Making changes

There’s a well known model, see the above pic, which sets out the route that people generally take when making changes. Although people tend to move back and forth among the stages, as we’ll see.

Have a look at it and see where you’re at with your health changes using our motto – Nourish • Move • Restore • Connect – so that’s eating, activity, sleep and relaxation, relationships and so on.

The stages are:

1. Pre-contemplation

Our members will have already passed this stage. This is when making a change isn’t even on someone’s mind. So it might be someone overweight who is just happy with that and is giving no thought to changing or doesn’t understand why change might be necessary.

2. Contemplation

You’ve likely been here already but could also come back to this point several times, or forever. It’s where you’re thinking about making a change but not taking any action.

3. Preparation

So this would be when you are ready to do something like joining the eatnaturally plan. You’ve contemplated and are ready to do something. You were preparing to change your eating and life. When you’re a member it could also be if you haven’t been following the plan and are preparing to follow it next week, getting prepared to make an important change.

4. Action

This is where it’s at!

This is you actually doing things that change your health and your life. Actually changing the way you eat, doing exercise and being more active, going to bed earlier, meditating and tackling stress, sharing time with friends and family. It feels good, it’s where the magic happens.

5. Maintenance

Now this is where some people start to falter. Maintenance is not sexy, it’s routine.

It’s when things become second nature, it’s practising those changes you made forever and feeling comfortable about it. It is the opposite of yo-yo’ing. It’s calm and continuous. It also feels good. Lots of fitnatters have reached this stage and stayed there and stayed with us too, for the learning we provide, the encouragement and support (through our private Facebook group) as well as the lovely food.

At the maintenance stage you can just go out of the circle and keep that up happily forever.

Or you might…

6. Relapse

Very common in diet and exercise world.

People make a great start but find it hard to maintain, they want to revert to their old habits because they feel comfy. It takes an average of five months for people to really start to show ingrained changes when they follow the eatnaturally plan but what happens sometimes is they start off well for about a month then it gradually starts to tail off and after that five months is up they stop.

They go back into pre-contemplation and that circle starts all over again, often for the rest of their lives. I see this with people starting on one of our bespoke plans – after a few weeks they’ll move to the eatnaturally plan, and then after a few more weeks I stop hearing from them altogether. They leave the plans and then I see them again in a year’s time, which I’m very happy to do but sad that the person may be in this cycle until the day they die.

It’s all about action and maintenance

What I really want for you and your health and happiness is action and maintenance and that’s why I try hard to help our members learn the whys and wherefores, so you’re more mentally signed up to the change.

People can resist lasting change because they feel it removes something they value. They might think changing the way they eat or sleep removes some of their freedoms but it’s actually very freeing because it widens people’s outlook, gives them new ways of living, eating and feeling and restores and protects health. I think nothing is more valuable than that.

Other people might embrace the change once they experience how good it makes them feel, there’s no going back, they value that feeling above the comfort of their old habits. They can also subconsciously resist because they don’t know who they’ll be if they adopt these new habits. They don’t now how to be that person. Sometimes they even feel they don’t deserve to be that person or that it puts pressure on them to be perfect (it really doesn’t), or they think they’ll lose their coping mechanisms such as eating when stressed.

It’s complicated!

Where are you at on the circle today?

Join the fitnaturally family today!

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