People tell me all the time how much they envy my discipline, particularly in relation to my diet and exercise. As much as I love basking in the praise, I always have the urge to stop and tell them exactly how wrong they have it. I am successful with my diet and training because I anticipate that I will be lazy, and I work with that instead of fighting it. The secret is to make it as easy as possible. Here’s how.
- I make all my food ahead of time. This means I spend less time cooking, and it means I won’t be hungry. I make sure I have enough for meals and snacks. You will not succeed with your diet if you are hungry, because you’ll start craving junk food. I took this a step further and bought a lot of tupperware, so now I don’t even have to dish up the food. Just microwave and eat.
- I don’t buy junk food. If you don’t buy it, you only have to be disciplined for the twenty minutes you are in the grocery store instead of being disciplined every time you are in your house. If you have leftover junk food after your cheat day, throw it out instead of saving it for the next cheat day. I tend to eat out for my cheat foods (unless it’s gummy worms, in which case I just eat the whole package. Yum.)
- Find a studio that charges you for missed classes. Mine charges $10 per missed class, so I make damn sure I show up.
- Do stuff with people. I partner stretch with Harper. I have to be there because she’s counting on me. You can do this with all sorts of life things too- I also have an editing buddy so that I actually have to write. Use your imagination. Accountability does wonders.
- Set out your workout clothes the night before. I am so much more likely to run in the morning if everything is already out. Not sure why this makes a difference since it only takes a minute to fish out the correct clothing, but it works.
- Develop a reputation for being disciplined about diet and training. Then you’ll feel really awkward about cheating or slacking off in your conditioning classes. At least it’s working that way for me- thanks friends!
- Find your favorite easy to make snacks- mine include peanut butter with apple, salami with olives, and almonds with Craisins. Before I nixed cheese, cheese and salami was a favorite. Always have one or two of your favorites on hand, so you have something to eat if you’re hungry and don’t have time to prep food.
- Don’t add restrictions to your diet if it’s going to be a pain in the ass. There are several diet ideas that might be helpful for training, but I won’t make changes unless I’m sure I can keep them. Part of that is making sure that your diet is convenient. You should consider how easy it is to prepare the food, how easy it is to find those foods when you eat out, how much you eat at other people’s houses, and how much money you’re willing to drop on your grocery bill. Is your diet going to cause you headaches? Start somewhere easier. You can always add more restrictions later.
- Add cheat days! I started with one cheat day a month. As my diet has become stricter, I’ve added more. I now have one cheat day per week. I do not recommend cheat days more frequently than once a week. Use your cheat days intelligently- on days when it will be harder to follow your diet because you are travelling or going to pizza parties or doing any of that other social stuff that makes life fun. Alternatively, aim to eat healthy 80 percent of the time. (Read more on this awesome blog)
10. Make a routine. Drinking water, making a healthy breakfast, and doing headstands are all things I don’t even think about anymore in the morning. I’m done before I’m fully awake.