New Year Resolutions Archives | Allons-y Coaching
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What is the best workout?

You have decided that this year will be THE year you get in shape. Yes! I hope you find inspiration and support in my New Year’s Resolutions Series. Now, if part of your plan is to become more active (it’s often a good idea!), you might wonder what workout will guarantee the best results.

There is so much to choose from! Some people tell you to do cardio, others only swear by strength training. New trendy workouts are popping up everywhere, such as HIIT, the High-Intensity Interval Training.

So, which workout is best for you?

Let me give you the 4 most important characteristics of your ideal workout.

Health Coach Stella Loichot working out with healthy and happy client along the beach

1. Best workout = a workout you enjoy

Ideally, the workout you choose makes you happy while you do it. It seems pretty obvious, but actually, if you look at what most people do for exercise, this is a criterion that doesn’t very often come into the equation. Yet, it is probably the most important!

Think about it: if exercising makes you happy, just like laying down on the beach, meeting your friends for happy hour, or going to the movies, there is a good chance you will stick with it for the rest of your life. But if you dread it, the more you’ll work out, the more miserable you’ll be, and eventually, you will quit.

2. A workout with measurable outcomes

Sometimes, the workout itself is not highly enjoyable but there is something about it that you truly appreciate. Maybe it’s the way you feel when you are done. Maybe it’s the image it gives of yourself. Maybe it’s the people you are doing it with, whom you otherwise never get to see. Maybe it’s your only chance to be outdoors, or alone, or to listen to music… Whatever it is for you, there MUST be something specific you look forward to or gain from your workout, otherwise, this workout is definitely not the best for you.

3. A low-maintenance workout

By low-maintenance, I mean a workout that does not require too much of the resources you don’t have.

Let’s say you are super busy and time is your most scarce resource. You have to make sure that your workout is not time-consuming. Otherwise, you will always find reasons not to fit it in your busy schedule, and even when you make room for exercise, you will always feel that maybe you should be using your time for something else, something “more important”.

If money is the thing you are lacking and you pick a workout that’s not free or super cheap, there will be times when you won’t be able to afford exercising. And when you can afford it, you will feel guilty that you are not spending your money elsewhere.

Time and money are often the things we struggle the most with, but maybe your case is different. Whatever it is that you don’t have much of, just make sure that you pick a workout that doesn’t make you resentful, and doesn’t make you second guess yourself every time you exercise.

4. A workout that you don’t call “workout”

Ideally, you will want to workout without knowing you are working out. Whether you call it “commute”, or “fun with friends”, or “playing with the kids”, or “walking the dog”, if you do the things that you have to do in life or that you WANT to do in life, and those things are actually a good workout, bingo! You will end up living an active life naturally. Physical activity will be a given, you won’t have to worry about carving time for the gym or for a run. You will become “unconsciously” active, which, research has shown, is the best way to live a healthy life.

Your next step to be more active

Now go for a walk and start thinking about the ideal workout plan for yourself. Try to find many different ways to be active. Make sure your plan looks like your investment portfolio. Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket. This way, when your gym closes, or your financial situation changes, or you lose a workout buddy, your whole plan will not fall apart. You will just have to patch one area.

And of course, make sure you ease into it and don’t injure yourself. The goal is to stick with it, remember 🙂

Now be creative and if you need ideas, let me know. I am here to help and answer questions, don’t hesitate, shoot me an email or schedule a 20-minute FREE call!

 


PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2018 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.

I ate crap and skipped my workout: what do I do now?

The end of January is approaching and we have been working hard on keeping our good resolutions to live a healthier life. Now, for some of us it has happened already, and for others, it will happen soon: WE SLIP. We are not robots, our plans are not perfectly designed, and as a result, we trip, we lapse, we screw up.

One bad decision is nothing to be concerned about!

Yet, what we need to focus on, is how we react to our slip-ups. For many of us, even the slightest deviation from our line of conduct is actually a huge deal, because this is the open door to giving up altogether. And that is the beginning of the end of your healthy life.

Traffic light to illustrate diet slip-ups

Let me take you on a short trip

Imagine you are driving home from work. It’s getting dark, you had a tough day, you are distracted, and before you know it, you run a red light. Fortunately, nothing happens. Just a few angry drivers honking and yelling at you. Oops, that’s embarrassing. Now, what do you do? Do you sigh in frustration and give up on paying attention to red lights for the rest of the week? And while you are at it, do you also quit using your signals and start speeding in residential streets? Of course not! You slow down, and you make sure to pay extra attention until you get home safely and without hurting anyone.

Healthy does not mean perfect

So let me ask you. Why, when we forget to drink our water, eat our veggies, when we skip a workout, or when we devour a bag of chips, why on earth, do we take this as the opportunity to just quit doing the right thing for a day, or for a week, or until the next year? When we read the driving example, we see how little sense that makes, right? Not being perfect, or not doing things perfectly, is NOT a good enough reason to stop trying to improve.

I won’t go into the why and how of human behavior here, but please, next time you trip-up on one of your goals, next time you are far from perfect, think about yourself as a driver and remember that the mistakes we make don’t define the course of our actions. Instead of quitting, just be extra careful for the following hours, to make sure you don’t lose your footing again that day.

Use slip-ups to adjust your goals

The only time you should start paying more attention to your “faux pas” is when you make the same mistake, again and again. It might be because your wellness program is not right for you, your personality, your needs, or your schedule. If your plan is to workout 3 times a week and every single week, you skip 2 workouts, then maybe you should reconsider your goals. But if your slip-ups are occasional, if you know your target is right for you, don’t view your deviations as an open door to quitting.

Now go with this in mind… and please, drive safely! 😉

 


PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2018 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.

Don’t rely on healthy decisions

Imagine that every morning, you had to decide whether or not to get out of bed, and whether or not to go to work. Wouldn’t you spend an hour under the covers bargaining with yourself, and more often than not, go back to sleep? Imagine that every day you had to weigh the pros and cons of dental hygiene. Would you brush your teeth as often as you currently do? Probably not! Most of what we do in our daily lives is actually defined by rules that were established for us or that we have established for ourselves. But what about healthy decisions?Hands tearing paper with pros and cons. Healthy decisions are hard

You CAN’T make healthy decisions all the time!

The problem for most of us when we commit to eating healthier or being more active, is that we have fantastic goals, and a pretty good idea of how to reach them. Yet when it comes to putting everything into practice, we make the huge mistake of relying on good decision making and self-control. We can make good decisions quite often, but not all the time, and even if we could, it would be draining. We have self-control most of the time, but not all the time, and again, it’s exhausting.

If you want to stick to your new year’s resolutions in 2018, you have to make your new behaviors what I would call “no-brainers”. You have to remove the decision making from your daily life, so that you can free up your brain and not get consumed by your new lifestyle. You have probably experienced this: when you go on a diet, all you think about all day long is food! This is tolerable for a week or two, but who can handle it for much longer?

Set your health into “auto-pilot”

How can you do things differently? It’s easy! You have to set up rules for yourself and for the new behaviors that you are trying to adopt. There is a “rule” that tells you to go to work 5 days a week, that’s how it is, you don’t have to think about it. You might complain sometimes and it does not mean that it’s easy every single day, but it’s a no-brainer, you HAVE to go to work.

Blackboard with "Time for Change" written in white chalk

Do the same with your new lifestyle. Take 30 minutes tonight and establish a few rules for weeks to come. Not too many rules, not too harsh, and not too complicated to remember. Make sure those rules make sense TO YOU. They don’t have to make sense to anyone else! Write them down and if you need sticky notes all over your house/car/desk, go ahead. The idea is to make a decision now, so that your brain does not get a chance to negotiate later on.

Rules that work for me

Over the years, I have implemented many rules for myself, because I find the internal debate exhausting, and I know for a fact that at least 50% of the time, I’ll end up making the decision that’s the easiest, rather than the best for me. Some of my rules are:
– No taking the elevator unless I go higher than 15 floors or can’t find the stairs.
– No driving if the distance is under 1.5 mile.
– No store-bought sweets unless they have been made by an independent baker (exception made for the Starbucks Lemon Pound cake, don’t ask me why!).
– No latte unless I am getting coffee with a friend.

As you can see, those rules have nothing to do with USDA recommendations. They are completely random but they help ME reach my wellness goals, year after year. They are easy to remember, easy for me to follow. They don’t require much self-control or will-power anymore. The key is: it’s my rule, I follow it.

Get to work NOW, relax later

Find your own rules. Start with 1 or 2 and make sure they are not too hard to follow. They will evolve with time and you can get tougher when you are ready. Remember, we talk about this in last week’s article: don’t deprive yourself!

Let me know if you need suggestions or if you want some help on how to define the best rules. To make it even easier for yourself, find rules that you can have in common with someone else. Share this article with your friends and see if you can set up something with a buddy. Being accountable makes the room for compromise even tinier.

You can do this. Trust yourself. 2018 will be the year you stick with your healthy resolutions

It will be easier if you do it with a buddy! Share this article and get a friend on board!

 


PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2018 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.

You want to lose weight? Start eating more!

Of the good stuff, that is…

It’s January. You have decided to lose weight again. Remember, you had the same new year’s resolution last year! There is one thing you can do that will make all the difference this year. It won’t cost you a penny and it won’t make you sweat. Just read on…

Why we fail at losing weight

If we proceed as usual, here is what most of us will do this January. We’ll stop eating the foods we enjoy (because they are supposedly not healthy) and we’ll go on a strict diet to make sure we drop pounds quickly. There is a good chance we’ll get the feeling that we are doing the right thing, because it will be HARD! We’ll get a sense of pride and achievement. Very rewarding! Not to mention encouraging numbers on the scale. At first anyway… Until we get stressed at work, or too tired, or it’s our birthday, or it’s raining outside. Then we will take a break, try again, give up altogether. When will we try again? Next Monday? Next summer? Maybe next year? We will keep trying, we will keep failing, and we will keep looking for a solution.

Lady upset and discouraged because she cannot lose weight

Guts and brain can easily be trained

Let’s do things differently this year. Let’s stop focusing solely on eliminating what’s unhealthy for us. We need to start focusing more on adding what we know is healthy. If we add plenty of healthy low-calorie foods to our day, we will naturally end up reducing the amount of junk food we eat. We won’t really notice, but it will happen. First, because we will be less hungry. And second, because little by little, our body will get trained to appreciate better foods.

Our body and guts get used to what we give them. We just have to train them. It takes a couple of weeks to feel the difference. Many of my clients thought they would never like veggies, and yet, now, they crave them! I received a text one night from a client who had just “caught herself” grabbing a handful of raw spinach in the fridge. She could not believe it! But I wasn’t surprised. That’s how our body works. Give your body more of the right stuff and it will start asking for it. By the way, it works with children too :-).

How to eat more of the good stuff?

Here are some ideas to add some “healthy” into your day:
– add a bowl of homemade soup to your day (if not homemade, make sure there is no added sugar in it and it’s low sodium)
– at every meal, fill up half of your plate with lettuce or green veggies, and eat that green half first
– drink a large glass of water when you get up in the morning, and before each meal or snack
– eat a cup of plain yogurt each day (with fruits, or with low-sugar granola, or with a banana, nuts, and raisins)
– snack on an apple before bed every night
– eat one orange for breakfast every morning (on top of what you usually eat for breakfast)
– have hard-boiled eggs handy in your fridge for a snack

Those are just a few examples. I can give you many more if you want; just shoot me an email.

Find ways to remember

Now be careful! The fact that those healthy “add-on’s” don’t require much will-power, makes them easy to forget. When you decide to eliminate all sweets from your life, it’s pretty much all you can think of, because you are starving and frustrated. But when you decide to eat an apple every night, you might just forget about it because it’s not that big of a deal. So make sure you track your new healthy habits, in your planner, in a spreadsheet or with an app… Whatever you prefer. Visualizing your goals every day will keep your good resolutions from falling off your radar.

Health Coach Fitness Goal Tracking Spreadsheet with mug of coffee

Not only will the tracking allow you to stay focused, but it will also provide you a sense of achievement, despite the lack of “real” challenge.

Don’t add too much to your tracking chart at first. Otherwise, there won’t be room left for the food you really enjoy, and you will be back to square one, deprived and frustrated. It’s best to start with 2 or 3 items, and once they are part of your daily routine, add a couple more, and so on. Until one day, you will look back and realize that your day and your stomach have very little room left for junk 🙂

Don’t do it alone!

For tips and weekly challenges to help you in your wellness journey, like my Facebook page and follow this blog. And if you need more support to establish a healthier lifestyle, contact me. We will see what would be the best way for you to succeed.

 


PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2018 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.

Down after the holidays? 3 tips to recharge

You had been looking forward to the holidays and the time off, and here you are, beginning of January, all blue and moody. More tired than ever, overwhelmed by the year ahead, behind at work and in your emails, and way ahead when it comes to the pounds you have gained.

Don’t worry, you are not alone! And if you take the time to refocus your energy on what really matters in terms of wellness, you will be able to tackle everything beautifully, and set yourself up for success.

There are 3 things you can do right now to make 2018 a healthier year.

Woman on coach exhausted after holiday shopping

Clean up your calendar

Sit down in front of your calendar and go through every event scheduled for January. Ask yourself: “Do I look forward to this?” “Why is it in my calendar?” “Could I delete or reschedule it?” “Could I change it slightly so that I would actually look forward to it?” “If it’s something I look forward to, could I schedule it more often?”

The idea is to do more of the things you look forward to, and less of the draining stuff. It sounds obvious, but if you actually go through an entire month, you will ask yourself questions about your priorities in life, the reasons why you do things, and what really brings you joy and energy. Don’t try to skip events because they are recurring. Make the effort to question every single one of them.

This is your time, your life, and every moment is worth a slice of your attention. If you end up deleting a few events, postponing a few more (who knows, you might be able to postpone them indefinitely!), you will carve some time to relax or do things that help you recharge your batteries.

Clean up your room 😉

Take a look at your sleep routine and environment and again, ask yourself the right questions. Are your sleeping conditions offering you the best chances to rest and recharge? Are there easy steps you could take to make your sleep more restorative?

You can tweak your environment. Adding shades, using darker linen, making sure no tiny lights are blinking, turning off all your devices or putting them under covers, etc. You can isolate yourself more. Using earplugs, eye masks, closing a door, setting your phone on airplane/night mode, and asking others to respect your sleep as much as you respect theirs.

Little girl sleeping peacefully with teddy bearSometimes, it’s your bedtime routine that you can improve. We often focus on our children, never skipping their story or bath time. But what about us? How are we getting ready for the night? Turning off screens an hour before bedtime is not only for teenagers :-)! And as we grow older, some habits that were fine before might start working against us. For me, chocolate, alcohol, meat or screen time at night have started making it hard to sleep. I am not here to give you one-size-fits-all solutions. But if you look closely at what you are doing around bedtime, what helps you sleep well and what doesn’t, you will be able to make small changes, sleep better and wake up rested in the morning.

Clean up your cart

Next time you grocery shop, proceed as usual until you check out. Then, stop and look into your cart. Pick 2 items that you know are unhealthy for you. Put them back where they belong and replace them with 2 types of vegetables or fruits, fresh or frozen. Make sure you pick replacements that you will eat. Because the whole point is not only to eliminate some foods that bring you down, but also to add foods that will increase your energy level. Fruits and veggies will do that. If you get into the habit of making them more available in your kitchen, you will naturally end up consuming them more.

If you are not quite sure what is and what is not healthy for you when you look at your cart, feel free to shoot me an email. I have ways to help you through your grocery shopping list and will be happy to share some tips with you.

This is just the beginning of many steps you can take to become healthier and happier in 2018. If you want to see all the tips I will share regularly this month, join me on Facebook and if you enjoy reading articles like this one, follow this blog and share with your friends, they will probably enjoy it too!

 


PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2018 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.