I think we’ve all said or heard someone say “GO BIG OR GO HOME!” but realistically, this shouldn’t apply to your workout and nutrition regimes. We can’t be ALL or NOTHING, we’re all only human. A lot of the reason so many people fail or give up is because they think that if they don’t do everything perfectly, they might as well not do anything at all. Back to the couch, back to the Cheetos, back to feeling tired, gross, and not happy with ourselves.
Here are 6 things to keep in mind as you go through your life, which is happening right now, not tomorrow. Transformation is an everyday occurrence, not a future event.
- Don’t make your first day your last day. We’ve all built up the motivation in our heads, blasted some epic music, got our gear on, and went to the gym with the best of intentions only to push it too hard and injure ourselves so we can’t workout the next day. I’ve done this, twice now. The first time was about 6 months ago when I decided to go on a super long 10 mile run and threw out my knee, overworked my Achilles heel and had to take a break from running for close to 3 months. Boo! Monday this week was another instance, where I got super motivated for weight training and then did too heavy of a weight on my bicep curls. Now I can’t extend my left arm without shooting pains and have to stay away from weights for a while and ice my arm. Ironic huh? Start off slow and steady, gradually increase your workouts and let your body adjust. Make sure you give yourself rest days and rest completely on those days.
- Know your trigger foods. We all have foods that make us want to keep eating more. Pringles WAS right, once you pop, you CAN’T stop and it’s AWFUL! I’m this way with a variety of veggie chips, crunchy things, and cheese. I know that if I have one bite of it, I’m going to want more and won’t be able to stop thinking about it until the entire bag is gone and I feel incredibly guilty. There are foods you may crave that you should let yourself indulge in every once in a while, like a piece of chocolate. But be aware of what foods make you want to eat more and don’t keep them in the house.
- Realize that there is no ONE way or time to workout. You don’t have to set a two-hour block of time at 7pm every day to workout and do a bunch of cardio. You also don’t have to get up at 5am and hit the weight room. What you do need to be is consistent. Many of us run crazy busy lives and it can be hard to make the time, however, taking little segments out of the day is a great way to get in cardio and resistance training. There are things you can do throughout the day and at the office to tone your body. Sometimes I wake up early in the morning and have 15-20 more minutes than I usually would, instead of lying around in bed aimlessly I’ll go for a run, do some pushups, or grab a chair and do balance lunges and squats. Little things do add up to big results. Just keep at it!
- Surround yourself with health conscious people – get your family and friends on board. Let’s be honest for a second here, if you hangout with people who are always going to make fun of your “dieting” and push cake in your face, it’s going to be a LOT harder, if not impossible to reach your goals, change your lifestyle habits, and stay on track. Encourage your friends, family, and significant other to keep you on track. It’s easy to team up with people for healthy habits and JUST as easy to team up for bad ones. Sure, you can both indulge and get nachos and feel less guilty about it occasionally, but don’t get into the habit of letting your health slide because someone else is doing it with you. Get your friends to motivate one another. I often text my friends and say “HALP! I don’t want to go to the gym today!” and they will quickly respond with reasons why I do, guess what, they’ve never been wrong!
- Don’t do things you KNOW will make it harder to stay on track. I know for a fact that if I don’t go to bed before 10pm, I will make EVERY excuse not to workout that day because I’m so exhausted. If you have plans to go on a walk or exercise on the weekend, don’t drink yourself into a de-motivating hangover situation the next day.
- Don’t let yourself get SO HUNGRY you want to eat EVERYTHING! Eat healthy and filling meals (and fiber) throughout the day. I usually find that it’s not until I’m shaking and have went waaay too long without eating that I’m more likely to say “FUCK IT” and grab whatever sugar-coated deep-fried food item is in the break room. Stay prepared, keep fiber bars and fruit around. I keep oatmeal in my desk drawer for those days when I’m too busy with meetings to find my lunch. Other reasons you may always be hungry.