So, you want to begin a fitness journey? You want to transform your body. You are ready to get back what you once had when you were younger.
You wonder if it’s possible? Are your midlife hormones preventing it?
Many people will say it is not possible, or that you must just accept what happens as you age.
This is far from the truth. While there might be a few rare cases with metabolism problems, the norm is that it’s hard to gauge how much food energy you are consuming. Once you accurately measure and track, its mind blowing. It will sometimes seem unfair that you only get the smaller portions because you have allowed yourself to adapt to too much food. It did not feel like too much food.
There are four main categories that contribute to your success with achieving fitness goals:
Nutrition – Water – Sleep – Exercise
If any one of those is missing, it reduces your chance of success.
Nutrition: You need to have a meal plan in place that matches your height, gender, and activity level.
Water: In general, you need about 8 ounces of water 8 times a day. A little extra is okay as a healthy body is great at balancing fluids.
Sleep: In general, you need 6-8 hours of sleep each 24-hour period. Without it, everything else in your life is hard, your ability to focus is reduced, as well as your ability to make good decisions during your day. Your hunger is increased to the point where sticking to proper portions is a real battle. Your ability to perform at exercise is reduced.
Exercise: Consistency is the biggest key here, not the amount. A little every day is better than a marathon in one day that fatigues you and gives you burn out.
Mindset is also a big key.
About 3-4 weeks into the plan, here’s what happens:
Right about now is when you want to quit. “It’s too cold.” “I am too tired.” “I can never lose weight.” “This never works.” “I always fail.” “It’s too hard.” “I don’t have time.” “I suck at this.” “I can’t do this anymore.” Anything else? None of this is helpful at all.
Your mind believes your words. Change them. “I can do it.” “I can lose weight.” “I will get better.” “It will get easier.” “I will reach my goals.” “I will feel better after this workout.” “This food is delicious; I can have more tomorrow.” “It feels great when I get enough sleep.” “I achieved my fitness and nutrition tasks for today, those are victories.” “The water makes me feel better and clears my head.”
Your words and what you say in your head end up causing self-sabotage or success.
Ten Steps to Consistency
What are some ways you can create consistency with your goal?
1. Prepare. Just bringing your gym bag with you with a full set of clothes and your post workout nutrition TAKES AWAY YOUR EXCUSES
2. Then get an accountability partner and find a support group.
3. If possible, get your family on board with your intentions and what you need from them to help support you.
4. Don’t make commitments that are too big. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Pick one thing, master it. Once it’s mastered, add the next thing. If you can’t do a full workout, do one set of everything or about 20 minutes. This builds the habit and you still get a lot of benefit.
5. If you are not motivated, don’t worry. It’s not about feeling motivated, it’s about building your routine in small simple sustainable steps.
6. Decide to make it a lifestyle. It’s a life-long process that ebbs and flows. It has ups and downs. We all have “restarts” every day. It’s life. Quit saying you failed just because you aren’t perfect at it. Just go!
7. Let the bad days go. Quit beating yourself up. Back to the mindset, your mind believes your words. Just focus on today, what you can control, and follow your plan and count your victory when you do. Turn bad days into good data. Document, learn, regroup, take some action to fix it. Without specific action to fix it, you will continue to repeat what did not work.
8. Reward yourself for the victories. It can be a simple reward that isn’t expensive (not food!)
9. Schedule your workouts. Schedule your food prep and keep it very simple.
10. Make those little commitments to yourself.
It takes years to build up these habits, so be patient with yourself.
Stay positive and when you feel stressed, treat yourself to basic human comfort that does not involve food; warmth or fresh cool air, hugs or massage, verbal or physical contact with loved ones, hot tea or cool water, meditation, soothing music, exercise you enjoy or a ten minute walk inside or outside, a nap, any therapy that works for you.
I wish you the best in health.