Entering the fitness world and changing your life for the better is a bit intimidating. Tack on the new gym, meal prepping, finding workouts to do and I can see why people fall off track. Taking on a completely different lifestyle is challenging, but you can’t get anything if you don’t work for it.
I’ve been going to the gym most of my life but I really got serious about in within the last two years, after graduating college. I started getting into weight lifting and HIIT at the gym and using BodyBuilding.com and fitness YouTubers as resources. I did the meal prep thing and have tried some dieting. There are two core pieces of advice that I heard and have learned along the way that drastically changed my mindset about fitness and health.
This is a lifestyle.
These words made everything click in my head. I would always get in really motivated moods now and then where I would be super strict with what I ate and diligent about going to the gym for at least an hour, most the time even more. After a few months, something would happen and I would quit the schedule I set for myself and go back to working out sparingly and eating whatever I wanted. This cycle would continue over and over and I would continue to get discouraged because I obviously wasn’t getting any results.
When I heard that these healthy habits are part of a lifestyle, everything made sense. Hearing those words really resonated with me and I hope they resonate with you in the same way. Eating well and exercising are something to integrate into your life, something to commit to and make time for. Focus on preparing healthy meals with foods that fuel your body. Make time to go to the gym and give it your all.
Once you realize this is part of a lifestyle, you’ll learn how to make it work for you. You will learn what types of meals work in your schedule and what type of exercise you enjoy. This will be through a lot of trial and error, but you have a lifetime ;).
Putting this into a lifetime perspective, there is room for balance and moderation. You can allow yourself a cookie once a day, or twice, if you want! Anything you’d like to eat, as long as it’s in moderation. This won’t affect your fitness goals in any way. Balance these treats with your healthy meals and you’ll be good to go as long as the bad doesn’t outweigh the good!
Listen to Your Body.
Have you ever pushed yourself so hard that you make yourself sick? Have you ever forced yourself to work out when you’re really not in the mood and then waste your time at the gym?
I don’t know about you, but I’m guilty of both of these. I have finally learned that’s what NOT to do. Your body knows what’s best and knows how to show it. We all need to stop and listen to our bodies to know what’s good for it. If you don’t feel like working out, you probably shouldn’t and give your body the rest that it needs. Don’t force it if you’re going to feel worse afterwards or if you’re going to go to the gym only to end up doing nothing the whole time. Are you trying to weight lift just because everyone else is but you hate it? Switch your exercise type to something you do enjoy! Maybe you love swimming or yoga. There’s more ways than one when it comes to fitness. It’s all about enjoying yourself and fitting it into your own personalized schedule.
The bottom line is you’re not going to have the best results when you’re forcing yourself and your body to do something you’re not feeling or that you’re not into. Take the time to listen to your body and you’ll know what to do.