ASK THE TRAINER: Overcoming years of bad habits - Odessa American: Ask The Trainer

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ASK THE TRAINER: Overcoming years of bad habits

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Posted: Saturday, October 22, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 11:13 pm, Wed Aug 29, 2012.

I have slowly been forming this article in my mind the past few weeks.

I talk to people about health and fitness on a daily basis. For the most part, I talk with people about changing their lives permanently. Usually, an individual has to overcome years of bad habits, which is to say the least, difficult. This past week I had more conversations than normal with people about taking responsibility for their own decisions, stopping self-sabotaging behavior and finding that empowered person deep within to stand up and make a change for the better.

Last week I heard over and over pretty much every excuse in the book as to why someone just cannot eat healthy. Excuses ranged from my husband … you know the end of that statement, to other people saying, “You are taking my joy away!” Really? Of everything in this world that includes your family and friends, food is your JOY? Now that is so sad.

I look at what I do as a big bag of tricks. I have lots of "stuff" in that bag, but all I can do is look for a way to encourage and motivate someone to change. Unfortunately, making the changes necessary to reap the rewards of a healthy lifestyle is not like taking your car to the shop and just paying the bill while someone else fixes the problem. In health and fitness, I can give you the tools but it is up to you to use them.

The best way I have found to identify your self-destructive behaviors is to keep a journal. Keep track of what you are eating and when you are exercising, along with what is happening in your life. Track your emotions as well. You must learn to take your emotions out of the equation and make conscious choices about your health plan. What you eat should not depend on what kind of day you have. You may find secrets you never knew about yourself. For example, I have a client who discovered when she felt bad she binged. Through journaling, she realized that while growing up when something bad happened her parent gave her food to make her feel better!

Once you identify a behavior you can more easily change it! It is time to make those changes!

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