Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.
Part 5 of the 6 part series of the Stages of Change sees us in the Maintenance stage. 6 months after last indulging in destructive behaviour the client has seen some amazing results and making healthy lifestyle choices comes, almost, naturally to them. This is the ideal stage of change; positive behaviour is, almost always, the norm and is being maintained and negative behaviour is being kept at bay. People in this stage fully intend to keep up their healthy lifestyle.
It is essential for people in this stage to work on themselves daily, some days even hourly, to prevent a Relapse back to one of the earlier stages.
I’ll deal with what I see as a Relapse in the case of someone who is/used to be clinically obese in the next blog but let me say for now; Having a pizza for dinner every now and again is NOT a relapse. I would never advocate a strict clean approach for most people, unless of course they are “all or nothing” kind of eaters but that really is rather rare.
As I’ve stated in one of the earlier blogs, you can use this change model for any area in which you display problematic behaviour; procrastination, dealing with stress, alcohol, drugs etc. but for the purpose of this series we’ll be focussing on lifestyle choices that lead to obesity and everything that comes with that.
Everybody does their maintenance stage differently but there are some similarities between all of those who are successfully maintaining their healthy lifestyle.
Some people like to start the day by taking 5-10 minutes to have a quiet meditation/prayer/moment of mindfullness to just calm everything down a bit and set themselves up properly for the day. Others might just go out for a 10 minute walk at the start of the day and remind themselves of how far they’ve come, plan their day in a positive way. One of my clients takes her 5 minutes with a cup of tea every morning and then throws her breakfast and lunch in her bag to take into work with her. Others do not take 5 minutes every morning, but most find it beneficial to at least have a point in the day where they can look at the things they are doing right and the things they can improve upon.
Walking the dogs works for me.
As a side note; I am a big fan of writing things down as the day progresses, everything you’re doing right and everything you can improve on, just so you can see for yourself what’s actually happening. The easiest thing for someone with problematic behaviour to do is to tell themselves that their behaviour is fine. Writing it down gives us a chance to see that we’re doing things that are actually not healthy or even unacceptable.
A lot of obese people I’ve dealt with like to train in the morning rather than the evening, it sets them up for the day. Getting into a positive “can do” frame of mind early on in the day really helps as you get that nice post-workout feeling.
Although someone in the maintenance stage has not displayed problematic behaviour for the past 6 months they still need to pin-point self-defeating behaviour and explore what goals they want to achieve. Goals in life should be constantly changing, there are many small goals you can focus on even when you have one overarching goal, and reflecting on your own behaviours, and the actions you need to take, is a daily ritual that many people would benefit from.
The final blog in this series, other than the occasional case-study that I might write about, will be up soon and it deals with the last “Stage” Relapse. This is one not everybody needs to go through but, realistically, a lot of people will.