A few weeks ago, John and I went on a beautiful Fall hike for our Friday night date. As we hiked and climbed around, I thought a lot about our fitness journey and a few things I felt I needed to share. No, I do not have any professional credentials, training, or health/fitness degrees. However, I am a mother of five children and have recently lost every last pound of “pregnancy” weight (73 pounds to be exact!) all on my own, WITHOUT stepping foot in a gym. (Okay, except when traveling!)
1: COMMIT TO ONE YEAR
I had made a firm commitment to myself. I decided I was going to give this my all for ONE year. I promised myself that for one full year I would try my best. For one year I would workout hard and eat as healthy as possible. At the end of that year I could decide if it was worth it or not…if I would continue with healthy eating and exercising or just stop worrying about my body and enjoy life. One year. For 12 short months of your entire life, you are going to be committed to doing the best you can for your body. No matter what.
HERE’S THE DEAL! Yes, in the beginning you will hate it! You’ll hate it all, especially if you are new to exercising or dieting. It sucks. Change is hard. You’ll screw up. A lot. You may even puke and cry and feel very angry…but you’re not giving up…not for a year. And guess what? One day, long before you hit that year mark, you’ll realize you kinda don’t hate it as much as before. One day you’ll realize you feel really good. Like SO good. Strong, inside and out. One day, after lots of hard days, you will realize you kinda love it. And now, you’ve changed your life.
COMMIT. Commit to a year and see what happens.
2: TAKE BABY STEPS
Typically, we decide we need to lose weight, and in order to do so we must: drastically cut calories, give up soda, give up sugar, throw away everything in our pantry, stop eating bread, stop eating cheese, pasta, red meat, oh and exercise our hearts out every. single. day. Who could ever possibly do that?
I decided to pick ONE thing to change at a time. ONE single thing I could do to improve my health. I started with water. I made a goal to drink 12 cups of water per day. I told myself that once I was able to do that for 7 straight days, I would add a new goal. It took me close to a month to be able to meet my water goal and really feel like it was a habit and part of my everyday life. Then I made a new goal.
Bursts of leaps and bounds are great for short term success, but rarely last. Baby steps make for lifelong results. Don’t believe me? Just ask the tortoise 😉
3: PLAN AND PREPARE
Buy yourself some cute new workout clothes. It’s your uniform. Each night lay out your uniform, your socks, shoes, headphones, water bottle, everything you need. Plan your meals. Plan your snacks. Plan everything WAY ahead of time. Plan what you’re going to do when someone gives you a hard time about not eating birthday cake…or what you are going to eat/drink at the an upcoming event. Think, plan, and prepare. If you don’t, you’re planning to fail before you even tried. Prepare and plan for success.
4: DO YOU
Do what YOU like and enjoy. If you have an awesome app or workout video you feel good about, go for it. Try new things, experiment and find a few types of cardio exercises you
like can tolerate. Most likely, what you enjoy isn’t going to be what’s trendy at the moment, or what your best friend loves, or your favorite fitness blogger…find what YOU enjoy can tolerate. And yes, you need to incorporate both cardio and resistance training!
5: PUSH YOURSELF
6: FIND A FRIEND
Of course, it makes it so much easier if your partner, the person you live with, is making the same changes you are striving to bring about. However, I know that is not always the case. Find anyone you can to listen, uplift, and support you. Look for an online group if you need to…or you can always email me! And I’m completely serious.
7: GOOD VIBES ONLY
We are human, we all make mistakes. Why in the world would we continue to punish ourselves by thinking and replaying over and over what we did wrong. I often eat emotionally and there are plenty of times when I “fall off the wagon”. Instead of thinking of what a sloppy pig loser I am (sorry, inside joke) and how I just can’t do it, I focus on ALL THE GOOD I’ve done. I think about the progress I’ve made, how hard I worked out that week, or that day, or how my pants are kinda loose…I think about the good I’ve done, and I forgive myself right away for anything I’m not thrilled with.
Don’t dwell on anything negative. Tell yourself over and over every single day that you can do it, that you are strong, that you are worth it and amazing and just awesome. I know it might sound a bit silly, but I promise you, it helps tremendously.
Be your own biggest cheerleader.
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*My absolute favorite leggings I’ve ever worn, super soft, not too thin, and on major sale: HERE