|THE BANK OF CONSISTENCY|
by Linnea Hannigan, Contributing Writer
I am frequently asked what I think of the Keto/Intermittent Fasting/Paleo/Atkins/Zone/South Beach/Vegan/Vegetarian/Weight Watchers/yada yada yada diet. My reply? Nothing.
I don't waste any time thinking about any of them anymore. Been there done that. It's a waste of my time and money for the most part. I know what works and what doesn't over the long-term, and "diets" don't work over the long term. If they did, there wouldn't be a billion dollar industry built around the latest diet fads and trends. Lifestyles work over the long term. So, unless you are willing to make said 'diet' into a lifestyle (such as some Vegans, Paleo, or Weight Watcher people do), I think you are wasting your time and money and worse, quite possibly doing more harm than good to your health. That answer usually surprises people. Often I am then asked what I do to stay in shape. I simply reply that I have a "formula" that I practice consistently. As I stated in my first article here on DrStandley.com, my formula is simple:
Train to Gain. Toss the Scale. Protein First. Juice Plus. Lift-Eat-Sleep-Repeat.
I do not waiver. I do not need to. It is a lifestyle, not a diet. Not a program. Not a quick fix. A simple, consistent, do-able, sustainable lifestyle that is geared towards gaining and keeping muscle, strength, and health. Every day of practicing this lifestyle with consistency is like putting a coin in 'The Bank of Consistency' for me.
So what does 'consistency' look like? Some days it is a good hour or two happily grinding away in the weight room, and 5-6 perfectly executed meals, and going to bed at 8pm - lots of coins in The Bank on those days!!! Other days- not so many coins, but I do what I can to stay consistent. Have I had days when I couldn't get to the weight room to workout ? Absolutely. Have I had days when my eating was not optimal? Absolutely. I'm a single mom with two kids, in the house! Chaos is the rule, not the exception!
Consistency isn't always pretty, or sexy, or glamorous, or newsworthy.... I have little to add at gatherings where the hot topic will be the latest Keto pancake recipe or the hottest new exercise trend......
Truthfully, consistency can be dull - dare I say boring - at times, but it is always, always rewarding.
The reward of consistency is that you CAN have variations on the theme for a bit if you want to - you can go to that BBQ and eat the cornbread and honey butter and baked beans (two helpings, please), you can have that beer (or three) and you aren't going to backslide. You aren't going to fall apart. You aren't going to wake up four sizes bigger. You just aren't because you have consistently been adding coins to The Bank. The more coins you have in The Bank, the more coins you can afford to take out and spend. It's really that simple.
So how do you open an account in The Bank of Consistency? My advice (for what it's worth) is to start with one addition to your day - and when you find that being consistent with that addition has become a 'habit' (Dr. Standley recommends 40 days) - has become part of your lifestyle-, add the next thing. For example, as I mentioned in my previous article, I started by adding one Juice Plus smoothie to my day. I didn't change anything else until I was in the 'lifestyle' of having a smoothie.
Next, I added (I know this will sound odd) the 'no scale' rule.
I threw away my scale.
At first I was sure that I was going to die, but day by day, I was freed from the ridiculous notion that the scale measures my health and strength. (I'll address the "scale" issue in another article.)
After that, I was comfortable and consistent with those two additions to my lifestyle, I then decided that I would join a Bootcamp, which was a HUGE step for me, as I had never been athletic, never ever liked exercise, and I had zero money to waste, but a friend of mine dared me to buy a Groupon with my wine money.
For. The. Love. Do NOT double-dog dare me!!!
I figured WTH....why not....and guess what, I had a blast. I couldn't even do one sit up, not one. I couldn't get down on the floor unless there was a wall or post or a person next to me that could help me get up. When others ran, I walked. When others squatted, I marched in place. When others planked I . . .
I did my best.
....and day by day, bit by bit, all the consistency added up - and it still adds up - and even though I have have moved on from the bootcamp to the weight room, I still make daily deposits into my 'Bank of Consistency' account.
What once seemed out of reach and impossible to me - to be strong and healthy and slim - became a reality. I got stronger, I got leaner, I got healthier, I got happier, and for once in my lifetime, I can honestly say that I have at least ONE Bank account that is full all the time and growing day by day.
Linnea Hannigan, Certified Health Coach
DrStandley.com Contributing Writer
Linnea is a College instructor, mom to twin teenagers and Juice Plus distributor. Linnea struggled with her health and weight for 40 years before she finally "got the get" and found a way to help herself and others attain a healthy, fun, and energetic lifestyle.
**This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.