This week, my Kidney Stone Prevention Course members and I talked a lot about flexibility. Let me explain.
I am someone who craves a regimen. My schedule is packed, and having a regimen grounds me and helps me reach my weekly goals. But to be compliant with my health and wellness goals, I must also make sure that I am flexible.
If I have a new client who comes to me for weight loss and tells me that he will go to the gym seven days a week and eat all healthy foods, I advise him against this plan. Why, you ask? Because it is not sustainable.
Learning to incorporate healthy lifestyle habits is a slow process.
Can you do two days a week instead of working out seven days a week? The likelyhook of going from never working out in your life to working out seven days a week is pretty low. It’s better to manage your expectations. If you have never worked out, you will need rest days before putting your body through this. You also run the risk of injuring yourself. But even more important is that if you set a goal of working out seven days a week and then fail to do so, you’ll feel shame and guilt. This is where so many people fail and why they never get back on the horse.
When I work with someone, I tell them to make sure to enjoy some of their favorite foods in the first couple of weeks as not to feel deprived. My goal with each patient is to have them understand that one cookie is not the breaking point. It is just a cookie. Get right back to work with the next meal choice. You would be surprised how many healthier choices you make when you are flexible with yourself. If you say I can have the cake, but I don’t want it right now, it feels good to regain that control. Whereas if you told yourself you could never have cake again, the only thing you will be thinking about is that cake.
Deprivation doesn’t work. Flexibility does. The diet industry fails to clue us in to this fact. I am here to give you permission to eat what you like in smaller portions and get right back to work after you do.
Even though most of us reading this are well into our mid-age years, we still act like rebellious teens when we feel we are being told what we can do. No one likes that type of rigidity. Life is short. And ice cream will be a part of it.
Let me know your thoughts. Does being flexible work for you?
Your friend and advocate,