Some of the most common desires I hear from women over 40 is that they want to lose 10 pounds, be more consistent with workouts, eat better, and have more energy throughout the day.
And even though they have the best of intentions to reach these goals, they aren’t focusing on the things that will make the most difference. Over the past month, I’ve released a series of articles explaining each of these mistakes in more depth that you can check out here, here, here, and here.
Are you inadvertently making these mistakes when trying to reach your goals? Below is a summary of each mistake, along with the simplest solution you can start with to change your habits and really make progress with your goals.
Top 10 Fitness Mistakes:
1. The losing 10 pounds approach
I have heard “I want to lose 10 pounds” 1,000 times. Have you ever wondered why 10 pounds? Why not 8 or 13? Why 10? What is the magic to 10 pounds?
If your goal is to lose 10 pounds, choose something enjoyable to get there. I tell my clients to enjoy and learn from the process instead of focusing on the goal (10 pounds). We know willpower and discipline don’t work over time. So, why put yourself through another attempt for the “pot of gold” and the ulterior motive?
Toiling away on the treadmill, elliptical or “killing yourself” to get there will likely lead to not keeping up the activity that led you to the result and resultant weight gain.
2. Your actions don’t reflect your goals
Although you really want to look like the Instagram fitness model or trainer or just the image of the “fit” you in your head, you may not be leading your life the way she/he does.
When wellness isn’t a (top) priority, we tend to lose sight of the goal. When you don’t account for others’ unplanned needs – or “barriers” in habits parlance – your wellness often takes a back seat. My clients in Concierge Wellness and Fitness Foundations state their intentions of wellness during each of our sessions. When you have an accountability partner like a coach or a friend who is on the journey with you, then those calls, emails, and texts are no longer a priority.
3. Comparison or imposter syndrome is a dead-end motivator.
Comparing yourself with others is a no-win prospect. Comparing your body, your life, your house, your job, your kids with others can lead to a real sense of scarcity, the root of all anxiety (in my opinion).
Make long term health, wellness, and contentedness the goal. When wellness and health are the long term priority, your perspective on your progress is paced. You’ll revel in the day to day progress – and setbacks – because you will be learning so much about you – and how you respond to a variety of movements, foods, and relationships (with others and yourself). Don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on your goals, your priorities, and what makes you feel good. Re-think your motivation for your current wellness program.
4. Body shaming yourself
Using self-deprecating language is toxic. It works against your fitness goals and no one wants to hear it. Research tells us negative self-talk leads to less motivation, more frustration, and the recipe for no progress.
Practice gratitude, journal about the things you love about yourself, frame language in a positive light (I like (fill in)_____ vs I don’t like (fill in)_____).
5. You’re not strength training and only doing exercise to burn calories
Plain and simple, the research is there on what an effective exercise program looks like and it isn’t as simple as just burning as many calories as possible during a session.
Since we’re ditching the old model of “more is better” and understanding that to be an effective workout, we don’t have to walk out of the gym drenched in sweat, here are some important points to take away:
- Prioritize strength training and “working against gravity” as much as possible
- Move in different ways and get in different positions
- Be aware of your movements – pay attention to how you’re using every muscle in your workouts and your daily life
- Stop viewing exercise and cardio only as calorie burners
- Make sure you enjoy what you’re doing
6. You don’t have control of your day
Do you ever feel like you are taking care of everyone around you – except for yourself? When we fail to take care of ourselves, our wellness and our fitness suffers. It then becomes easier to take care of someone else’s needs than your own.
Plan your week ahead of time and make sure you protect your time with boundaries. Plan your walks, your meals, your exercise, and time to yourself. Make space for “purposeful pauses” in your day. This can start with morning workouts – or my 5 Minute Flow that you can download here – which are key building blocks for good habits and a successful day. You’ll make better decisions, tend to your self-care, and ultimately not need my guide of mistakes because you are not making any of them! 😉
7. Ignoring your poor sleep (habits)
Poor sleep kills progress. It can make you fat, increase stress, crush productivity, and weaken your immune system. Sleep is like a huge diet and health pill if you get the dosage right.
Make sleep the most important appointment of your day.
Start by creating an evening routine that gets you into a relaxed state and go to bed just one hour earlier. Once you commit to getting quality sleep regularly and notice the difference, you’ll be excited to make it a lifetime habit.
8. You poo poo stress management as a weight loss tool
A lot of women tell me that they know it’s important, but don’t prioritize making changes to attack their stress. Stress is both a physiological (your physical body) and an emotional state. While we often can’t help but notice physiological stress (broken bones, illness, knee scrapes), we are not good at noticing our stress nor that it is making your waistline grow.
Stop ignoring your stress and make stress resilience a top priority. This includes physical, mental, and emotional stress.
9. You don’t surround yourself with a wellness “tribe”
Those who have a tribe, or a deep connection to others, are healthier, fitter, live longer, and have less anxiety and depression.
Spend the first quarter of 2020 finding your own wellness tribe. Join us at one of our education workshops, join us for a 3-month Fitness Foundations, or seek them among your already awesome friends and family. You can also schedule a free consultation with me to figure out how I can support you.
10. Your daily habits are keeping you dissatisfied with your body
Big changes like going from no exercise to daily exercise or to a deprivation diet don’t work. Small changes win the day in habit change, though.
Take an accounting of your daily habits. Start with the first five in the morning and the last five at night. Dissect them and determine which will move you closer to your goals and which will take away from you feeling your best.
Take some time and ask yourself: what mistakes are you making? Then decide what needs to change. If you want help figuring out what areas to focus on or what could be getting in your way, you can fill out an application to set up a free consult and figure out how our Concierge Program can help you reach them.