What to do:
- Make sure you enjoy whatever you are doing for fitness. Maybe not while you are doing it, but afterwards you should always feel a sense of accomplishment or happiness derived from it.
- Commit to a 90-day plan to be more active. Workout regularly, park farther away from your destination so you’ll walk more, go on adventures, and try new things.
- Understand (and I mean REALLY understand) that you are the only person who will be able to change yourself, and doing is the only way to make change occur; no amount of talking to other people about getting in shape will get you in shape. The only person suffering from skimping out on a workout is yourself.
- Be honest with yourself. If you don’t feel like working out, figure out why you don’t feel like working out. Most of the time it will be because you are tired, have so much to do, or had a long day at work/school. When these are the case, you’re letting your current mindset take over your long-term mindset. If you are honestly too tired, then don’t go. When that’s the case, you should not be doing anything other than resting, taking a bath, or taking a nap. If you end up hanging out with friends at a bar or even playing on the internet for hours, chances are you just cheated yourself out of a perfectly good workout, and again, the only person suffering from skimping out on a workout is yourself.
- Use common sense. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it! Back feeling fatigued or funny? Don’t do deadlifts for a day or two. You want to try to beat your best mile time, but slept like shit the entire night before? Probably not the best day to try to shatter your personal records.
- Most important of all, have realistic expectations for yourself. More on this in “what not to do.” Do yourself a favor and set mini-goals that aren’t based on weight. “Go down a pants size in my favorite store’s jeans”, “be able to lift up and carry my child/dog/groceries/work sac without feeling completely over-exerted and like I’m dying”, and “be able to jog from my parking space at work into my office without being winded” are all good examples of great mini-goals. The more you have, the more accomplished you will feel on the regular. Imagine fulfilling a goal every week!!! That would be some serious motivation to keep at it!
What not to do:
- Don’t think that everything I am doing will work for you. Everyone is different. This is what has worked for me, after years of trying to figure my shit out.
- Don’t take everything that I say as true, complete, medical fact. I am not a doctor, nor a trainer, nor a physical therapist. I do my research and I do it throughly, but don’t just blindly trust me!
- Don’t set crazy weight loss goals. Weight as a number is such a weird concept. Muscle takes up WAY less volume than fat. So you can have, say 3 times the amount of muscle in the space that 1 “unit” of fat takes up. If we’re dealing with pounds, that would be 3lbs of muscle could replace 1lb of fat. But none of that matters anyway. Don’t weigh your success on the loss of pounds. When you make dietary and activity changes for the better, you will notice some things. You will feel better. Your clothes will fit better. You will see physical changes in your body. Use THOSE as your monumental moments, instead of one more pound coming off the scale. Just because you weigh less does not mean that you are healthier. For a personal example, lately I have noticed that I now have definition between my shoulders and my biceps/triceps area. Realizing that made me feel like I had won $100 from a $1 scratch-off.
- Also, in saying all of that about weight loss, I do understand that some people DO need to lose weight in order to start being healthy. I get that. But the main thing I am trying to say is that you will probably drop a pants size before you lose 10lbs if you are working out heavily and doing weight loss the right way (aka not not-eating, using diet pills, purging, etc).
- Don’t freak out about dietary slip-ups, missing a day working out, or temporarily slipping into an old habit. Stuff happens, that “stuff” is called “life” and sometimes we can’t control it. Acknowledge that you made a mistake or that something threw you off, figure out why (if there is a reason for it), and try to figure out a plan for the next time you could be faced with that situation. If you learn from every time you make a mistake, they’re not really mistakes, now are they?!