Love Your Progress

Love Your Progress

It is now February 1, 2019 and statistically, 80% of the well intentioned New Year’s Resolutions have failed. Without getting too creative, I bet we can all list at least three phrases that follow a failed goal:

“I fell off the bandwagon.”

“I failed.”

Or the most gut wrenching of all… “I suck.”

The problem I have with these ever shaming taglines to mistakes is that they mark what should be a moment in time, a permanent failure. There is no Trope or Hat Tip to the honorable grit of dusting yourself off and picking back up again.

“I suck. I can’t.” That’s it. Aside from the damaging effects of shame and personal condemnation, phrases like this don’t solve anything. They create no movement, and allow for no growth.

What if, instead, we take a more global look at the why of it all? Or to put it a nerdier way: Turn Bad Days into Good Data.

Resolved to attend an after work HIIT class 3x a week, but just haven’t made it happen? What’s the good data that comes from a moment of not following through? Now we have questions and solutions. And yes, this comes with personal responsibility for not taking failure as an option.

Forgetting your change of clothes? Pack your bag the night before.

Always run down by 5:00? Grab a high fat, high protein snack for a 3:00 pick me up.

Can’t make it on time? Is there another gym or another time that doesn’t conflict as much?

Don’t want to go when it’s time? Change trajectory, maybe HIIT isn’t for you, but Pilates is!

Your back hurts and you feel you can’t keep up? Your body is telling you, you need support. Call for backup (ie. your Chiropractor, Personal Trainer, PT, or massage therapist)!

When we take time to ask questions and see every missed opportunity as a way to learn, we can slowly but surely move the needle on our health. This turns large rocks into manageable pieces, and those manageable pieces are transformed into the habits and values you can embrace.

“I tried!”

“I can!”

“I did!”

Don’t settle for all or nothing in your health. Stay curious and observe what’s making your choices difficult. Love yourself enough to know you can grow beyond these difficulties if you give yourself the right tools, support, and a little grace.

Always in Service,

Dr. Carly

Welcome 2019!

Welcome 2019!

As we cast our eyes to the new year and its seemingly endless possibilities, it is tradition to take a close look at what we would like to do differently. And so, we make those well intentioned resolutions.

The predominant trend I see comes from “all or nothing” thinking. If we resolve to change our workout routines, we must be at the gym daily or not bother at all. Diet changes demand complete abolition of sugars or taking down a master cleanse. Without these heroic commitments, why bother?

I am not spoiling any surprises when I acknowledge that these approaches ultimately leave us right back where we started with a goal unrealized. We can chalk it up to a lack of resolve or will power. However, maybe, it’s not how we were meant to change in the first place.

One of my favorite health concepts is called “hormetic stress.” You can think of it as cellular Darwinism: Just enough stress and environmental change creates sustainable movement towards your goals. Too much and your system is out of its depth and becomes reactionary and breaks down.

Depending on your current state of health, this looks different for everyone. That 30 day cleanse may be just right for a healthy athlete who regularly monitors their food intake. However, for a working parent who just got through the holidays and a particularly nasty cold season, that would very likely be too much. The fatigue and energetic break down of not giving your body the fuel it needs would (hopefully) cause you to abandon ship long before Feb 1st.

So what are our choices?

Like any journey towards a looming goal, we begin with the first steps. Resolve to begin with just one thing.

Too much snacking? Reduce the hours in which you eat to a 10-12 hour window (a concept called Intermittent Fasting).

Too much sugar? Start by removing one category of sweet stuff (sodas, cookies/treats, etc).

Not enough movement? Start with a commitment to 2-3 workout movement sessions a week.

Most importantly, resolve that this is not a static process. We do not arrive at February 1 10 lbs lighter or suddenly able to do 10 pull ups when previously we could do none.

Resolve, that when the healthy, sustainable stress of hitting the trail for 3, 10 minute runs a week becomes not stressful at all, you will increase the time, frequency or intensity. You will recalibrate and find that sweet spot of hormetic stress that propels you forward.

This recalibration towards ever increasing challenge is your pathway to sustainable change. Take on your challenges of 2019 one bite at a time, and may you arrive in 2020 successful in all your endeavors.  

Always in Service,

Dr. Carly