By Jen McMahon
“I just can't manage it all”
I remember about three years ago one of my personal training clients came in to see me. She was in her 60s at the time and she had recently lost her grown son to a sudden unknown disease. She was not only mourning his loss, but she was now in charge of taking care of her grandson and her life had abruptly changed quite drastically overnight. She had always been healthy and vibrant and she really wanted to continue to take care of herself. She was coming to me two days per week to keep up her strength and she wanted some nutrition advice as well. We had discussed all of the ways she could improve her diet, her hydration, reduce her stress and try to get more sleep, but each day she'd come in feeling more and more overwhelmed with all of the things she couldn't do right. One day she looked at me and said, "I just can't manage it all".
This is understandable right? She had a lot on her plate and yet she had goals and needs and wanted to maintain good health in the midst of it all, but it was just too much at once. I decided to ask her to forget about everything she had to do to be ‘perfect’ and reach her goals and I asked her, "do you think you could just focus on drinking five glasses of water today?" I told her that I don't really care what she eats for dinner and what time she goes to bed and I asked her to just stick with drinking her water and to report back to me the next day. She agreed and then took a big sigh of relief and she cried. She came to me the next day and was proud to say that she drank her water and she was willing to do it again. She finally felt successful! We just kept her going with small and manageable goals, one at a time. She was able to accomplish them as she was ready and keep moving forward toward her goals. Her small wins kept her motivated and kept her from giving up on herself.
Pick one thing. This is my favorite lesson about how to create and follow a custom nutrition or fitness plan that is sure to fit into your lifestyle. This is a concept that is perfect for:
- People who are either super busy and don't feel like they have it in them to take time out of their busy lives to meet their health or fitness goals, or
- People who feel like their goals are so out of reach that they don't even know where to start.
Does this sound at all familiar? Many people want to live a healthier life and are wondering how to do it. The answers are out there, right? There is no shortage of answers. The real trouble is your head could spin with all of the answers. To reach your goals you just need to… (deep breath) cut out sugar, drink more water, hit the gym in the morning, do sit-ups every night, lift light weights with high reps or heavy weights with low reps. Don't forget to minimize your carbs but don't have too much meat, eat smaller meals more often, reduce your wine intake and stop snacking at night. On top of that you need to remember to cook, meal prep and pack your lunches and eat plenty of leafy greens and don't forget to take your supplements and eat gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO and organic and and and and and. The amount of rules, restrictions and changes can just go on forever!
Energy Bites Recipe.docx
I think about this lesson often, even in my own whirlwind of goals and I remember that we all just have to start somewhere. In about 2 weeks I'll be running the American River 50, a 50 mile race, and my biggest running goal to date. I started training about six months ago and I was nowhere near ready to run a distance like this. In fact, even though I was running regularly when I started my training, I hadn't run a full marathon (26.2 miles) in almost 10 years, before I had my two kids. I simply had to start where I was. I slowly built up my weekly miles and gradually increased my long distance runs. I took recovery weeks when I needed to (and when my training schedule called for it) and I literally took it all one step at a time. Now that I'm so close to the race and I have hundreds of miles under my belt, my confidence is high and I feel prepared, all because I started with one thing.
This is where you come in.
I'm here to simplify life for you. Start with ONE thing. Yes, that is all, just one.
It could be improving your sleep, increasing your water intake, going to the gym one day per week, or adding veggies to your breakfasts (one of my personal favorites). Just start. Pick one thing and make it your focus until you're ready to add more.
If you'd like to chat further about where and how to start, I'd love to hear from you!