It has been about a week since I have started my new at home DVD workout program and I know many of us decide to set a resolution in the new year to “lose weight”, “be healthy” etc. etc. so it has inspired me to write this blog.
About 4 years ago, I got really serious about getting into shape and being healthy and gave my lifestyle an overhaul. Long story short, I had great success; I lost approximately 30 pounds and about 45″. I only know how much weight I lost because I used my mother’s scale one summer which involved some coaxing. I don’t own a scale because I don’t believe in using them. Anyways, then I allowed life to get in the way, unintentionally put myself on the back burner somewhat and fell off the wagon. Not completely but there is definitely room for some serious improvement. But…and this is a good but, I have made it a promise to myself to get back on the ol’ fitness and healthy horse! Woo, go me! And it feels amazing to be back at it consistently again! More importantly, it feels good to put myself back on my priority list!
I’ve had many people ask me, “what’s your secret?” as though there is some mystical force behind losing weight and adapting a healthier lifestyle. I am not an expert and nor will I ever claim to be one, I am only speaking from personal experience as what will work for me may not work for you and vice versa. I’m about the drop the bomb though…there is no secret. I’m sorry to disappoint some of you but it requires hard work, dedication, and a lifestyle overhaul. You are worth it though! By lifestyle overhaul, it means you have to change the way you are eating (i.e. frequency and portions) and what you’re eating, you’re going to have to work up a sweat often, you’re going to have to look at your relationship with yourself and the list goes on. But you don’t have to tackle all of these at once. Start with small changes and work your way up to bigger ones. You have to address the mind AND the body in order to be truly successful long term.
The biggy here, the most important aspect to leading a healthy lifestyle is understanding the relationship you have with yourself, where your mind is at (i.e. how you talk to yourself about yourself) and where you need to make some positive changes for your benefit. This I believe is universal and can apply to all areas of your life but before I get distracted, we’ll stick to today’s topic.
Whatever you do, enjoy what you’re doing; whether that is the activity you’re doing or the food you are eating. If you’re not having fun or enjoying yourself, stop doing it. Period. Life is about enjoying the ride and this is after all a ‘life’ style change so it’s something that you will ideally adapt for life and make appropriate changes along the way. You are setting yourself up for inevitable failure, you are going to give up if you are not having fun and/or doing it all for the wrong reasons. And I don’t blame you for not wanting to do something you don’t like or because you’ve succumbed to societal pressures, for example. This is where checking in with yourself is important. Why are you making changes and be honest with yourself.
The point is to enjoy the process and you will get there with that rockin’ bod if you do. Your mind needs to be sharp and focused to push through those burning muscles and if all you can think about is, “Is it over yet?…I hate this!” and everything else our ego mind says to us, that mentality is going to sabotage your overall success because you can’t give it your all when your mind is focused on everything but pushing through the last rep or minutes on the treadmill. Negativity perpetuates negativity. You will more likely stick to the changes you are making long-term if you actually look forward to what you are doing and you are actually doing this for YOUrself…and before you know it, it will become routine.
And yes people, you can exercise…and exercise intensely and like it. Yes, it is possible, to sweat like a pig, groan and grunt, have muscles on fire and be having fun! It’s trial and error. If you really want it, if your motivation truly stems from within, you will make the time and effort to do so. My favorite exercises are kickboxing and yoga; 2 completely different exercises so don’t be afraid to experiment and try something out of your comfort zone. And more importantly, be patient with yourself in the process. It is going to take time to adapt these changes but your awareness of your mind’s connection to your body in the process is going to be key to your success.
Throw out your scale! Your mind, if you let it, will sabotage your success if you become obsessed with the number on the scale instead of how you look and feel. Remember, this is really important. 1 pound of fat takes up much more space than 1 pound of muscle. 1 pound=1 pound but muscle is much more dense and “compact” for lack of a better word so the scale may not fluctuate much but you will look leaner and more toned.
I am getting rather long winded here and there’s much more I could say but I want to discuss one more important point. This is for all of you but especially for you ladies, since I feel that women are far more critical of themselves and each other than men are. Define what you think is beautiful and how you want to look and feel by your own standards. Forget what anyone else and society has to say, love your imperfections (we all have them), and work on being your own best friend and you will be successful. Everything is a matter of perspective and the only perspective that truly matters is your own so it’s up to you to decide which lens you are going look at yourself through; choose the one of love. Loving yourself is truly a thing of beauty! And each and every one of you are beautiful!