Eating healthy & exercise?!? That sounds terribly difficult right? I’m not here to tell you that it’s easy, it’s going to take some dedication on your part. BUT once you get started and get into a routine, I promise it gets easier to stay on track. I often get asked how I stay motivated or have people tell me they wish they had my kind of motivation. Honestly, I’m just as weak and unmotivated as each of you, the key is I’ve set myself up to succeed with multiple fail safes.
What has been most effective on this journey?
Honestly there hasn’t been just one thing. There has been a lot of trial and error.
✨Failure is often the key to success. ~Ariana Huffington✨
We tend to not give ourselves the credit we deserve. Yes there are experts out there, people who are super fit and have 5% body fat, are masters at the pull up or have run a marathon in less time than it takes me to get ready for the day, but they aren’t you. I could give you my steps to success and tell you that’s what will work BUT that’s not true because we are all different. Just like I went through, you need to go through too, the trial and error. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn from people who are successful, it just means that you have to try things, figure out what works for you. We have to trust our mind and body to tell us what is or isn’t working. We have to trust that we are an expert when it comes to us! Trust I!
Don’t skip this step!
Time to evaluate. What have you done in the past and failed at?!?
What was it about that exercise or diet that didn’t work for you? Did you go all in with a commitment to 6 days at the gym and salads only? Did you decide to run on the treadmill and get bored? Did you try a dance class and realize you have two left feet? I give those examples because those are things I tried, and I had a REALLY hard time following through with. Take a minute and write down what you’ve done in the past and try to pinpoint what didn’t work but also what did work, start there. For instance, the treadmill for me used to be brutal. I learned that if I watched my favorite show while I ran the time seemed to fly by, I also learned that reading has been great for that too. While I still am not a big fan of the treadmill, I’ve figured out how to make it tolerable so that I can get that time in without a huge feeling of dread.
Below you will find some of the things that have helped me to be successful and to find the motivation to do what’s needed even when I just want to snuggle up on the couch with a blanket. Feel free to experiment with them, find your own way to tweak them and make it a working fit for you! Remember you are the only one who can decide what is going to work, you are in control of your destiny!
My Motivating Factors:
Belief In Self!
Confidence was an area I was super lacking when I first started, and I still struggle with it sometimes. I was nervous to use the machines at the gym because I was scared I was using them wrong. I was embarrassed to run on the treadmill because other people were way faster than I was. Remember every person in the gym started as a beginner too, not everyone there is an expert, even if they say they are! If you aren’t confident in yourself, I want to encourage you to dive into personal development. Read some books, listen to podcasts, watch videos, whatever you can make time for. (I recommend the podcast Operation Self Reset because he always has great tips on how to become a better version of you!) Continuing on with no belief in your ability can be detrimental.
✨Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.~Henry Ford✨
Invest in your mindset ♥
If it took 20 years for you to put on 50 lbs, be realistic in knowing that one week of exercise will not likely result in instant weight loss.* If you haven’t exercised for a year, take it slow and baby step your way up to longer workout routines. Failure happens, sick days happen, sometimes you have to stop, reevaluate and be okay with taking a little longer than you expect. Be flexible but not so flexible that you lose sight of the initial goal. Getting healthy is a journey and there will be ups and downs, don’t beat yourself up, learn from them.
*One small(it’s actually kinda big) thought, if you are seeing absolutely no change in a week, don’t beat yourself up. Our bodies are complex, they will retain water or swell because of a change in routine. Sore muscles can mean inflammation. It can take weeks for your body to adapt and not fight the new changes you are making in your lifestyle. If you are sure something isn’t right, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask me for help.
Talk About It
It’s a lot easier to give up on something if you’re the only one who knows you’re wanting to change. If you’ve decided to commit to following a program or have a specific meal plan, tell a friend. I say to share with a friend, someone you trust, because the world is full of criticism and not everyone you talk to is going to believe in what you are trying to change, not everyone is supportive. If you need someone to cheer you along with some positive inspiration, send me an e-mail! Just knowing I’ve committed to a program and told people about it helps me out, I don’t want to be called out for not completing it, I’m all about avoiding those awkward moments.
Choose to surround yourself with like minded or goal oriented people and they will likely help you stay motivated. Get a workout buddy, it’s hard to say no when your partner in crime is committed too! Also, something about spending the money to sign up for a class makes it hard to skip it. I’ve been in an accountability group for the last two years and seen friends, acquaintances and friends of friends busting out and reaching for their goals. That’s inspiring!
Make a Schedule
Life happens, that makes it easy to make excuses. I don’t have time is probably the biggest bologna excuse for not being able to exercise or eat healthy that I hear almost every day. How much time do you spend scrolling on Facebook? Instagram? Watching TV? I’d like to encourage you to track your time for a week and see how you can best utilize your time to work for you.
If you look at your day and see that you could wake up a half hour earlier to workout, figure that into your schedule. If you tend to eat out schedule in time to prep your lunches for the week. If you are like me and have a fairly flexible schedule and don’t have to work out at a specific time, maybe create yourself a workout calendar or follow the calendar for a program. There is something super gratifying about being able to check off boxes and be able to count down the days till you move on to something new!
It’s easy to have a piece of candy that’s in a bowl at your work. It’s easy to eat the brownie bite that was a cook mess up in the restaurant. It’s easy to grab a snack from the vending machine because you’re hungry and its going to take longer to get home than you realized. Those little things add up. I encourage you to log your food, it’s easy to say you eat healthy and miss those little things that can put you over the amount of calories your body actually needs. For instance, I started following a portion control meal plan last year and realized how out of balance my diet was because I started tracking it. I never thought of myself as having an issue with my carb intake, and boy was I wrong. It turns out I love me some carbs. I always associated carbs as bread and pasta, I wasn’t thinking about my oatmeal and rice.
There are plenty of online calorie calculators but I recommend the portion control meal plan that comes with the 21 Day Fix. It breaks foods into categories instead of counting calories. A typical day for me consists of 3 veggies, 2 fruits, 3 proteins, 2 carbs, etc. all in a portioned amount, that’s simple for me to follow. I’m all about simple!
Last but not least!
It should be reward enough knowing that you are loosing weight and treating your body like a temple… Lets be real though, it really isn’t when you are sweating and sore and missing out on your favorite chocolaty treats! Give yourself something to fun fight for. When I decided I needed to complete my nemesis program, I told myself I would earn a fancy new pair of running shoes with custom inserts to sweeten the deal. Your reward doesn’t have to be big but it should be something you want, something you would deny yourself on a regular day. Rewards can be as simple as a kid free night out with your other half, a piece of your favorite German chocolate cake, a new workout outfit, a Fitbit tracker, you have to decide what will work for you. I suggest rewards because if you put in the work, you’ve earned a reason to treat yourself!
You should be proud of your commitment. I suggest starting small, commit to 1 week of no sugar and reward yourself with a treat day, have dessert with your healthy meal on day 7. (Or don’t and change the reward, maybe after 7 days of no sugar you’ll realize how much better you feel!) The key is to celebrate all of the small victories.
Like I said before all of these tips are what have helped me to get on track with being healthier. Maybe you’ve found some tips that help you. I’d love to be able to try them or even share them so they can help someone else. Also, if you’ve tried any of my tips above I’d love to hear how they helped you!