Health and fitness seems to be one of those things in life that many want to achieve but is one of the top things that most loose motivation because of time, not seeing the results right away, or it just gets hard. Trust me I know I was one of them for the longest time.
Over the years, I have found a system that works to help create the mindset health and fitness as a lifestyle and part of daily life rather than the thought “I have to get it done today but I just don’t have time”.
1. Find your ultimate goal: when setting your goal, be realistic. Instead of thinking I am going to run 6 miles tomorrow (and you have never ran before) start out be running a mile or walk a minute/run a minute for a mile and build yourself up to the 6 miles. It took me about 3 months of run/walk to build up to run 3 miles straight. Have patience with yourself!
Be specific about your goals. Specific that you want to loose one pound a week or I want to run 3 miles a week.
Choose a goal that is meaningful to you and makes you WANT to achieve your goals. I had a big goal and that was to create a healthy lifestyle for myself to be an example to my family. That is a pretty ambitious goal, but having gestational diabetes can really make you think. Your goal that is meaningful to you doesn’t have to be so ambitious like mine but it must make you really want the change.
2. Find what works for you to achieve your goal: Once you figure out your ultimate goal, its time to figure out how your going to achieve that goal. It can be working out 30 minutes a day, cut back on fast food, eat smaller portions, increase your veggie intake, and drink more water.
My current routine is working out at home 30 minutes 6 times a week with running 3 days a week. It has taking me 2 years to get to this point. Starting out, I worked out 3-4 times a week and went running for 30 min maybe twice a week.
Working out at home has allowed me to get my workout in without the limitation or excuse of not having someone to watch the kids or “boy I have to drive in 20 minutes of traffic to go to the gym”. It just works for me and has helped me create a lifestyle out of it.
Eating smaller portions throughout the day has really helped too! If there is one thing I have taken from having diabetes, this is one of the most valuable takeaways from the experience.
3. Set small specific goals: I had mentioned this a little earlier but setting small goals you can accomplish everyday. One thing that helped me stay on track with my goals is mentally telling myself what time of day I am going to workout. Before my second son, I was going to the crossfit gym around 4:00 everyday. When I started my routine at home, I kept it around the same time everyday. That eliminated my “TIME” issue. Now, somedays I tweek the times around, but I am to the point that its not an excuse I just get it done.
Set a goal of drinking 1 oz more water everyday, or substituting one cracker snack with carrots and hummus instead. Find food that you like and that work for you and stick to those foods everyday. Find ways to elevate them if needed.
4. Monitor your activity: But in moderation. I used to be the type of person that would step on the scale every single day and be crushed when it didn’t move. to be honest, that can really hinder your mindset… “Why keep going? Nothing is changing anyways so whats the point?” The truth is your body is changing. The scale just doesn’t show it. Some ways you can monitor your progress is by taking before and after photos. This for me has been a huge win. I take a before photo before I start a new routine and upon completion I take an after… this right here speak more than a scale. Yes, the scale is our friend, but if its not working for you, try doing photos instead. Another way is by the old fashion measurement system and measuring your waist, arms, and legs.
Find a healthy, positive way to monitor your activity.
5. Adapting to circumstances: Life happens and there are simply circumstances that can change your routine for instance traveling. My workouts are through an app so I take my workouts on the go and I commit to doing them even on vacation. If I am somewhere I can go running, I go for a run too. Eating out can be a huge hinderance, BUT with the right mindset you can still eat out and enjoy it while on vacation. Recently we stayed at an AirBNB and that was great because we could cook our own breakfast. I purchase all my normal ingredients of what I eat in the morning and cooked it. I found this was perfect because I didn’t feel full the whole trip. I started the day healthy and had the room to enjoy dinner a little bit more.
Becoming sick can really put a damper on your routine. If I just have a cold, I normally still workout. Depending on how I feel, I will keep my higher impact routine or I will do something more lower impact. Working out while sick has really helped get rid of it faster. The key is to listen to your body, but if you are able to something more while sick, do at least something lower impact like yoga or some weights. If you have the stomach flu… Just rest up.
Achieving your health goals is going to take time and work. The most important thing is be patient with yourself and have grace. making it apart of your lifestyle is achievable but it is NOT going to be overnight. The first 3-6 months are going to be the most challenging because your body is adapting and may not show any changes but KEEP GOING! It took me about a year of consistent daily steps to see results after my second son. When I had such a fit pregnancy with my second and after his birth, gaining that extra 10 pounds made me depressed. I kept going every day and so happy I did because I am now the healthiest I ever been.
Keep going. Make it fun. Do your best. Have a Grace with yourself. Change will come.