At the end of last year, I asked our fellow Cysters in the Cyster Talk Community, what their biggest struggle was when they tried to get healthy with PCOS.
I was expecting to answer questions like:
- How do you exercise to lose weight with PCOS?
- What should I eat?
- Should I eat dairy?
- What sweeteners should I use?
- Should I do cardio exercise?
I did get those + more like them flooding my email inbox. However, in the group, it was a little different story.
I just want to put a disclaimer out there for everyone who feels they are in the same boat…Are you struggling with the motivation to get started and stick with your plan? Maybe you get started, but have trouble keeping up the good work? Do you find yourself dreading that workout…you just don’t have the energy?
You are not alone!
Even the fittest people you see out there struggle with this.
So, are we just supposed to give up + face the fact that we won’t be able to beat this PCOS thing?
Instead of me just sitting here as I soak up the Arizona warm sunshine at this time of year + telling you that you MUST do this, this, and this in order to make your plan work, I decided to poll my coaching clients.
These are women just like you that struggled with PCOS.
In order to put the final pieces of the goal setting, action taking plan we have been talking about the last few weeks here on the blog, I wanted to know what they have done to boost their chances of success…besides having me breathe down their necks each week on our calls (just kidding…maybe). What good are all those goals, to-do lists, etc. if we can’t make a difference in our lives.
So, here is the final piece in this series: how to become your very own success story…
Here are 43 habits that I learned from talking to my clients…which ones can you start putting into practice today?
How to Start Getting Healthy Again
The following are the tips and strategies that our fellow Cysters reported helping them get started back on their healthy living plan, even when they were feeling at their worst with PCOS. The biggest thing they all said was to just force yourself to get started. It doesn’t have to be some huge plan, just do something. Get out there + make things happen!
They know what they want.
What are you really looking to achieve? Do you want to lose weight because you think you have to or because you want to? Why do want to change how you are currently eating, exercising, etc.?
They take 100% responsibility for their lives.
Your life is what you make of it. If you don’t like something about it, change up what you are currently doing. If you aren’t happy with your energy level, weight, or body, what do you need to do to get to where you want to be?
They revisit their pasts often.
It is important to remember where you started. If you fail to look at how far you have come, you are more likely to be discouraged, find excuses for starting back into a plan, or fail to follow through once you make a plan. Why have you failed in the past? What do you need to do differently this time?
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” -Earl Nightingale
They have stopped waiting for a miracle to happen.
There is no perfect time or place to make the road so much easier. You just have to work with what you have available to you now + make your goals happen. Everything will take work. Are you ready to put in what is needed? Your time is now!
They are realistic about the results that they want.
Losing 150 pounds in the next 6 months is not very practical. Think about the results you are looking at achieving. Are they realistic for where you are starting from? What will it take to get there?
They have created goals that will actually get them somewhere.
Don’t go for the easy goals that you know you can achieve + are already on your way to reaching. Go for something that will get you closer to your ultimate vision for your life. Putting in the work now will get you to place you never thought were possible.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you!”
They are pumped up by their goals.
Make sure those goals you created above mean something to you. Don’t just create healthy eating or exercise goals because you think you have to. Make it important. Think about how far you have come already! You can do this!
Learn to eat the frog + create to-do lists that work.
In my article last week I talked about eating the frog. If you need a refresher, you can visit that article by clicking here: The PCOS Push: How to Finally Conquer your PCOS Goals in as little as 10 minutes per Day! Creating to-do lists can be very powerful to reaching your goals. The problem most have is they cross off the easy tasks rather than conquering the hardest (eating the frog) first. Try tackling the hardest tasks before the easier ones + see how much more productive you are during the week.
They craft a weekly plan EVERY week.
At the same time and in the same place (I keep mine on my smart phone’s note taking app), create your plan for what you need to get done during the week. By making it a habit to sit down and hash this plan out along with your frog eating to-do lists, you will be amazed at how fast you can reach your goals.
They follow the KISS principle: Keep it simple sweetie.
Don’t make your plan to conquer your PCOS complicated. It should be set up that you can meet all your goals without overwhelming yourself. If it is too complicated, you will get burned out…not to mention start to hate your plan. Keep it simple Cyster + make it doable!
They know their priorities.
What are your current priorities in life? Your hubby, family, work, faith? Take some time to figure them out. Now, don’t you devote the most time to what you deem the most important? If you don’t put your health as a priority, you will always find something more important to fill that time.
They can bust through any challenges.
Set yourself up for success by anticipating challenges that might come up preventing you from carrying out your healthy lifestyle habits. By planning ahead of time, you are more likely to make it through the challenges unscathed + still on track to reaching your goals. For example, you know that there are treats every afternoon at your work meeting. Plan ahead of time to bring in your own snack or eat right before hand so you aren’t hungry + more likely to give into temptations. This step is HUGE in overcoming obstacles.
They just start doing something!
Stop planning. Wow. I can’t believe I just said that…I am queen of planners, goal setting, to-do lists, etc. I mean it though. It’s time to put the planner down + actually take action. What is the difference from those who know what to do + those who actually do it? The ACTION step. Just get started doing something. Take one step today.
Putting Habits into Action
- I am going to achieve:
- Last time, I failed on my plan because:
- This time, I am going to do this instead:
- I am excited about my goals because:
- I want to include these things on my weekly plan every week:
- I will use this to record my weekly goals + to-do list:
- My priorities in life are:
- One obstacle I face + my plan to bust through this challenge is:
- The action step I am going to take today is:
How to Boost Motivation + Keep up the Momentum
Okay. We can’t end there. What have the Cysters who have been successful before us done that has helped them stay motivated + keep up the momentum on their new healthy lifestyles? I asked…they answered 🙂
They start attacking PCOS with 1 small thing at a time.
When you create a plan that changes everything about your current lifestyle, no matter how amazing the plan is, you will face many obstacles + your chances of success are pretty poor. Those who are most successful, change little things + continue to work toward their goals one step at a time. You know what? They all of a sudden take a breath, look around, and are amazed at where they have landed. Are you trying to bite off more than you can chew?
They weren’t afraid to try something new.
You don’t know if an awesome new recipe or workout is just around the corner. For years I resisted joining a class at the gym. I was so afraid I would look funny trying to keep up. One day a friend challenged me…how can you back down to a double dog dare? You know what I found out? I absolutely loved the Turbokick and Piyo classes. I found my soul-mate workouts. What are you missing out on? Is there something you can try that you might just find you LOVE?
They set up a successful environment.
Get everything you need around you to help you be successful. Do you need new running shoes, workout clothes, kitchen blender, or a new water bottle? What can you change about your environment that will set you up for success? What can you change that will make it easier for you to carry through with your weekly plan? When it is easy to be healthy, you are more likely to actually DO IT!
They cleaned out their kitchen.
Go through your fridge and pantry. Get rid of any food that doesn’t align with your healthy eating guidelines. (Need those PCOS guidelines again? Get my PCOS Diet Cheat Sheet here) When you stock your house with food that meets with your new lifestyle, you are less likely to find yourself mindlessly snacking when bored/tired/stressed. What healthy snacks can you prepare to replace the unhealthy options to help you out of any munchies you get?
They used a weekly menu plan religiously.
When you plan out your meals beforehand + stock all the ingredients that you need, you run out of excuses to going the easy route of ordering something fast. Set yourself up for success by having a plan + everything you need to make it easier on you to stick to your healthy eating plan.
They learned how to grocery shop with PCOS.
Do some research. Learn about what foods are best for you to eat when you have PCOS. Learn to read nutritional labels so you know if a food has something that really should not be classified as food. Remember, we should be eating mainly whole foods + cutting down on anything processed. Do you know what is in your food? Should you eat that or is there a better option out there?
They used their local Farmer’s Markets.
Shopping at your local farmer’s markets will get you pumped up for a healthy lifestyle. I LOVE checking out all the fresh produce out there. It is one of the biggest things that can motivate me to actually reach for a piece of fruit rather than those chips (I have a weakness for BBQ chips). When I see all those colors on the fruits and veggies, I want to be a healthier version of myself. They just look more yummy than a box in a grocery store. What would appeal to you visually?
They used a big water bottle + take a sharpie to it.
So this is an idea I first found on Pinterest + got a few coaching clients hooked on. We all went out and bought a fun water bottle (it is wayyy more fun to drink out of a pretty one rather than plan….don’t you think?). We then marked on there with a sharpie where we should be throughout the day. If we are to drink 64 oz spread over the day, I put a line at 16 oz + wrote 9am next to it. It was a 32oz water bottle so I also wrote 3pm on the other side of the line. I put a line at the 32oz mark and wrote both 12pm and 6pm next to it. I also filled in a spot for 1030am, 130pm, 430pm. This has been a huge way for me to keep up with my daily water intake. What can you do to help you drink more water + less soda?
They use an activity tracker.
Before I got my activity tracker, I thought I was very active. Apparently being considered very active, you need about 12,000 steps per day. Shocker when I was barely hitting 7,000. This has caused me to move more during the day. I am hooked on my FitBit. There is nothing more motivating than competing with your friends about how many steps you can get in a day or week. I have challenges going all the time with my friends and clients. Do you have a FitBit + want to join me? Contact me here I’ll compete with you!
They created a motivating playlist.
Music has been shown to be directly tied to your mood. If you want to motivate yourself to get moving or actually complete that workout, make it more fun. Pump yourself up. Create a playlist for your workouts. Much better!
They joined a group fitness class.
When I joined a group fitness class, I felt like I was required to go. I signed up for it. I was locked into it. Backing out was just going to waste my money. I made the commitment.
They decided to take a challenge.
Pinterest is full of different challenges you can take. Do you want to commit to a 7 day or 30 day challenge? Do you want to do a food challenge? What type of fitness challenge would be fun? The possibilities are endless. One way to get started is to type in “fitness challenge” and see what comes up. Can you complete a challenge?
They picked out a workout program.
Stop trying to just wing it, especially at the gym. I see too many ladies just come into the gym, hop on the treadmill or elliptical for awhile and then complete their workout with a few random weight machines. If you want to start seeing results, you have got to understand what you need to do! Go in with a plan. Find a workout program that sounds like it will get you to your goals. Hire a personal trainer to help you figure out what you need to to. Just don’t wing it. Please. Thank you. If you still aren’t sure about what type of exercise you need with PCOS, grab my exercise cheat sheet here.
They made sure they had all the equipment.
When you do decide on a workout program, make sure you have all the equipment easily accessible before you start. Do not let this be an excuse to not get started. This will be a huge momentum killer.
They tried my 5 minute workout rule.
Don’t feel like working out? No one ever feels like working out 100% of the time. That’s why I love this 5 minute workout rule. Get yourself dressed and ready to workout. Start your workout. Actually put in the effort. Once you reach 5 minutes, if you still don’t feel like it then quit. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Go about it longer next time. I have only once ever quit after that 5 minutes. Once I get started + those endorphins start pumping, I am hooked.
“I regret that workout. -said no one ever!”
They determined their Fit-Style.
A fit-style is the way you like to live your active life. Do you prefer running or hiking over hitting up the gym? Are you up for a Zumba class or would you rather try out those yoga classes? There is something out there for everyone. There are hundreds of different type of workouts out there. Find your soul-mate workout. How do you know if it is your soul-mate workout? It makes you feel strong, confident, fit, + utterly amazing! Plus you have fun doing it!
I have found my soul-mate workout. Talk about feeling strong, fit, and utterly amazing! What’s urs?
Putting Habits into Action
- One thing I can do today to help me reach my goals is:
- The equipment that I need to implement my plan is:
- My favorite songs to get me pumped up are:
- I can try this food or fitness challenge:
- My fit-style is:
- I will try the 5 minute workout rule today.
How to Stick with Your Plan Long Term
The last order of business for this article is about how those successful Cysters have kept up the good work + made it to their goals. What keep them going? Why are they able to do it?
They kept a food journal.
Writing down what you eat gives you a HUGE advantage over those who are just following diet advice. You can know exactly how you are doing + keep track of any gains/losses. There is no hiding that bite of brownie I had because it MUST go in the food journal. Researches have found that even dieticians (whose job is creating food plans) can underestimate the amount of calories they are eating by as much as 200 calories per day. Whoa! That can add up to over 20 pounds gained in a year. When you record, you can better account for what you are eating.
They downloaded a tracker app.
The FitBit is a great choice I am a little biased. When you are able to track both diet and exercise, you can better see the whole picture of how you are doing. Many apps out there even help you track your weight loss progress. With thousands out there, I just recommend you find an app that appeals to your goals.
They tweeted their progress.
Does anyone use twitter anymore? By sharing your progress on social media, you would be surprised at how much support, encouragement, and motivation you will have from those around you. The social media world, whether you use twitter, facebook, or instagram are very supportive of health transformations. This is also one of the top ways to keep you accountable. You, my dear Cyster, just made your goal to get health public! Talk about accountability!
They picked a motivating reward.
Try to stay away from food rewards. New clothes, book, electronic, or massage are options that have worked for others. What would motivate you to reach your goals this week? What if you could purchase that new shirt if you met your goals this week? Think about how you can reward yourself for a job well done.
They enlisted the help of a friend.
Whether you decide to use this friend as someone to hold you accountable by scheduling check ins on a regular basis or seeing if they would be a workout buddy, having someone to go on this road with makes it more fun + easier to stick with it. You don’t want to let your friend down by skipping out on a workout you had scheduled. Weekly meal preps are fun when you can get together with some friends + all work on them together!
They found an online diet/fitness support group.
This goes along with all those others about accountability. The more ways you are held accountable, the more likely you are to succeed. Joining an online support group like Cyster Talk, will help you feel encouraged, motivated, and you might just have some fun along the journey. I dare you to have some fun!
They joined the Confidence Club.
This one might be a little hard to swallow. Some of my successful clients had to face how they felt about themselves. How do you feel about your body? It is time to build your confidence. It is time you start seeing everything positive you have going for you. You might not be at the weight or femininity you desire, but look at the good your body does for you every day. It allows you to live through this life + be active + do what you want. When you start thinking about yourself in a positive way, you are more likely to KNOW you deserve to treat your body the BEST you can which involves eating healthier + working out on a regular basis. How can you do better for your body? Be confident. You deserve to be healthy, fit, + LOVING your body again.
“Stay strong because you are worth it Cyster!”
They have learned to LOVE it all.
This doesn’t mean you have to love doing burpees every workout. What I mean by this is Cysters who have been successful have found what they enjoy. They have found eating guidelines that work with their lifestyle without sacrificing what they love but allowing them to be the healthiest versions of themselves. They have found their soul mate workouts so exercise has been something empowering instead of “hard work”. They are thriving in a healthy lifestyle because they LOVE the healthy changes they made + feel better about themselves. They have seen results because they skipped fad diets, strict diets, grueling workouts + found something they can enjoy for life.
They use bumpers.
Think about those bumpers you can put in the gutters when you go bowling. They stop the ball from going in the gutter, giving the bowler a fighting chance of actually hitting some pins down. When you start your healthy living plan, figure out what bumpers you need. What are some things you can set up before hand to help you bump back on the straight and narrow? What will you do if you feel too tired to workout? What will you do if you don’t have time to cook a full meal that you had planned? What will you do if you planned to go running but it is raining outside? Think about all the what ifs + what you can do to make sure life doesn’t get in the way of your goals. Make it easy to stay in the middle of the lane + hit those pins at the end.
They have decided failure is NOT an option.
No matter what life has thrown at you, decide right now that nothing will get in the way of you reaching your goals. Success is 90% mindset. It rests on what you DECIDE. Are you going to do this or not?
“It may be a slow process, but don’t make it slower by quitting”
They recognize that slip ups happen.
Just because you blew that diet yesterday and were unable to workout the day before, does not mean you have failed. Slip ups happen. What separates those who are successful from those who fall back into old patters is what they do afterwards. Don’t let slip ups derail your plan. Just get right back on the wagon today. It is NEVER all or nothing. Make better choices today than you did yesterday.
They just keep on going.
Don’t give up. What’s your next step? Just do it. Okay…great! Now what is your next step? Just do it. Perfect! Just keep plugging away at it. If you eat that frog on your to-do list, you will have the ability to stick with it.
They find a mantra like Dorey.
Think about that movie Finding Nemo. I LOVE Dorey. She came up with a mantra that keeps her going: “Just keep swimming.” What is a mantra that you can use to keep you motivated to just sticking with your plan. Stick with it Cyster! You can do it!
They hire a coach!
I may be a little biased, but they all recommended hiring a coach. There is nothing more empowering than having someone to help light the path, keep you motivated, hold you accountable, + give you the tools + resources you need to FINALLY reach your goals. It’s time to have someone help you CONQUER PCOS once and for all. I would LOVE to help you become the next success story. I want to help any way possible.
Putting Habits into Action
- I will use the tracker app:
- I will tweet the progress I am making in my diet/workouts every (day/week).
- I will ask (friend’s name) if she/he will hold me accountable and do this new plan with me.
- My mantra to keep on going will be:
- The bumpers I am going to put in place are:
- The things I love + will put in my plan are:
- My reward for carrying through with my plan is:
- I will talk with Amber about working with her on reaching my goals this year.
One more thing, Cyster, YOU ARE PERFECT EXACTLY AS YOU ARE! I am so thankful for you Come say hi in the Cyster Talk Community!