Change can be difficult so hang in there - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Change can be difficult so hang in there

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Posted: Thursday, December 9, 2010 8:00 pm

For anyone out there trying to make a change and feeling frustrated this one's for you.

You've taken on some new health goals. Maybe you're trying to eat better, maybe you're trying to do a push-up, jog for the first time, or maybe you're giving up smoking. Whatever the change, it can be hard - sometimes infuriating.

You are doing all the right things (maybe you stumble now and again) but the scale isn't moving or you're still wheezing during the least amount of activity. That alone leaves you feeling somewhat frustrated, but then you make the mistake of looking at the guy next to you and he's cruising along easy as you please. That comparison puts you over the edge. You're ready to throw in the towel.

What should you do?

I say give yourself a break. If you are honestly doing everything you need to be doing, then take a deep breath and be patient. Your body (brain included) needs time to adjust to the changes. It won't respond like flipping a light switch, but more like spooling up a jet engine - the response lags a little.

Think about it like this: If you got a big promotion and had to move to a new town, it would take you time to learn your way around. You'd get lost trying to find the grocery store. You'd get honked at for taking too long at an intersection. You'd choose routes that are longer than they need to be and probably be late to work a couple of times. You wouldn't get frustrated and quit that great new job, move back to your old town and go back to that lower paying job. You'd know that learning your way around is just part of getting used to a new town and it takes time, right?

The same goes for changes like eating patterns and exercise. There's probably a better technique for your jogging or a better way to spend your "fewer calories." That's OK. Over time, you get the hang of it all and so does your brain. Eventually, it all starts to feel like you've "lived there" for decades. You learn your way around.

So don't get mad and quit your new food/exercise program or your old life will be waiting for you. Relax, and keep pushing forward. Your body will respond.

NSCA certified personal trainer Shannon Sorrels holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry and an MBA. Her company, Physix LLC, works with Valley individuals as well as groups to improve their overall fitness. Reach her at (480) 528-5660 or visit

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