Happy #transformationtuesday! I am not someone who has a dramatic weight loss story. To be completely honest, I’ve never been in a situation where I had a significant amount of weight I needed to lose. But I have started, stopped and restarted my fitness journey at several points of my life. I’m sure this is something most of you reading can relate to.
I have tried different things, gotten bored and then given up. I have also set unrealistic expectations for myself and then quickly been disappointed when things didn’t happen the way I wanted them to. It wasn’t until this past October that I really decided to go all in and commit to this as a way of life. Last year was a year of growth and change in all aspects of my life and fitness was unfortunately placed on the back burner for a little while. I was going to the gym and getting nowhere. I didn’t want to admit that I was the problem.
It wasn’t until I realized that to be better at anything we must dedicate time, set goals and measure our progress that I really started to see a change.
I’ve said it before but progress takes time. Expecting to undo years of damage in a week is totally unrealistic. You also have to accept the process and the changes that come alone with it. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
How to Get Started on Your Fitness Journey
- Ask yourself why you want this? Is the answer to look better? Is it for revenge? Or is it to feel better and be healthier? If you’re trying to get fit for any reason other than improving your self image and health you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.
- Set a goal for yourself. By this I don’t mean say to yourself “I need to lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks” and then beat yourself up if that doesn’t happen. What is the ultimate goal? Break that into measurable increments and just go for it. If your goal is to lose 10 pounds, start thinking of little lifestyle tweaks you can make like increasing activity or cutting portion sizes and eating more natural foods.
- Measure yourself. There are SO many factors out there that influence your weight including how much you’ve had to eat or drink, that time of the month for ladies, etc. The scale is an o.k. tool to use once in a while but measurements are where you will really be able to track progress. You could in fact add body weight while decreasing body size through building muscle and losing fat with an exercise program.
- Seek “healthier” alternatives. Diet is where most of us fall short. Food is simply amazing so sometimes it is really hard to stay on track. I get it. You’re busy, I’m busy, sometimes there really just isn’t time to cook. You can always make the best of your situation though. If you must grab fast food pick a burrito bowl at chipotle with extra veggies over anything at McDonalds. Note** sugar free, fat free, gluten free – doesn’t always mean healthier either. Read the labels, check the macros and do your best to make an educated decision about what you put into your body.
- Believe in yourself. Nothing worth having comes easy or free, period. It will be hard, there will be days when you’ll feel like quitting but you must keep going. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or ask questions either. A lot of people feel intimidated when they first start working out in a gym. I understand, I also used to be one of those people. I promise you though, the other people working out are not sitting there laughing at you or judging you and if they are they’re jerks anyway. For the most part, no one is paying attention. I will also admit, there have been times I didn’t know what my trainer was talking about and had to google how to do a certain exercise. There is no shame in that, you definitely don’t want to hurt yourself.
- Change things up. Let’s face it, doing the same thing day after day, week after week get’s pretty boring. When it comes to exercise, your body also becomes accustomed to the movements you are asking it to do. Therefore, you are going to be burning less calories putting in the same effort. This is where working with a trainer and/or finding new classes or activities can really benefit you.
- Be honest with yourself. We’ve all said at one point or another “I’m doing everything I can but I’m just not losing weight”. The hard truth behind that statement is that we are doing everything we want to do towards achieving that goal. Most of the time it is diet related. Are your “cheat meals” an entire large pizza, bottle of wine and an ice-cream sundae? I think we just discovered the problem.
- Forgive yourself. We are humans, we make mistakes and no one is perfect. That doesn’t mean one mistake needs to derail us from our entire program. One cheat meal or cheat day isn’t going to ruin the month’s worth of work you’ve just put in. You need to just admit that you’ve made a mistake, learn from it and move on. Things will happen that are beyond our control but you have to be the best you can at staying on top of what you can control.
- Make time for yourself. In order to see success, you must dedicate time. I’m not saying you have to spend 2 hours at the gym but you do need to show up. Plan your workouts and time to prepare meals into your day and actually do it.
- Never settle. Once you hit your first few goals, don’t settle in and quit. The journey is never ending. Continue to grow, change and evolve into your best possible self each and every day.
Don’t wait for the “right time” to start improving your health and your life. The time is now. A year from now you’ll be happy you started today.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out! I’m happy to help.