Healthy Habits, Stages of Change


Aug 29, 2021

 by Leon Beeloo
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I had a conversation with a client earlier this week. Kind of a unique conversation, because this person has had and seen success. She has lost weight, built strength and seen results.  People were constantly telling her... You Look Fantastic, What have you Been Doing??

But life happened. She experienced some personal set backs, had to have a surgery which naturally slowed her activity and progress. But was most notable, at least from what I can observe from the outside looking in, is she stopped treating herself as the priority she deserves to be.  Crabs in her life, told her, you don't need to lose weight you are great just the way you are, just do things that bring you joy. And so she stopped.

She stopped the habits that were helping her be stronger and healthier. The habits that brought her the joy of a stronger and more fit body. The habits that produced a smile on her face and energy that lasted throughout the day.

She started (or restarted) the habits that provided her with the unhealthy body she stated she no longer wanted.  Habits like drinking too much, eating without a plan, laying off of working out and movement.

When we talked about it, she mentioned that it happened, because in some ways, it is easier. She wanted to do things she enjoyed and do more of them (totally support that!!).  But it's a double edge sword. if true, and you are doing things that you say bring you so much joy, then why are you speaking of pain and unhappiness with your current situation. 

So often the biggest obstacle in our way is the one that sits squarely between our own ears. Being healthy is hard, it takes work, not always enjoyable, but it delivers a stronger, more confident and energized person. Being unhealthy is easy in the sense it doesn't take too much work to live an unhealthy life, but it is hard because of how it makes us feel, the drain, the low confidence and energy.

We just have to choose our hard. 

For most of us, we don't have a Food Problem. I mean, I'd say most people know that broccoli is a healthier choice that say a Cookie.

So, if that statement is true. We don't have a Food Problem, or  a problem with food, what we do have is a Habit Problem, or a Problem with our Habits.

I want to explore the Stages of Change.  If the above story resonates with you, take a look at these stages...where are you right now?

Stage 1 - Contemplation.  “I’m thinking about change.”

At this stage you might be thinking about changing your habits and you become motivated to get started. You might be in this stage if ....

  • You are considering change but not yet ready to start
  • You believe that your health and well-being will improve with new, healthy habits
  • You are not sure how you will deal with roadblocks

Stage 2 - Preparation. "I've Made up my Mind"

You are creating a plan and thinking about specific tactics that will work for you. You might be at this stage if:

  • You have decided about the change you want to make, and you are ready to take action
  • You have set specific goals
  • You are preparing yourself to take action

Stage 3 - Action.  "I have started to make changes"

You are following the plan you set out to achieve your goals. You might be at this stage if:

  • You have been making changes to your eating and activity habits in the past 6 months or so.
  • You are adjusting to how it feels to eat healthier and move more
  • You have been working towards overcoming the things that hold you back

Stage 4 - Maintenance. "I have a new routine"

You have become used to your new changes and been consistent with them for more than 6 months. You might be at this stage if:

  • The change has become a habit
  • You have discovered different ways to stick with your new routine
  • You have had setback, but you have been able to get past them

As a coach, helping someone move forward is what I do. But, there is a caveat here. I can only help someone who wants to get unstuck.  The pain of making a change, and putting in the work has to be and feel like less than the pain of being stuck and/or continuing down the road a person is on.  If the latter, "isn't that bad" then taking the necessary steps to change and move will be work.

If you would like to set up a No-Sweat Strategy Session, we can review where you are at currently and if it looks like moving forward is a better solution for you than staying where you are at, then let's chat. Message me at m.me/leonbeeloo to get started.