boost your metabolismNikki Boswell, Nutritionist for the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge shares some really helpful information with easy tasks to try to help you get back on track and reset your healthy lifestyle if you’ve hit a few bumps in the road:
When making healthy changes hitting a few bumps and snags along the way is normal – they may rock the boat a little but don’t let them throw you completely overboard! When the waters get rough, here is how to stay afloat and keep on track to your health goals:

  1. Acknowledge your successes:

You might not initially realise it but your health, fitness and diet already has many strengths and successes worth acknowledging so rather than beating yourself up about where you may have gotten off track, look at what is working well for you and consider how you can build on these strengths to achieve your goals.
Task 1: Write a list of at least 5 strengths; e.g. I eat breakfast every day; I can cook a meal; I make time for active play with my kids; I eat at least 2 serves of vegetables every day, etc.

  1. Get a support network:

Imagine yourself as a child about to run a race, your support network are those people who have come to cheer you on. They are standing on the sideline as you step up to the starting line, they applaud and encourage you every step of the way, they are there to hold your hand and help you up if you fall, they motivate you and genuinely want to see you achieve your goal. It’s not necessarily impossible to succeed without them but your victory is all the more sweet with them beside you.
Task 2: We are here to cheer you on! Make the most of the Healthy Mummy Facebook support group; get active on the page, comment, post, ask questions, share your story – we’ll be here to support you. Find at least 2 other friends or family members who can support you on your journey, ask them to be there for you and let them know how much their support means to you.

  1. Identify your resources:

The environment in which you live has significant influence on your health but it is time to stop letting excuses like “it’s too hot to exercise” get in your way. Again focus on the positive things within your environment that are going to help you achieve your goals. Remember you don’t need to spend a fortune on gym memberships or designer ‘health foods’ to be happy and healthy.
Do you have access to footpaths, walking tracks or parks? Can you access affordable fruit and vegetables? Can you grow a vegetable garden or fresh herbs? Are there any fruit and veg co-ops or community gardens in your area? Are there any runners or walkers groups? – Could you start one? Do you know any likeminded people? Where could you meet some?
Task 3: Create a list of as many supportive resources that you have access to.
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  1. Get to know your enemy:

As the saying goes, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. We all have weaknesses and triggers that can lead us to make less than healthy choices, but by getting to know and understand these influences we can also plan how to overcome and avoid them.
Expect some of these temptations to get in your way, understand some of those old excuses may pop their heads up, anticipate a set back or two on your journey, but have a plan and be prepared to get back on track as quickly as you can get off it.
Task 4: Draw up a table with three columns. Label the first column ‘Excuses,’ in it write a list of every excuse you have ever used to not exercise or to not make the healthiest choice, e.g. I didn’t have time to cook so we had takeaway.
Label the next column ‘Triggers & Justification.’ Think critically about each excuse you have used and what triggers or justification you used in that situation to make the less healthy choice, e.g. I was feeling unprepared and overwhelmed so take away seemed easier.
Label the third column ‘plan of attack.’ Now that you understand your triggers it’s time to get to work to put those excuses to rest by coming up with a plan to help you make healthier choices in the future, e.g. I will use a weekly meal planner and include recipes that I know are easy and quick to prepare.

  1. Rethink your role model:

Whether you are aware of it or not we tend to compare ourselves with other people. Be it celebrities, our parents, or co-workers, it always seems that someone else is doing a better job than us and more often than not this leaves us feeling inadequate.
Take off the rose coloured glasses and remember that nobody is perfect. Aspire not to be someone else but be the best you, you can be. Don’t expect not to be flawed, but be humble enough to acknowledge your mistakes and wise enough not to repeat them. Be the person you would be proud for your kids to turn out to be.
Task 5: Forget about what everyone else is doing, the expectations and pressures and define the role model you want for your kids and yourself. Write down qualities and traits you wish to instil in your kids and practice them daily – practice makes perfect

  1. Where are you going?

If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? Be clear about your goals – in fact be SMART. That is set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and within a Timeframe. Keep in mind what you have already learnt about yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, resources and support – use these to understand what you need to improve to achieve your goal and make the most of what you already have.
Task 6: Take some time to really think about what you want to achieve, what is important to you, and why it is important for you to achieve. Once you know this develop a SMART goal.

  1. Reward yourself:

As much as you should anticipate setback, expect successes too. ‘Dangling a carrot’ will entice and motivate you to keep going and just as each step in your journey should be incrementally planned so too should your rewards.
Be sure your rewards are not counterproductive to your goal – if your goal is to eat better, don’t reward yourself (or your children) with food. Let’s consider our example from before: If your plan is to increase the veggies your kids eat by adding half a serve to their lunch every day for a week (before building to a full serve), it would be appropriate to reward them at the end of the week with a trip to their favourite park.
Task 7: Keep that diary or calendar out and just as you plan those small progressions, plan to appropriately reward yourself. Keep the rewards in perspective with your achievement, but be sure they are something worth striving for.

  1. Be accountable:

At each and every step I have asked you to write something down. This isn’t just so you don’t forget, it’s to keep you accountable (so if you are yet to pick up a pen, now is the time to do it!). But don’t go tucking this note pad under your pillow, hidden away “in case you fail” – make it public, share it with your support network, stick it on the fridge or bathroom mirror for the family to see.
Task 8: Go back over each and every task and make sure you have written something down.
Yes you can come back and make changes to this if you need, but get your goals, ambitions and plan of action down on paper, make copies and pin it up all over the house, send a copy to your support networks.

  1. Have fun, smell the roses:

Ok so not every aspect of making changes is going to be fun or enjoyable – in fact, making changes can be damn hard. Finding small ways to make the hard times a little less difficult will really help you keep going. If your goal is to improve your fitness, literally take a moment to smell the roses while out for a run, enjoy a sunrise or a bushwalk, find a running partner to chat with or join a social team sport.
If your goal is to change your diet, even small aesthetic additions to the table setting, like a bunch of flowers, or having a picnic in a beautiful location, can help bring joy to the changes you’re making and help develop positive associations with these activities.
Task 9: Find some ways to enjoy your journey. Add music, dance, friends, family, get quirky and creative – have fun!
Nikki Boswell, Nutritionist
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