This morning on my beach run, I was contemplating the notion of easing in. I think I might be learning something here…finally. An example of not easing in is you make a commitment to workout 5 times a week for an hour when you haven’t been working out at all. Why? Because that’s what you think you should be doing to reach your health goals. When the next week comes you either didn’t keep the commitment or you are totally exhausted from keeping it.
Very few of us give ourselves permission to start slow, take our time, or ease in. I’ve watched this over and over again in so many different forms in my groups and I recognize it in myself so I decided to do a little experiment. I had been thinking about doing a cleanse and since I did a very challenging one last year that meant quitting all my vices (alcohol, sugar, caffeine, dairy, gluten, meat, and more) cold turkey for 3 weeks I thought what if I cut them out slowly one at a time? Would I get the same results – fantastic energy, great skin, and drop a couple pounds? So I decided to ease in. Every week I’ve been taking one thing out of my diet, first it was alcohol, then sugar, then coffee.
On my run I couldn’t believe my energy. I actually felt so good I wanted to keep running. That’s not normal, usually I have to push myself to finish. That brought me to thinking about the benefits of easing in.
1) You can take as much time as it takes without feeling like you are falling behind.
2) You don’t have as much resistance because you are doing things that are manageable.
3) You build momentum so each step becomes less of a challenge.
4) You are more likely to stick with it because it’s not a drastic change, you’ve folded the changes into your life slowly.
5) You stay present because you are adjusting and seeing how you feel as you go.
I’ve noticed, for me easing in doesn’t mean there aren’t setbacks but they aren’t devastating because I’m not being so hard on myself. Plus, I have a support system to help me stay the course. For instance, the first week I gave up sugar I realized I was consuming sugar without realizing it, like who knew sugar was hiding in organic chicken stock? That might have discouraged me, but since I got to check in with my accountability group, reset, and commit again, I was able to start another week with a clean slate, feeling positive, and re-energized.
Think about it. Where do you have super high expectations of yourself? So high, that it’s making getting there not fun, even something you dread. Now think of the easiest step you can take that would get you a little bit closer and do it. Ease in.
Spring Session 2014 is Coming Up!
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