“I’m going to start my diet tomorrow!”
“I’m going to just eat ___!”
“I’m going to work out every day!”
We all use the various phrases that seem to motivate us for a day or so but then there are no results or motivation to keep going. Then we are back sitting on the couch eating a burger, large fries, and a shake. So how can we get to the healthy life-style we all claim to want? Well isn’t that the MILLION DOLLAR question?
Everyone is eager and is constantly on the search for the quick and easy route. Abs in 6 minutes, lose 6 inches in a month, eat this for 10 lbs. off in a month, etc. So now time to get real. Anything you really and truly want will not be easily attained. If it were that easy, not only would everyone achieve it or obtain it, but you probably wouldn’t want it anymore. Funny thing we humans are…always wanting what we can’t have… Well there is good news! Something such as fitness IS generally controllable in most cases and the only things needed are perseverance and ambition! Am I writing to you from the gym with my 10 pack abs? Absolutely not, like you I too struggle to keep my fitness goals so I have put in the time to research the ways that the experts have achieved the body they desired in order to bring you guys (AND MYSELF) some motivation and tips.
First the motivation part:
Yes you can do it! Sometimes we can overwhelm ourselves with unrealistic, unmeasurable goals that we aren’t able to stay focused to achieve or can’t see the progress without any units of measurements. We can fix this by breaking down your larger goal into a bunch of smaller goals.
Example: What goals would we set to obtain weight loss?
- Work out 3 times a week
- Lose 2 lbs. a week
- Eat 1000 calories a day
- Eat 3 servings of fruit or vegetables a day
- Drink 8 glasses of water a day
By setting the smaller goals, you can manage on a daily or weekly schedule the ways you can work your way to achieving your large goal of “weight lose” or “fit body”. Again if this was that easy, a caveman or any man would do it. So in order to keep your motivation up, get organized! Get a planner and start writing down these goals, put the goal up as your phone screen background, write little post it notes and put them where you will be reminded of them! Then these days there are so many apps that are out there to help you, so seriously the resources are abundant. Bottom of the line, you—no, WE can do it!
Second, now obviously the food thing is critical. By just cutting down your eating portions, in most cases, can make a world of difference. Have you seen the serving sizes lately?!?!? The size of a super-sized meal has astronomically grown. Which brings me to my next point, be aware of what you put in your mouth. Ask yourself, “Is nutritional value in what I’m consuming?” One app I found eye-opening was the “Lose It” app. It takes your goals of what you weight now and gives you the caloric count to achieve not only where you want to end, but it also takes in account the time you want to get there. After inputting your current weight, desired weight and desired time you want to achieve this in, it will give you a daily allowance of calories. I was only given about 1000. Does this mean I starve? No. You also have to input your daily physical activity. So you were on the elliptical for an hour and burned 200 calories which gives you more room to replenish your body with food. Then if you don’t know how many calories the food is or how much energy you burned, you can look it up right there on the app! Random fact I discovered, one pack of Poptarts is about 500 calories. I stopped buying Poptarts, which are mostly sugar anyways. Speaking of breakfast, it is THE most important meal of the day. Cliché but true. You eat a good nutritious breakfast not only will it give you the necessary energy to power your day but it will also keep you from binge-eating later. Also, regarding digestion, if you eat too late you won’t be able to properly digest before bedtime. Meal-prepping is also useful because you can measure out and create the meals in advance which helps so later that week you can just reheat your meals. I will advise that you give your meals some variety so you don’t tired of eating the same thing everyday! For those that aren’t that active, meal preps are super clutch! Not only are they easily prepared, they will keep you from choosing the more accessible junk foods when you don’t feel like cooking!
Last and not least. Our favorite . . . exercise. Now running is not for me. Nope. Not today, not tomorrow. However, I do need cardio. We all need cardio! So what do we do? ANYTHING. Anything high energy that you like to do! For me that would involve a hot, steamy yoga session or dance class . . . I’ve been eager to try kickboxing . . . I love playing team sports . . . etc. Find the activities that interests you so you can develop a workout schedule that you will not only enjoy but will give you variety!
Example: Peggy likes to swim, hike, run, pilates, and dance.
Marking down these in her planner will also make her accountable for her activities. Also, the variety will give her a workout of different muscles in different ways. She will stay engaged in her activities and more likely want to go do things she already loves to do. So get active and HAVE FUN!
Bottom Line is ACCOUNTABILITY. You have to be accountable for your own actions and the achievements/lack-there-of of your goals. No one is going to follow you around making sure you do what you have to . . . unless you pay them! Some ways to help are getting a personal trainer, finding workout buddies and providing the consequences or rewards in order for you to stay focused. Example: You make it to all of your scheduled workouts for the week, you give yourself a cheat small low-cal dessert at the end of the week, or you work out a half an hour longer every meal you cheated on that week. Etc. HOLD YOURSELF or your workout buddy ACCOUNTABLE in order to keep that motivation and sustain that drive for achievement!
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