You've got this!
These are just a few of the New Year resolutions we see around this time of year. As a personal trainer and businesswomen in this industry, I see this every December/January. It’s almost as if it’s a flood of energy, with the greatest of intentions, to live a healthier lifestyle. I love to see everyone’s enthusiasm and spark in their eyes, but here’s the problem; statistically most people loose that spark at some point in their lives. As the year goes on, life seems to take hold and the gym visits become less frequent. Kids, family, commitments, work and other obligations, start to take precedence over ourselves and we begin to give up our only me time, so we can do for others, all together forgetting our health in the process. People lose sight of their good intentions and start to fall back on the bad habits and unhealthy patterns. Not realizing the decrease in exercise and lack of eating nutritious meals slowly begins building up and gradually starts to drain all the energy and enthusiasm we once had. These are not intentional, as a matter of fact; we all have good intentions. So how do we stick to the program? If you want a healthier 2016 you have to find ways to keep that desire strong throughout the year. New habits are not born overnight or over a few weeks; you have to constantly keep working at them. Keep the spark you have right now in eyesight! Here are just a few tips you can do to keep that spark, that energy, that enthusiasm going throughout the year.
Change it up!
Every few months change it up. Don’t do the same repeated exercises day in and day out. It becomes tedious and you’ll lose interest fast. You can change it up by changing the weight, the exercise, the sequence, intensity etc…. Find a program that peaks your interest. It could be something you’ve done in the past or months ago, do not make the mistake of doing the same program all year round. Change it, get out of your comfort zone…..You could try a boot camp for a few months, then look for another program your gym may offer and try that. Alternating your exercise choice will keep you interested, confuse your muscles and open you up to a whole new out look on exercise. This will add a twist to your everyday work out, keeping you wanting more. When that program has been completed try another program when that’s done. Personal training is also great way to change things up. An experienced knowledgeable trainer will be able to change your program by introducing a variety of exercises and utilizing different types of equipment to keep your body guessing and maximizing your fat burning potential.
Set Measurable Goals
Devise achievable measurable goals and milestones. We sometimes take on more than we can handle and only look at the big picture, Instead of formulating your ultimate goal as what you are working toward. Break your goal down into practicable milestones. If you want to lose 40 pounds (the pig picture), think about setting a goal of losing five-eight pounds a month for five-eight months. When we see the long term goal without making smaller short term goals leading up to the “big picture” we become overwhelmed, discouraged frustrated, angry, annoyed and we give up and become frustrated. Exercise and health is a life style change, if you try and do too much right away you will become burnt and fall off the wagon. If you want to add muscle mass, you can aim for putting on a pound of muscle a month. If you want to run a 5K, try intervals of walking and jogging to get to the first mile, then the second, and the third. When you begin to get tired and you want to stop pick something at that point to keep you going just that much farther, such as the next mailbox or telephone pole. Then take a break and walk, just that little extra push when you are ready to quit will make the biggest difference.
Tell your family, friends, Facebook friends, personal trainer, coach, co-workers your new goals you want to achieve or have in mind …..Tell as many people as you can this way you will hold yourself accountable. For some reason it’s much easier to let our selves down than it is to feel as if you’re letting others down. You wont want to report to others that you gave up your on your goals but more importantly these people will be your motivation, your drive. You never know who will inspire you during your journey and those who you will inspire along the way as well!
Something is ALWAYS Better than Nothing
“It’s not worth it if I can only get to the gym for 15 minutes or a half hour” I hear this all the time! It absolutely is worth it, when your short on time, get in there and do your thing, push yourself hard. You’ll be surprised how much just 15 min of exercise will do for you. Sometimes its not that we can’t get a workout in but we just don’t feel like doing it. I promise you once you start you will feel better, work harder and stay longer if your schedule truly does allow you too. Just those 15 minutes will keep you in the habit of exercising and continuing to work towards your goals!
Feeling Insecure Or Embarrassed?
This is absolutely normal! You are NOT alone. Don’t let these feeling stop you from achieving your goals. Many of us are afraid of starting something new or getting back into after falling off the wagon. We are overwhelmed with feelings and thoughts, such as "I gained my weight back and im embaressed for people to see me, I feel as if, I not only let myself down but I feel ive let others down as well" "I cant go back they will stare" These excuses couldnt be further from the truth, we are all in this together and we ALL have fallen off at some point. People will support you for getting yourself back up and making that step. Getting out of our comfort zone can be one of the scarest things we can do.....trust me I know. It’s okay to be nervous, but don’t let it stop you. With a little preparation and support we can concur our jittery nerves.
If there is a group exercise class you have been curious about, but haven’t gone because you are nervous about it, ask someone for more information, ask others that may attend. Find out more about the teacher, trainer or coach. Call and speak to them, ask them questions, discuss your concerns. (type of class, programs offered, teacher style, modifications offered, small group training verses a class, personal training verses an open gym, nutrition support etc..) Bring a friend, doing something new with a buddy is always more comfortable and fun! Write your questions down, so you don’t forget them. Once you have all your information and you find someone/someplace you feel comfortable with, you will feel more mentally prepared and in control.
Take small steps
Believe it or not, your body has all sorts of built-in alarm systems. If it feels wrong don’t do it. Do a modification offered and you will gradually build up and feel more comfortable. Try to push yourself a little further each time, whether it’s 1 more rep, getting deeper into your stretch or exercise, one more min, one more exercise etc….You will realize your dream and your goal comes closer each time.
Ask for help
Don’t hesitate to ask for help, chances are you’re not the only one with the same question or concern. Ask your instructor or Sign up for personal training to go over your concerns on a one on one basis, you’ll feel more comfortable with a knowledgeable experienced trainer. . Many types of exercise are not intuitive. While your body knows how to walk without you having to think about it, it does not automatically know how to properly lift weights or use kettle bells. Sometimes it’s just a little teak in your form that will make all the difference and cause your confidence to sore! Once you are comfortable you will overcome your body’s alarm system and show them whose boss!
Keep a Food Journal
I know, I know you don’t want too, but before you can figure out how to amend your food intake pattern, you have to assess your starting point. By writing everything down that you consume (yes all liquids included) and how much your consuming, you then can see what your eating patterns are and figure out what you need to do to make healthier choices. If your not sure, ask someone that is knowledgeable that you trust, not someone who’s only going tell you what you want to hear. Small changes will add up to big differences!
Eat smaller more frequent meals
This alone will turn your body into a fat burning machine. Instead of eat that whole sandwich for lunch, eat half now and the other half 3-4 hours later… BREAK IT UP ! PROPER portion sizes! This is key guys!
CUT OUT PROCESSED “FOODS”
If you cant read it, don’t eat it! Combine lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and good fats when you eat.
Ask yourself Questions
Think before you eat – why are you eating? What are you eating? Is it worth it? Is it on the path to achieving my goals?
DON’T make too many changes at one time!
You know that saying, slow and steady wins the race? Couldn’t be truer when it comes to a lifestyle change. Don’t try to change everything in one day; you won’t stick to it! I’ve seen it time and time again. Slow down and think about the changes you want to start with and future changes you can make. Start with an easer change and build them up as you become more accustom to the changes. Maybe sugar is a big part of your diet, start my decreasing the amount of sugar you are consuming. If you take heaping scoops of sugar for your coffee maybe make them level, if you have 4 sodas a day maybe knock one out and replace it with water, if you start your day with a bagel and cream cheese replace it with a half of a bagel and cream cheese.
Small doable changes always wins in the end!
Small doable changes always wins in the end!