Get your food, fitness and focus on track 4 WEEKS TO A HEALTHIER YOU
Want to feel your best for that big event? Here’s how to get your food, fitness and focus on the right track. Your time starts now!
Ahigh school reunion or an old friend’s wedding is enough to make even the most confident of people break into a nervous sweat. We all want to feel amazing at a special event, especially when we’re catching up with friends we haven’t seen in years. But if you’re staring down the barrel of such an occasion and you feel far from the best version of yourself, don’t despair! Our fourweek plan will help you tweak the three Fs – Food, Fit and Feel – so you can walk through the doors of any soiree feeling like a million bucks.
4 CREATE THE HABIT
WEEKS TO GO This week is all about establishing a healthy routine. Planning, preparation and determination are the keys to your success.
“Work out what your menu is for the next four weeks and write it all down,” says Melanie Mcgrice, accredited practising dietitian and spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia. “You might decide that Monday nights will be fish, Friday nights will be stir-fry, and weekend breakfasts will be eggs, whereas during the week you’ll have muesli. Once you’ve worked out those details, prepare as much as you can. You’re usually most motivated when you set your goal, so now is a great time to cook and freeze as many meals as possible to avoid temptation later.”
“The first step is to develop a routine and create a habit,” says exercise physiologist Neil Russell. “Every morning, get up and do something – even if it’s just a walk. If you think, ‘I’m a bit tired, should I exercise today?’ you’ve lost the battle. But if you think, ‘I’m a bit tired, I’ll just do my walk,’ you’re winning.
“Walking is great because you can easily fill it with more exercises when you’re ready. For example, three mornings a week, you could go for a shorter walk and then do a body-weight circuit. On two other days, you could increase your speed for short periods. Soon, you’ll have a comprehensive training program around your walk.”
“When an intense feeling comes up, we often resort to food as a release from that feeling,” says psychologist Alisa Lollback. “We need to learn to stay with the feeling instead. Try this simple meditation. Take whatever thought enters your head and separate it into three sentences based on ‘I think’, ‘I feel’ and ‘I sense’.”
So if you think, “I’m feeling anxious about the reunion”, here’s how you could reframe it: “I think I’m nervous about attending the reunion. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. I’m sensing a desire to back out.” Another example might be: “I’m feeling uneasy about seeing that old friend at the party”, which could be reframed as, “I think I’m uneasy about seeing that old friend. I’m feeling angry. I’m sensing my jaw clench.”
“People become overly anxious when they’ve fused together thought, feeling and sensation, and the nervous system is overwhelmed,” Lollback says. “This meditation keeps you present. The more you’re present, the less anxious you’ll be and the less likely to turn to escape routes such as food.”
“Start with a morning walk. You can easily fill it with more exercises when you’re ready.”