Helping You Stick To Your New Years Resolution (Fitness Journey)
Every year we hear the same thing: "As soon as January hits that's it! I'm going to eat better, workout and look amazing this summer"; although there are people who accomplish this goal, the majority of us don't. Covid aside, the gyms in January are PACKED, then you slowly start to notice them get less and less crowded.
This blog post is not for you to feel guilty, but rather to show you that it's okay if you didn't go through with your resolution, it's actually harder than it seems, but there are ways that might help you stick it out and I'm here to highlight those ways!
I know this looks like a lengthy read but I promise you it's worth reading, it's not your typical health & fitness magazine article that gets down to the science, but rather a relatable companion that can easily explain to you why changing your lifestyle might be a lot easier than you think!
Do Not Restrict:
Please, please pleaseee stay away from fad diets and I mean it. No carb, keto, juicing, etc... All of these diets are simply not sustainable! Unless you have the strongest will power in the world and are extremely good at controlling your body's cravings and not binge eating whatever your body wants, these diets are only good for showing fast results, but lead you down the wrong path.
Start simple, small baby steps like:
- Substituting refined carbs like white bead, white flour or white rice to unrefined carbs like whole wheat or whole grain
- Use maple syrup, honey or even coconut sugar instead of white refined sugar or artificial sweeteners (because there is nothing healthy about artificial chemicals that taste sweeter than sugar)
- Make sure you have protein in every meal- it's easy to load up on carbs, but try to focus on your daily protein intake and you'll notice a difference in how you start to think about food and use it as fuel for your body rather than eating just cause you want to/ have to.
Do Not Workout Too Hard:
This might come as a shock to many but starting your new years resolution with hard workouts will make you quit the gym fast, and then get you binge eating and feeling even worst about yourself than if you were to simply start slow and steady.
Personally, I love hard workouts: the sweatier the better, I love Hiit workouts that just simply kill me as it makes me feel accomplished. But I worked my way up to get to the level of difficulty that I enjoy now, 11 years ago I started by simply walking on the treadmill and dying after 5 minutes of slow stair master. Now and with no hesitation can easily crush a 15 minute stair master session at level 15, then do a solid 30 minute Hiit workout right after.
I did not say all of that to brag, I just need you to understand that when you sign up to working out and eating healthy, you are signing up for the lifestyle, not the 3 months commitment for a fancy new body for 1 season. Just remember: your body is a temple, treat it as such, your body deserves nothing but the best and so do you and if you think like that everyday you will slowly start to walk down the right path to a happy healthy lifestyle.
Focus On Yourself Only:
It's 2021, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that we live in a social media world now. What I mean by that is that we eat, sleep, breathe social media even when we avoid it, it's just there. And with every social media platform comes along these beautiful -almost too perfect to be real- influencers. We constantly feel bombarded with the idea that perfection exists "I mean look at these influencers with their perfect lives, perfect bodies and perfect everything" when in fact NEWS FLASH I'm sorry but nobody is perfect. Literally nobody. I mean let's be honest, do we really want to follow someone that tells us how sad they are all the time? No we don't we follow people we look up to and wish we had what they had, we thrive for perfection even when we know it's not real.
So to keep this simple: please worry about yourself. Never compare your body/ lifestyle to anyone else's because we are all different! It's okay to unfollow an influencer who makes you feel like you don't have your life together because she/he does. Also, try to follow someone that maybe has a similar body structure to yours (if you notice you look at their pictures in aww all the time and wish you had their built). I am curvy and proud and after 11 years in my fitness and lifestyle journey I found that following a super slender influencer that looks amazing in everything she wears is not "my goals". Although I follow many influencers that come in all different shapes and sizes - because their goal driven mentality helps me realize they are strong business influencers and that motivates me - does not mean I will compare my body to theirs, in fact I have grown to LOVE my body and my curves.
Drink Plenty Water:
I love when every article says this "drink lots of water" because to be honest drinking lots of water is my least favorite part in any of these articles. BUT they're not wrong, drinking lots of water is very important and believe it or not it does keep you fuller longer even if you don't believe it.
That's why I'm here to help you with that, the only thing that saves me is a nice big water bottle to track how much I drink water a day. It sounds lame, but trust me when I tell you spending a bit more on a nice sized water bottle will seriously help you with your fitness journey. You can find these water bottles anywhere and everywhere and they don't have to be expensive! Just choose a bottle that makes you excited to fill it up and maybe bright enough for it to be in your face & help you remember to use it.
Track Your Progress:
We all have cameras in our phones now right? Don't be afraid to whip it out and take a photo of yourself once a month. Nobody has to see it but yourself (if that's your concern). Trust me when you see slight progress you'll want to keep going! It's super exciting to realize your minor adjustments are helping you get closer to achieving your goals. Oh and please lay off the scale at least for a while. The scale is only good for approximation, other than that the scale is super discouraging especially if you start gaining muscle - the scale becomes your enemy.
Know What You Eat:
I put this on last for a reason. This is a tedious step, but it is very helpful if you track what you eat. There are many apps that help you realize what you might be eating more/ less than what you're supposed to as far as nutrients (Myfitnesspal, or what I use: MyPlate) . Not many recommend this step but I know from myself it has helped me tremendously.
For example: I had no idea how much fat I consumed before I started tracking. I thought my problem was carbs, when in fact carbs were my best friends, it was fat that was the devil for me, and you will only really know when you take the time to plug it in that app. It also helps you realize that what you think is "bad" you might actually be able to eat after all. After I started tracking, I found my true happiness in my fitness journey, I was no longer guilty of eating ice cream, a piece of cake or a burger! If it fits my macros I eat it and I love it and I go to bed with the biggest smile on my face! BUT it is tedious, and can be time consuming but trust me when I tell you it's worth it!
I really hope you enjoyed this article, again I know it's long but I tried to be as relatable as possible to the majority of those who find it hard to stick to a fitness journey. Please leave your comments below and let me know what you think!