Challenges, Systems, Shakes, and Gadgets…finding the perfect system for your LONG term goal.
With the New Year approaching, and all of these fabulous “deals” on challenges and systems here is my opinion and advice, because your health, time and money are valuable!
Just to make a buck.
Ok, not all challenges are like this, but be careful of being taken advantage of.
Look at who is hosting the challenge, where the money is going, ask those questions!
Anyone can claim to be an expert, or have a team of professionals as part of a group, but really look at and think about who is involved.
If the experts, or groups do not appear to live a healthy lifestyle is that something you want to follow? Don’t get wrapped up into the nonsense, this is YOUR life, health and money!
$25 -$100 may not seem like a big deal if you are just looking for something affordable and don’t want to leap into hiring a trainer. Challenges come in all forms but what are the goals of the challenge? Is it diet? Exercise? Lifestyle? Does it claim to be all encompassed?
If you are doing ten things at once and checking things off like a bingo card is this the type of challenge you can succeed with? What are your goals? If they are to lose weight, is it something that fits your lifestyle, is good for your health and can improve your overall wellness? Is it something you can learn to love or enjoy? Do you struggle with portion control, or having time to cook?
Everyone wants a cost effective magic pill that makes it all better, but your journey is going to be a heck of a lot longer than 30 days, you should be looking 90 days out and planning what’s next.
For example, if you are doing a work or group challenge just to pacify your co-workers, to get through the 30 days for some extra cash, you already know your success rate.
Its not fair to those in your group who want to take it seriously. So take it serious, focus and be supportive!
Set a goal. Write it down, and figure out which way to hold yourself accountable and share it with your team or group. If you are too shy to post on social media, then post it on your refrigerator or wall, and commit to it.
There are plenty of FREE challenges, and programs you can use on Bodybuilding.com, but sometimes paying to participate is a form of accountability, so find the best fit for your lifestyle.
If you have a family consider how to incorporate them into the challenge. Especially the kids who watch everything you do. Your habits are their lifestyle too. They see your struggle, so make it fun and figure out how to incorporate the family.
Know Thy Self- Accountability & Time
What motivates you to stay accountable? Find what it is and put it out there! For me it is sharing on social media, If I put it out into the world, there is now way I won’t let it happen.
Incentives such as money or prizes, health orders from your physician, checking in with a personal trainer or coach, or checking in online are all different types of ways to hold accountability. All of the above require you to accomplish or check in, but only YOU can make it happen, more importantly you have to mentally commit, and make all changes needed to make your goals happen.
Get obsessed, and stay focused. I often hear from clients there may be negative feed back from family, friends or co-workers. Trust me the best way to hurdle the doubt, and the haters is to stay positive, focus on YOU!
If you believe in the system, exercise and path you have selected, do not let the opinions of someone who is not in your shoes, bring you down. Sometimes you’ll hear its because people worry, and have concern. If there is any concern that is brought to your attention, seek advice from your physician.
My advice for the busiest people in the universe…get up early.
“I don’t do mornings” or “I’m not a morning person”. TRUST me I am NOT a morning person, but
I get my butt out of bed and I force myself though cardio and once I do, then I am ready for the day.
There are so many things that can come up during the day, especially as a parent. If you are one that prefers to socialize after work, or have kids who need to be at activities, your workouts will NOT be a priority. I agree family first… so get it out of the way in the morning, or over your lunch so you can spend time with your friends and family and no excuses or unexpected occurrences become priority over your goal.
That is life and it will happen, so unless you have extremely supportive friends and family, who understand you need that hour or 30 minutes of exercise to yourself, you’re better off on conquering your own goals in the morning without feeling like it’s a burden.
Weekly Prep is also a key component in your routine, so figure out a day to plan the week, cook for the week, or be prepared to have healthy snacks on hand for your busy life.
Your mental capacity to follow through with any health or weight loss challenge is far more important than just following instructions. You have to want it. Believe in it, and make it something to conquer.
When you do, people you know, will ask you what you are doing. Before you know it their attitudes will change and you will be helping them!
Now that you have you have thought about your goals, and how you will conquer them, you must determine how you will get there.
I have a home gym, full of gadgets, I LOVE working out at home, but there are definitely days I need to force myself to use it, and if I get into that mindset, I drive myself to the gym and then I have to get it done!
I think every one of us has a family member who has to buy the latest fitness gadget on TV and then it collects dust, or they give it as a donation a few years later. If you are one who prefers a home workout, there are some amazing systems or workouts designed for the home. You don’t need a bunch of equipment, but if you are one who would use a treadmill or exercise ball at home, then invest in one, and commit to using your home gym twice a week! And if you have that family member or friend who like to buy the gadgets, invite them over to join you!
A few others have spoken about their thoughts, and I agree, it is common sense…. a shake or branded food system is not the answer to all of your problems. It just isn’t.
Yes, you can lose weight, and you will feel fabulous, but can you really afford a shake diet for life? Not just shakes but the food sold, and the program sustainability. Some systems incorporate the claim of clinical monitoring, some incorporate exercise program this is fine especially if you are the type of person who may need to check in with someone, and it fits your goals.
But systems get expensive, very expensive. So when looking at a system think long term and what it would take for you to live off of the system if you couldn’t afford it any more. If the system teaches you daily, realistic habits to fit your lifestyle, and you can afford it then you should do it. Systems are wonderful for accountability and group support. The question I would encourage you to consider …“ Is this something if I walked away tomorrow, I could do on my own because I have learned healthy habits, portion control, self motivation, and accountability”
Why does that matter? Because if you can NOT sustain a lifestyle then, it’s a fad diet, or program that you will be disappointed in. And even worse your self-esteem may plummet and you may feel like there isn’t an answer.
I would say a system is NOT good for Family Lifestyle, especially if you can not say yes to the question above! If mom and dad are on shakes and special diet food what are the kids eating? Mom and dad know what to eat, but the kids will get frozen lasagna and a size of canned processed vegetables and fruit. If mom and dad are hitting the gym, what are the kids doing for exercise? Do you offer to have your kids join you or encourage them to do a home workout with you? I am not saying there are not systems out there that don’t offer this, the reality, is generally parents are thinking about themselves and not about the kids because they just want to lose weight, and they don’t want to put forth the effort or are unsure how to measure.
When choosing your system look at the coaching, follow through, and a realistic lifestyle for you (not your neighbor, or BFF). All should all be factored in. There are fantastic options, but I feel failure comes from not asking questions and applying it to the needs of the individual.
Its easy to look at a model, life testimonial and think…yeah I want that, the truth is nothing works the same for everyone which is why there are uncountable options.
Take a look at your pocketbook, think about spending that the system requires monthly -annually. Then consider spending that amount per person for a family of three to five. Investing in systems to save money, being a client, and gym memberships all add up. When observing cost, break it down by meal, time per person in the family. For some individuals $4 per day, $50 per week per person is fine.
But if you are not a person likes shakes but prefers food, a $4.00 processed microwave meal is not your answer either. Some systems range from $80-$100 a month but require or “recommend” you use their food and products. I receive a tone of messages, and comments that eating healthy is SO expensive.
Depending on where you live, how efficient you are in planning and food prep, and if you are planning for more than one person are all factors. Shop around know your local grocery stores, what they carry, and watch the prices. If your system does this all for you and your family then what an awesome deal, follow the plan.
Know the difference. Diet does NOT mean CLEAN EATING. I recently had an individual explain to me they thought organic 2% milk was diet milk. I guess I didn’t even think about how many people could confuse organic, for “diet” or low fat, I’ll leave that for another blog
There are many FREE resources to assist in helping find a grocery comparison. I encourage you to contact a local or state extension office for comparisons on produce and cost effectiveness. And you if you are looking for a FREE exercise plan, guide for diet or informative support or articles, look on bodybuilding.com, pick a physique, or goal you like, and follow the plan our TEAM has some amazing workouts designed for any lifestyle! Keep Inspiring, Nikki Walter
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