Looking back to a year ago, so much has changed in my life. I'm doing so much more exercise and loving it!
Let's make 2021 the "year of health and wellness" by being intentional with your health and wellness goals.
If you'd like one of Dr Orlena's "health and wellness goals" sessions please email [email protected]
How did COVID-19 impact your life? Particularly your body and mind?
Did you have health and weight goals last year that you failed to achieve?
Now that it’s 2021, do you struggle with setting your goals to get fit and fab again?
Hello and welcome to Fit and Fabulous with me, Dr. Orlena Kerek.
I hope you're feeling fabulous. Welcome to the beginning of 2021.
Today I want to talk about goal setting.
It's amazing what you can achieve in a year. As I sit here, I look back to this time last year. Oh my goodness, before we had even heard of COVID. Sitting in absolutely ignorant bliss and thinking about the year ahead of me. I had no inkling of what was going to happen. But now as I sit here in 2021, I look back and think about all the things that I have done in terms of health and wellness. I'm absolutely astounded.
Last year, I was going to the swimming pool twice a week for my swimming training. We were walking backward and forward to school. It was a reasonable amount of walking, but when COVID hit, we got stuck in our house for six weeks.
If you listened to my podcast last week, it's about "why I think everyone should get a sports watch." Over the summer and now I have significantly increased the amount of exercise I do. I was swimming in the sea every single day. I'm not just thankful to the sports watch but also because I had friends who wanted to swim and I wanted to join in. It's also because my children weren't going to what we call "cassal or summer school". It was easy for me to do it, whereas in normal years I would have to get back a little bit earlier and get them to summer school.
If I look back to where I was a year ago and where I am now, I think, "oh my goodness, just an amazing amount of difference." I still exercise like cycling and swimming. I do it but not as much in the sea because as it's the middle of winter and it's freezing cold here at the moment. I've even started running, which I'm super proud of, but more than that, I do things like a seven-minute workout. I'm making sure that during the day I'm doing movement and exercise.
Now is the time to look ahead and think, “okay, what can I achieve in the year coming up?” Now you might be sitting there thinking, "oh my goodness, coronavirus hit. We had far too many treats. Yes, we did lots of baking and particularly in the spring of last year. We were enjoying a beer or two in that summer sun or spring sun. There were more treats because we were inside.”
I know that lots of people have let exercise go because it is easy to sit inside. Our exercise is limited, we're not allowed outside and life is different. For example, over the last three weeks, my kids have been off school. I've had to focus on doing some exercise. We haven't been doing our routine exercise, which is cycling to school and back. You might be one of those people who's thinking, “okay, last year took a bit of a hit in terms of my health and wellness. This year 2021, I prepared and really want to make it happen. So how do I do that?”
Well, I have been doing some health and wellness goal chats. You may have heard of this. I offered out six and had six people. We chatted for half an hour and people absolutely loved it. They gave amazing positive feedback. “Thank you, Orlena. That was a really great chat. It's really given me clarity.”
I have decided to open up and do another six of those, which will be over the next couple of weeks.
If you're interested and if you're on my email list, then reply to one of those emails. Tell me a little bit about yourself and what time zone you're in. That's super important when connecting on the internet.
If you're not, and you don't have time to chat, it would be a good idea to go through this exercise. Break it down so that you can do it at home because it is super simple on one level.
It is much easier if you have somebody else to help you because it can be a little bit overwhelming.
We're going to break it down into three steps.
Step number one is the most exciting step. It’s creating that goal in your brain.
Where do you want to get to? It's a bit like a journey. So think a bit of this as "okay, I'm in Paris and I want to get to Barcelona". "How am I going to get there?"
The first step is to decide. Okay, we're going to Barcelona. That's where we're going on our journey. You need to imagine where you are. I’d like you to think of yourself at a crossroads. You're standing here now and you can carry on in the same path that you're going. You are doing the same things, and you're going to get the same results in terms of nutrition and exercise. It's leading you to put on weight or being static in your weight. That's how you're going to carry on. Or you can turn a little bit.
Go another fork in the crossroads, which is going to lead to this new and amazing destination. You get to dream up your destination and you get to have fun with it. It might be that you want to get fit, get your body thinner.
You can wear those amazing clothes that are hanging up in the wardrobes. How many people tell me this? “I’ve got so many beautiful clothes. They're collecting dust. I want to get back into those amazing clothes. More than that, I want to feel good. I want to feel like I can move my body. That I feel toned and fit and have that capability of being able to do things like run after my kids or run to catch a train.”
I've recently discovered the enjoyment of running. I kind of feel free when I'm running. It's surprising to me because I have to confess, I am somebody who is a bit of a running-phobe, and I'm really loving it now. So think about where you want to get to.
“I want to get thin. I want to wake up. I want to feel fabulous. I want to feel full of energy.”
“I want to have this kind of relationship with food”. If you're somebody who feels that food has a hold of you, “I want that relationship to be changed. I don't yearn for that and crave a particular food. I want all of this to be easy. For me to do it without thinking about it.”
You get to have a little bit of fun and enjoy creating. That is the vision of where you want to get to. One of the things I would really encourage you to think about is when you've got that, what else is possible?
For example, if you're an entrepreneur, it might be that you have more energy to pour into your business.
If you're working, it might be that you have more energy to pour into your work. You could get a promotion or get a salary raise.
It might be that family is really important to you. Or you're struggling with your relationships with your family.
Stress, angst, that kind of negative emotion in your family. You'd like to get on top of that, but at the moment you just don't have the energy. You don't have the capability to do it because you're spreading yourself too thin.
Once you've got that energy back, that's something that you can address. Think about all the things that are possible and they can be specific things like:
“I want to go and climb a mountain”.
“I want to ride on a bike for 20 miles”.
Set yourself a challenge and think “I would really love to do this”.
One of the things that I would really like to do when the world comes back to normal is to do the Camino de Santiago. The Camino de Santiago is historically a pilgrim route. It runs from the East of Spain to the West of Spain, along the Pyrenees to Santiago. Normally, most people walk it, but you can't actually do it on a bike.
I would love to do it on a bike. I would love to do it on bike with my children. For me cycling every single day is training for that experience. We're going to have that holiday we're going to book. It's not going to be much fun if my kids are not enjoying their cycling ride.
It’s going to be way more fun if we're all in a place where we can just jump on bikes and cycle, I think it's going to be much more fun, much more enjoyable.
And also if you're saying, (or if I'm saying), “Oh, you know what, I want to do this thing. I really love cycling.” I don't need to wait for that moment. I can incorporate that into my life now. So I love cycling. I'm actually going to do it every single day, getting my kids to school and back.
So that is step number one, visualising where you want to get to. Now, that's a great start. Some studies show that if you're coaching somebody to get somewhere, it's great to do visualisation.
What's even more important is understanding the steps that you need to take to get there. Let's go back to our analogy of driving from Paris to Barcelona. You need to have a route in your mind. What motorways are you going to take to get there? Are you going to go via, let me say Carcassonne, or are you going to go via Bordeaux and go the East route? So you know, which cities are you going to go past and which major roads are you going to take to get there?
There's a particular study where they looked at people thinking about exams. If I sit here and visualise doing well at an exam and getting A's, that's great. The people who actually sat and visualised the steps to get there. They are sitting down and working and being really clear about what they needed to do to get there. These people got better outcomes in their exams than sticking to the visualisation.
So how does this translate into your goals, your health, and wellness goals? Well, this is step two. What you have to do is have a plan and think about what it is that you're going to do.
I talk about four pillars, pillar number one is nutrition. If your goal is weight loss, then that is where you want to be putting the most of your effort. You want to really be having a look at your nutrition. Thinking about what changes you can make that are going to support your weight loss goals.
Pillar number two is exercise and exercise is really the key to feeling fit and fabulous. As you go back to the podcast that I did last week, the benefits of exercise are longevity feeling fit, and fabulous. And of course, they help you to lose weight as well.
Pillar number three is sleep. Sleep is so important for feeling fabulous. It's also important for our health and it's important for weight loss.
So sleep has a pillar, all of its own, and you want to be having eight hours of sleep a night. The secret to this is really to have a bedtime that you go to every single night. You have a routine and you get up at the same time every single day, even at the weekend.
If you have kids, you'll probably find that relatively easy. Kids have that ability to wake us up at the same time, every single day.
Now pillar number four is mindset and emotions. This is the way that we think about things. It's what I call the foundation of the other three pillars. It knits all of the pillars together.
Let’s Review The Four Pillars
So let me recap. Pillar number one is nutrition. Pillar number two is exercise Pillar number three is sleep. Pillar number four is mindset and emotions.
Now, this is where having a coach can really help you. It means that someone can give you an objective opinion about your goals. Also, to show you the changes that you're going to make.
If you don't have a coach, well, take me up on the free offer of my 30 minutes. That's a really helpful start. What you want to be doing is breaking it down and thinking, “okay, let's have a look at the pillars.”
Number one, nutrition. What nutritional changes can I make? How do I want my nutrition to be in a year's time? What do I need to do to get to these goals?
If you want to lose weight. It's all about calories. Now, let me be clear. I do not teach people to count calories. I don't think teaching counting calories is a useful way to lose weight. Now, a caveat to that is if you're already doing it and it works for you, then that's great stick to it. But if you haven't started counting calories, I don't think it is. Well, let's say it's not what I teach. I teach healthy eating. If you look at a cellular level and what's going on in your body, you do have less calories going in than you're using.
The bottom line is if you want to lose weight, you have to give your body the opportunity to use its own internal energy stores a.ka. fat. You have to give your body the opportunity to be able to use that.
They say that the kilogram of fat is I believe 7,700 calories. So you have to use those calories in some way to be able to break that fat down. It's a little bit more complicated and I did go into this a little bit more last week. But you have to be aware of that because you can't just say, “okay, I'm going to carry on eating the same way. I'm going to lose weight.” Clearly, that isn't going to work.
Some of the things I would recommend are just as easy. Some easy steps is to think about:
That's where I would start. When I work with my one-on-one client, we start by changing your diet. Also, changing what you're eating, as opposed to how much you're eating.
Think about all the good, healthy foods that you can have. Move away from refined white carbohydrates. Think about sugar and flour, pastor rice, white potatoes. Move away from those and move towards whole grains. Vegetables are also carbohydrates. It's a different sort of carbohydrate that's wrapped up in fibre.
Also, another thing I would say is, think about the fats that you're using.
I always recommend extra virgin olive oil as your main fat. Your body does need some fats, so you don't want to go totally low fat.
Just a few things that you can do. Remember, you're looking at those major routes, those major roads. So you don't want to have to and necessarily have to say, “okay, in nine months' time, I'm going to make this change. You need to know the general direction that you're going”.
You can change things a little bit. In time, if something is working for you or isn't working for you, or you're ready to make another change. What you need to think about are those changes that you can make immediately.
Step number three is to think about yourself making those changes. Visualise yourself actually making those changes.
So let's say, for example, you say, “okay, I am going to increase the amount of lentils and legumes I have”. So every single day, we're going to have a portion of lentils and legumes.
It's going to look like having some hummus for lunch or a bean chili for dinner. Think about how that is going to impact your life. What you're going to do in terms of, you know, you're going to have to buy the lentils and legumes. Are you going to buy jarred or tend or dried and how are you going to incorporate that?
On a side note, I love lentils and legumes. I have moved away from buying them in jars, partly because I would have to go to the supermarket to get those.
We only have a choice of three here in Spain: chickpeas, white beans or tinned nursery, jarred lentils. This happened to me twice, but I would buy loads and loads of them, put them on the trolley, and walk out to the car. Somehow, because I had so many that my trolley was so heavy an I'd go around the corner. All the glass jars would fall off and I would end up with broken glass everywhere. I got a glass splinter in my finger is not great. The second time this happened, I took it upon myself to say, “this is a message from the Universe. I'm going to stick to dried lentils and legumes.”
Now I have a system where at nighttime, I soak them and cook them in the slow cooker, and I often cook more than I need. So then I've got some in the fridge that I can use to heat up or to turn into hummus or to add to a soup or a stew. I also sprout them and add them to salads. It's something I do really, without having to think about it's something that's super easy. It's a system that I have bought up.
There is another part of step three that I recommend you do. That is to have a think about the obstacles and the hard bits that are going to come up. So thinking about your lentils and legumes, it might be that you say why kids don't like chickpeas? What's going to happen there and think about that. Well then in that case, depending on your kids, you could say, well, I'm going to allow them to pick them out. But it's important to be aware of obstacles and barriers of things that are going to happen to you.
For example, we have recently gone back to cycling. It's cold at the moment. We've had three weeks off cycling. I came back this morning going, “oh my goodness, it's so stressful. I can't cope with this. My son goes so slowly. He screams, he shouts. Everyone was crossing with us in town because we were going so slowly and telling us we should go on the pavement. Oh my goodness. This is just a disaster.”
Part of my brain is going. “You could just give up now and take them in the car.”
Another part of me is saying, “it's just the first week. You have to readapt to get in the first week back. And it's unfortunate that the weather is bad next week. The weather will be better and you can keep going. They're going to build up their fitness levels. It's going to be easier”. But if I don't have that thinking of “this is just an obstacle, get up and keep going.” It’s easy to say “I’m just going to take them in the car and life is much easier”.
But that's cutting out on a huge amount of exercise that we wouldn't be doing.
Being aware of the negative thinking allows me to focusing on the positive and keep going.
Let's recap, 2021 is the year that you are going to have your health and weight goals. You want to eat healthily, live a healthy life or for longevity's sake or feel amazing. You want to enjoy what you can do with your body. Then that's amazing. It might be that you want to lose weight and that is amazing too, particularly from a health point of view.
So step number one, visualise where you want to get to step number two. Think about the route that you're going to take to get there. Specifically, think about the four pillars: exercise, nutrition, sleep, and mindfulness. Pillar 4, the way we think about things and emotions. Think about what you're going to do every single day and think about the obstacles as well. That’s my homework for you!
If you would like some help with this homework. Or take me up on one of those free sessions, email me at [email protected]
Let me know a little bit about you and what time zone you're in.
Have a fabulous day! I will see you next week.