As we approach the new year it’s natural to have the itch to “get in shape” again. I love that this is something that happens during/after the holidays every year, but I dislike that by February everyone falls back into their old ways and decides it’s too hard to eat healthy or keep up with a workout routine.
Why do so many people fail?
I may not be the ultimate expert, but I personally think it’s because we have expectations like “I want to look good in a bikini come spring” or “I want to lose 50 lbs” and think we need to do crazy, extreme things to make it happen.
So, we start drinking our green smoothies 24/7 and practically starve ourselves (because it worked for “so and so”) and we decide to hit the cardio every morning even though it’s SO mind numbing (but that’s what it takes to lose fat right?). After a while, (usually a couple of weeks) looking a certain way isn’t enough motivation to keep us from binging on donuts or pushing snooze on the alarm clock for the incredibly boring cardio session we had planned. So we skip it “just this once” and have that brownie “only today”. Before we know it, “just once” turns into never making it to the gym and the brownie turns into ALL THE FOOD we missed on our smoothie diet because we are so deprived we could eat someone’s face. (Seriously though). And there it is, the weight comes back on and we are left feeling full of guilt and failure until next year when we try it again.
Is this you? I think we have all been this person to some extent. Maybe we still are. If so, I want to tell you that you CAN change. There IS another way. Here is where I can help.
First off, stop with the diets!! Eat REAL FOODS, monitor your portion sizes (buy a food scale, use a tracking app like myfitnesspal), and learn to plan ahead and cook healthy meals! Make a folder on Pinterest of easy, quick meals you can create that don’t overwhelm you. Follow new food blogs or Instagram accounts that post healthy ideas. Use new spices and herbs and learn to eat balanced meals so you feel content and fuel your body with what it needs.
Second, please get off the elliptical and do something FUN!! You are alive! Use your body to feel empowered, strong, and full of energy! Try something that scares you, challenge yourself, set WORKOUT goals, not aesthetic ones and this time you WILL want to keep showing up to get better. Be brave and try different things! Maybe it’s Pilates you fall in love with, or maybe it’s kickboxing, CrossFit, rock climbing, dancing or powerlifting. Whatever it is, do something that makes you excited to get out of bed. Not just for the results it might bring you, but because you love the challenge and you’re learning how to use your body in a way that’s fun!
Lastly, set goals for yourself that hold you accountable. I talked about this a little bit in my last point, but it’s so important! Commit to becoming better! Whether that’s doing the next local CrossFit competition with a friend, or signing up for a 5k in a few weeks. If that’s too intimidating then start small. Write on your calendar when you want to complete your first pullup, your first set of 5 pushups, or when you’ll be able to run around the block without stopping. Set goals that you can work toward and celebrate with something (besides food) when you reach them! Then set more!
Looking great in a bikini or hitting a number on the scale is fun, but knowing your body can do hard things and finding a love for health and fitness is MUCH more exciting! Feeling in control of your health for life will do more for your self esteem than any number on a scale ever will. So, as January approaches, don’t set yourself up for failure. Change how you set your goals and BELIEVE in yourself. You can do it, but you MUST learn to love the process, or the end result will NEVER be worth it.
I believe in you,