you follow the newest ‘fad’ approach you will have some success while your willpower is involved, but these approaches do not stand the test of time. True
success is determined by how we respond to the obstacles and set-backs on our path, and for this you need to have embedded good practices to fall back on. Otherwise, when we face an obstacle that is difficult to overcome, we merely reset the ‘default’ button and revert back to our old habits.

The ‘all-or-nothing’ mindset that we all too often suffer with can be associated with short-term success, but in the long term can wreak havoc with your waistline and sanity! A minor slip-up can be seen in one of two ways – as a disaster and having ‘broken’ your diet or as a learning experience, to draw a line under and move on from. The latter is of course far more productive!

A long term approach is vital. You could force foods down you for a short term in order to achieve a short-term goal, but where does this leave you in the long run? Still reaching for the old favourites, that’s where. When you try new flavours and foods you will find that over
time your tastes change and the foods you used to eat no longer have the same appeal.
Once you realise how good you feel when you eat foods with a high nutritional value, there will be far less incentive to toxify yourself with junk. We need to enjoy the changes we make, although I would also add that change can be hard and uncomfortable. We need to persevere with certain things even if we aren’t that excited about them immediately, adapting our approach to find ways to make the changes as enjoyable as possible. For example, we all need to up our vegetable and fruit intake to 5 – 10 portions a day, but for many this is extremely hard.

At first you may resist, insisting that this nutritional programme cannot work as you absolutely hate vegetables. But there are universal laws of good nutrition, of which vegetables are one! The issue is, therefore, how can you achieve this? You may not like boiled broccoli but added to
a stir-fry with herbs, spices and garlic it can be transformed. If you struggle with this side of things, you will need to begin experimenting with new foods and methods of preparation: you can try stir-fries, mashes or purees (mashed cauliflower and / or butternut squash is a fab alternative to regular white potato mash for example!), roast veggies (roasting sweet potato or celeriac ‘chips’ instead of regular chips!), various salads, exotic foods, new combinations, spices and herbs.

You can always find healthier alternatives to your favourites and all these small replacements can add up to big improvements to your diet as a whole – which will be evident in both your energy levels and your waistline!

For any plan to succeed for you in the long term, you need to have the freedom to make choices. It is freedom to choose that empowers you, and as you learn which choices are going to support your goals and which are going to take you further away from achieving them
you will realise you are no longer reluctant to take the healthy route.

Making the wrong choices here and there is also important – so long as you use them as learning experiences! Next time you hit the same situation, you will know from experience how to respond. I usually
regret succumbing to temptation, but of course it does happen! I try to remind myself how bad I feel afterwards and use that to strengthen my resolve the next time. Of course there are some ‘treats’ that you should not feel bad about enjoying – in those cases enjoy the treat,
savour it and make it worthwhile. Then look forward to the next time, but ensure that is not too soon…

So, What is The Perfect Ten?

Well, it represents the goal you have in mind for yourself as well as the 10 steps you need to take in order to achieve it. Your ‘Perfect Ten’ is unique to you – there is no one size fits all for where you should want to be or how you need to approach achieving it.

It is up to you to define what exactly it is – what do you want to achieve and why? How hard are you prepared to work for it? What are you prepared to sacrifice? Because it will take work, perseverance
and some element of discomfort (you can’t sit wrapped up in ‘comfort’ on the sofa and expect results!) but the rewards will be worth it. When you start getting results, the whole process takes on a life and a momentum of its own, making it easier and easier the further down the
line you get.

There are several elements of a healthy lifestyle to consider and work on, such as daily activity, resistance or strength training, cardiovascular training, flexibility and postural correction, nutrition, stress management and rest. However, for you as an individual the
priorities are unique. If you are overwhelmed in a stressful job and chronically sleep deprived then finding ways to manage stress and increase sleep are your priority, over even exercise.
Exercise may factor into that equation, as it is a key way to reduce stress, but it may be at a lower intensity and you certainly don’t want to be losing any more sleep in order to fit it in! Increasing daily activity and looking at improving nutrition would be key first steps here. Once
you are recovered, then you can start looking at developing a more structured training programme.

If you are feeling low on energy, you may automatically think you need more rest, but more often than not, increasing activity will increase energy! You need to reduce the “energy-zappers”and increase the energy-boosters, so improving nutrition and increasing exercise are
key!

Honesty is important if you are going to be able to assess which areas are most important for you. There is no area in life where we more consistently delude ourselves than health, nutrition and fitness! If you ask yourself honest questions and give yourself honest answers,
you should be able to identify the areas on which you need to focus. If you do this, you will not need to follow the latest fad or craze – if you listen to what your body really needs it will become obvious! If you are honest with yourself, would you truly expect worthwhile results to
be easy?

And would you want them to be?

Next Time: Caroline discusses the Perfect Ten guidelines.

Caroline Radway is a Personal Trainer based in Southampton, England, where she coaches clients on a 121 basis focussing on kettlebell training (along with Valslides, TRX and other tools as appropriate). She also runs an outdoor fitness bootcamp with a major focus on nutrition and lifestyle changes for lasting results: http://www.fitbodyfix.com

 

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