Lifestyle Factors

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How to use lifestyle factors to your advantage and the other factors that can prevent you from getting your weight loss results.

Lifestyle Factors

Some major lifestyle factors are the things like work, family, or just your environment. There are probably a few other things that can be viewed as lifestyle factors that might be considered major factors. Like, how do you spend your time and who do you spend your time with?  Now, if we look at a little pie chart being equal, but it’s not quite working out that way. With 24 hours in a day, how much of your day is balanced?  You probably have areas for your pie of work, play, and rest.  In a perfect world you would have an equal third of pie for each of the three areas. Our job taking up a third of our day, you play through a third of the day, and you rest for a third of the day.  In reality though with society, our work takes up most of our time, which leaves just a little bit for rest.  What’s the problem with that?  Well, you’re out of balance.  This is essentially what lifestyle factors are and balancing these factors that’s comfortable for you. How can you make the best changes and implement strategies that are actually going to help you keep balance in your life. We all have busy lives, you’ve got a list of things to do, run to school, get groceries, house work, your job, gardening, and other obligations. Now, add exercise to your list.  Where is that on your list?  Is it number one, or is it number 100?

Priorities

For most people it is all about priorities and this week will be choosing the theme, learning about health, and additional exercises.  For some this is already a priority in their lives. On the other hand for other people, exercise, diet, lifestyle, and fitness are not priorities on their list. A lot of people go to work and can’t wait to get to the gym in the afternoon, whereas as others are the opposite. Now, where do you see you fit into this scheme of things? You’ve got to get exercise and learn about the lifestyles that should be high on your list of priorities. This is the next step if you’re going to have long term success and actually want to change your life.  Of course, if it doesn’t come naturally for you, that’s okay at this point.  That’s what the 12 Week Fat Loss Road Map Program is for.

We previously talked about motivation and the table top. Following is an exercise to help you change your beliefs and values and the way you spend your time.  The belief you’ve got currently sits on your table top. You want to change that belief to maybe more exercising or something higher on your hierarchy of needs.  The way you’re going to do that is to start with a new belief.  Changing your belief means changing your behavior. You will see that your old and new beliefs will be in conflict with each other. Generally, what happens is people go back and forth between the two.  You want to exercise more or make a lifestyle change. It all boils down to belief and the “I am” statement.  I am…. I’m too busy, I’m too tired, I can’t do it, I’ll do it tomorrow, I’m okay, etcetera.  And that’s fine for you to be like that. However, the only thing is when you’re in conflict between these two beliefs, it’s like you want to have your cake and eat it too.  You want both, but you can’t have both, because the bigger one of the two is always going to win out in your decision making.

Reflecting on Week 2 we talked about what you need to change in terms of your mindset and your goals; well that’s what’s going to change your belief and your behaviors to take action to make changes in your life.  Try writing down all the reasons why you should do something and then hold yourself to doing them. Determination plays a big role in making lifestyle changes and if you have worked through Week 5 you are on the right path. Some people find making lifestyle changes easier when training and/or working a partner, family or friend.  Going through these steps with someone that will assist in keeping you accountable and give you someone to talk to and share this journey with will make your changes easier.

If you look at the lifestyle pie again, where would you rather be?  A lot of people don’t want to spend all their time at work or is that just another excuse?  Do you think maybe that you might use excuses to stop taking action and be out of balance? If you’re living your life in the way that work, rest, and play are pretty equal, then you’re pretty balanced and happier with more energy. Work can be so demanding and mentally draining that it’s very hard to follow through with exercise and workouts.

Thinking about exercise that fits in with your lifestyle is all you need to worry about.  Workouts don’t have to be all indoors, but it is important to find exercises that fit in with your lifestyle that isn’t going to add stress to your life.  In Week 7 we will be reviewing stress and how to avoid it. Stress is pretty important and has a huge impact on everything that we’ve covered so far.  Not just exercising, but trying to find the time to fit it in can be stressful too.  Various factors can get in the way, like friends and family. Your friends, family, and co-workers are the people you spend most of your time with. So, essentially you’re a reflection of these people that you spend your time with.  So if your friends, family or co-workers are overweight people, unhealthy and uninterested in health and fitness, you will find that this may hinder any lifestyle changes you want to make. Being around more people that are looking at the same goals will help you in getting motivated and staying on track. Reflect back on Week 4 of your personal boundaries. On the flipside when you get around people that are supportive and positive about health and fitness and you too are positive about health and fitness and then add three other people.  Whether it be people you make friends with at the gym or people you go and exercise with or whoever might be.  You may not even realize this is going on.  What you have done unconsciously is created this little group together whereas the energy is shared between all.  Then you can actually take this group energy and bring it into your boundary and fill yourself up with confidence.

If you have ever had a time in your life where you’ve been upset or felt down about something and you go and chat with a friend and then you feel better. Same thing applies to your fitness and getting around people that are positive, it rubs off on you.  This concept does not just apply for fitness, if you want to make changes you need to get around people that are like-minded and already taking action. It’s very hard for you to succeed if you’ve got people pulling you back or dragging you down. Rather than cutting them out of your life or cutting them back, just realizing that it has a huge impact on your results and your ability to do what you need to do is a major realization.

So, an assignment for Week 6 is to look at your lifestyle.  List the top five things that are holding you back and these might be very similar to your goals that you set in Week 1. And now that you’re halfway through the program you can really start to identify what may still be holding you back and finding out what these limiting lifestyle factors are.  As in Week 1 you want to identify them, list them out, and then come up with some strategies on how you can change them. Next, look at how you’re spending your time; are you happy with how you’re spending your time?  Are you making time for exercise?  Is it number one, or is it number 100?  Where does it sit for you?  If you need to make a change, go through the exercise, identify it, try it with the least amount of stress and incorporate it into your routine.

Time Management

This all comes back to time management.  How do you plan your day, have you got everything set out?  Like when you’re making your meals, when you go to the gym, when you go to work, etcetera, etcetera.  This is all atomized.  You got it in your calendar.  Treat it like an appointment and then just follow through, especially if you’ve got a busy life.  That’s really all you can do. If you’re not getting the results or making the time, go back and look at your beliefs again and ask yourself the question, is there something I need to work on in that area and then just make it a focus. Move forward with everything up to this point.  All things being equal, if your lifestyle gets in the way, you’re never going to have the time to take action on all the stuff that you’ve learned so far. But if you do make time, then it’s going to reward you and you’ll be fine.

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9 Comments

  • StacyK

    Reply Reply November 30, 2015

    Why is this, that sometimes we treat our commitments to others with a higher value than the commitments we make to ourselves? I love the idea of making a self-calendar with personal commitments. I’m going to try this, thanks for the tips!

    • Chris Bridger

      Reply Reply December 4, 2015

      Glad I was able to help you Stacy, Keep us updated with your progress!

  • Maddie

    Reply Reply December 1, 2015

    Interesting, for sure. We never really think about health as a lifestyle with diets and such being so popular but it’s important to consider the other factors of your life when thinking about health and weight loss.

    • Chris Bridger

      Reply Reply December 1, 2015

      It’s all part of a healthy lifestyle, dieting can be more like a fad. Can be hard to make the switch especially if you have been a serial dieter for many years.

  • Kim

    Reply Reply December 14, 2015

    It’s so hard to make your health a priority. Then again, without our health, we don’t feel well and are less productive. Thinking of I that way, it’s much better to take the time to eat right and budget time for exercise than it is to take a sick day at work. You are so right when you say it all boils down to time management. We can make the time if we plan ahead.

  • Cristina

    Reply Reply December 18, 2015

    Lifestyle is a major factor in regards to health and losing weight, but it’s one of those things that people often see as obvious, but still ignore it. It’s a tricky slope, but this post is spot on!

  • Kelly

    Reply Reply December 20, 2015

    I was one of those people who always had an excuse not to exercise. Then I realized that I was to busy because I waswatching tv and snacking instead of exercising. I soon realized that TV shows were not more important than me losing weight and getting healthly.

  • Jennifer

    Reply Reply December 26, 2015

    Time management is key to so many things – not just healthy living and weight loss. When I eat on the go or even skip meals because of poor planning, it’s like self-sabotage.

    • Chris Bridger

      Reply Reply February 21, 2016

      Hey Jennifer Time management is such an important skill we need to develop. Poor planning = poor performance.

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