Happy New Year!!!! If you're reading this post, most likely you have committed to some sort of fitness resolution. First of all...CONGRATULATIONS! Making a decision to take care of your health is a BIG DEAL. None of us is promised a certain amount of years, but by making your health a priority you are doing all that you can to extend your time here with your family and friends.
So here's the deal. I'm a fitness coach, but I'm also a real person who struggles with my food choices daily. It took me a long time to get down to my ideal weight, and while I'm still not exactly where I want to be, I've created a LIFESTYLE for myself where fitness is a focus. These are just my suggestions and things that I've learned from years of making resolutions that were thrown out the window before February 1st.
These are in no particular order. Each tip is just as important as the next.
1. BE REALISTIC with your goals. This is the advice I give to EVERYONE I coach. If you didn't put on the weight in a month, you won't take it off in a month. If you can't do a pull up right now, you're not going to be able to do one without putting in some time and effort. In today's world we are SO focused on instant gratification. There is no such thing when it comes to weight loss and fitness. You will have to work consistently for a good bit of time before you start to see those pounds come off or be able to do a push up not being on your knees.
2. BE RATIONAL in your approach. If you aren't exercising 6 days a week now, don't expect to be able to keep that pace starting now for the next however many weeks until you reach your goal. It's important to create a lifestyle that you can MAINTAIN. I believe that THIS is the reason that the gym will be packed every single day from now until about 1/18. Then by 2/1, you'll be able to hear a pin drop. People burn out by going TOO hard in the beginning and then either their body shuts down because it needs rest, or they get discouraged because they don't see the results for the effort that they're putting in, and after 3 weeks, they're dunzo. If you KNOW FOR SURE that you can commit to 3-4 days a week, every week, from now until NEXT January, make THAT your goal. In other words, don't blow your wad in these next 3 weeks and screw yourself for the rest of the year.
3. DO NOT FOCUS ON THE SCALE. For the love of God, people. PUHLEASE do not stress over the scale. Trust me, I KNOW how important it is to see that number go down. I was having serious knee pain and was DESPERATE to shed pounds, because I knew that for every pound I lost, I was taking 4 pounds of pressure off of my knees, but I had to be patient with myself. I knew that if I kept doing it right, I would lose POUNDS AND INCHES, and eventually I did! For reals, focus on how you FEEL for the first few weeks and I promise the rest will follow. They say it takes 4 weeks for you to start to notice the changes in your body, 8 weeks for your close friends and family, and 12 weeks for the WORLD to take notice.
4. USE TRUE MODERATION. Listen, your diet is THE MOST important part of your health and fitness journey. It accounts for 80% of your results. That's why people who go hard in the gym and still eat fast food every day will not lose weight and then wonder what the hell they are doing wrong. Just like being rational with your workouts, you need to be rational with your food choices. If you know it's not realistic for you to give up all of your favorite foods for the rest of your life, don't do it now. Allow yourself little treats along the way, or you'll end up eating clean for two weeks, being tempted with donuts, then say "fuck it, I never really wanted to get fit anyway" and give up altogether. The key is to start using TRUE moderation. Meaning, you eat real, whole foods for almost every single meal, every single day and ONCE a week, allowing yourself ONE indulgent meal. If you love pizza and cannot give it up, come up with a HEALTHIER way to get the same taste. Make yourself a whole wheat tortilla pizza in the oven with some sauce, veggies, and a LITTLE bit of cheese. There are TONS of recipes out there to modify your favorite tastes and make them healthier. What I'm trying to say here, is that you can't go cold turkey on your favorite foods, or this won't be something you ENJOY so it won't be something you can STICK with.
5. BE GENTLY FIRM with yourself. Listen, it's not going to be easy. It never is. Give yourself enough slack to bounce back from a slip up or a busy few days without a workout, but be hard enough on yourself to remember that reaching a goal takes commitment. You'll have ups and downs. You'll have screw ups. You'll have days where it feels like the universe is conspiring against you. You may get deathly ill on the 3rd day of your journey. You may have situation come up where you can't focus on planning healthy meals for a couple of days and just need to grab take out. DO NOT let it derail you. When you fall, chalk it up as a crappy day or two, and GET BACK UP. As long as you keep going, you WILL succeed.
6. GET SUPPORT. When you start to take care of yourself and go for your goals, you will have LOTS of people trying to drag you back down to their level. It's unfortunate, but it's true. When you start to really go for it, you'll get those people who have already convinced themselves that it's not possible to make those changes trying to keep you at their level. And that's ok. Not hating on them, they just aren't ready. But they DO NOT want to see you succeed, because you will be LIVING PROOF that it CAN be done. You may lose some fringe friends (the real ones will support you regardless of their shortcomings), and you've got to be ok with that. But you ALSO have to get some new ones. People who are FOCUSED on their goals, and who don't tell you "oh come on, you can have just one donut". I mean, you can, and you should every now and then, but that guy will tell you that EVERY SINGLE DAY if given the chance. Find a buddy who wants to get fit. If you don't have any support, you've got me. You can sign up for my free fitness coaching here.
So those are some of my top tips. There are so many more tidbits I could give you, but this will at least help you get started. I can leave you with this though. You should be proud of yourself for making a decision to live your healthiest life possible. It's not all about getting a 6 pack (unless that's your goal). It's about being able to run around with your kids in the yard. It's about not being embarrassed when walking up steps with a coworker and getting short of breath. It's about feeling confident in pictures. Whatever your "why" is for making this resolution, keep THAT in your head, all day, every day, and it will help you to make good decisions and stick with it for the long haul.
Hi! I'm Andrea Cummings. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle that I can MAINTAIN and that still lets me feel like I'm not being deprived. I like to exercise, but I also love to eat (nachos!). My main focus is to be healthy, not skinny, and to help others do the same! I love Jesus, but I also say fuck a lot, so if you're offended, I may not be the gal for you.