Get serious about losing weight, getting healthy and into shape
Doesn’t it seem like every new year we try to make a resolution to eat better, start exercising, and lose weight? It’s not as challenging or daunting as it seems; you just need the knowledge and a plan. Here is some advice to help you set that plan, exercise, and reach your weight loss goals
- realize it is a process
- set two plans – a big one and a realistic one
- get to the gym – the actual gym
- watch what you’re putting in your mouth
- have fun and stay focused
- forget to speak with a professional
- go crazy
- go in without a plan
- eat too much meat
- get discouraged
Do realize it is a process
Nothing worth having happens overnight. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will a new svelte body. Start by telling yourself that you are worth it. You are worth a healthy body. You deserve happiness. And then tell yourself that this will happen, and it will happen over time. Sometimes you’ll feel amazing. Sometimes you’ll feel tired. You’ll have great days and not so great days during the process, but it is a process. Losing weight is about the journey that gets you to the destination.
Do set two plans – a big one and a realistic one
Every company and corporation has a mission statement. This a statement that shows what they want to provide to their customers. You should have one too. And it should be a perfect world type of statement. “I want to lose fifty pounds” is not a mission statement. But, “I will be healthy, slimmer, stronger, and happy for myself and my family, and we are worth it,” is one. Think about making it something short that you could put on your bathroom or vanity mirror and look at every day, to remember as you get up in the morning.
After you’ve set your overall plan, then you need to set realistic plans. How will you live out your mission statement? This plan should be written down every week. Something like “I will eat two servings of vegetables a day”, “I will eat red meat only three times total this week”, or “I will exercise at least three times this week”, are all good plans. Short term goals are attainable and much easier to achieve. You’ll feel great when you meet your goals, and if you fall short, it’s easy to look back and see why.
Do get to the gym – the actual gym
It sounds tempting to say that every journey starts with the first step. And while that’s true, it has to a bigger step than walking around the block one time. Going to the gym forces you out of your comfort zone and holds you accountable to being somewhere. At the beginning of the week when you set your plan, write down what days and times you will go exercise, and where. Having it in print helps you schedule your day around what is important to you. Go online to your gym’s or exercise studio’s website and look at the classes they offer. Check and see if they have a spin class, yoga, step class, or any other activity that you might see yourself doing. Having an activity you enjoy to do at the gym can help you lose weight by making it easier to go in the first place.
Do watch what you’re putting in your mouth
Food diaries can be hard to keep, but they’re worth it. If you don’t think you can write down everything you eat throughout the day, start with the big meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and write those down. You might be surprised how much you’re actually eating. And because you’re holding yourself accountable to writing down what you’re doing, you probably won’t eat as much…or you’ll eat better. It’s like having your mother watching you all day without the nagging.
Do have fun and stay focused
You might not believe it, but exercise is fun. Really! Just stay focused on your goal, even when you’re getting tired. Humans are natural athletes and we all shine if we push ourselves, and remembering why you’re doing it helps. Set a goal (running a 5k, or competing in your first triathlon) and always keep that in the back of your mind as you’re exercising. Having goals helps you stay focused because you’re holding yourself accountable to achieving your goal.
Do not forget to speak with a professional
Go speak with someone about personal training at the gym or studio. You’ll find that everything is negotiable, so even if it seems like a big investment – you can almost always get the cost down if you ask. Talking to a professional personal trainer or instructor will help you set a plan to slowly get you back into the swing of things.
Do not go crazy
We’ve all done it before. We’ve gotten excited about exercising – so we go the gym, randomly lift a bunch of weights, run on the treadmill, and then try to get into a pickup game of basketball. And we wake up in the morning, can’t walk for a week (or two) and give up. It’s important to remember that no matter what your fitness level, if you haven’t done any real type of exercise in more than a month, you have to start slow. If you don’t want to use a personal trainer, start by going to the gym and walking on a treadmill at a speed that gets you out of breath, where you couldn’t really keep a conversation. Just twenty minutes of cardio exercise will do wonders for your heart and health.
Do not go in without a plan
Even if it’s just to walk on the treadmill on Monday, ride a stationary bike and do some light bicep curls on Wednesday, and then take a Spinning class on Saturday, you have to know what you’re going to do before you do it. Working out without a plan is like cutting your grass with scissors. You might get the job done, but you’ll probably never want to do it again.
Do not eat too much meat
Meat has protein, so you’ll hear a lot about how meat is good for building muscle. It is, but it’s also good for clogging your arteries. You can find protein in eggs, milk, fish, and beans too. Eat more vegetables like salad, corn, and asparagus too to fill you up.
Do not get discouraged
No matter how committed you are and how great you feel, you will have days (or a week) where you just feel low. Run down. Tired. Remember, it happens to all of us. If you fall off the exercise or diet wagon, it’s ok. Look in the mirror, tell yourself that you are worth it, that everyone falls, and recommit to start again later in the day or tomorrow. Batman’s father said it best: “Why do we fall? So we can learn how to pick ourselves back up”.
Losing weight, getting healthy, and feeling better really isn’t as daunting as it seems. Just remember to write down your plan, remind yourself why you’re doing it (for yourself, your family, and your health), and always pick yourself back up when you fall.