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Insights to Get You Going!

By on December 8, 2012
getting-started

I’m sure many of you wonder, WHERE DO I START???” Everyone knows where they want to end up, but sometimes it can be confusing to really know how to get there. Here are some tips for getting started to set yourself up for SUCCESS:

  1. Change the way you view healthy living. Stop taking yourself on this diet/exercise cycle that starts and ends and has your health — and weight— continuously fluctuating. You’re going to have to make some changes and some of those will seem drastic, but that’s because you’ve developed a habit of NOT treating your body right. I’m not saying you can never have anything sweet.Remember that people who are healthy don’t have to be DEPRIVED of everything they enjoy… the important thing is keeping the unhealthy things to a minimum and keeping your level of activity at a maximum. You don’t have to feel guilty about every little sweet thing that you eat — just don’t let those sweet things become a normal part of your diet. You don’t need to treat yourself every day, especially when you’re not even burning the calories that you’re treating yourself with!
  2. Make a commitment to yourself — then KEEP IT. You can’t expect to reach any goals if you don’t absolutely know what they are. I used to avoid setting goals at all costs because I always felt like a failure when I didn’t reach them. Well, guess what? By doing that, I was essentially failing myself from the start because I didn’t have any expectations whatsoever. There will be weeks that you’re going to realize you haven’t met a goal or two — and then they’ll be weeks that you realize you didn’t meet ANY of your goals. But you know what? You will forget all about those weeks during the weeks that you do OUTSTANDING and you’ll find a proper balance in due time.
  3. Don’t get discouraged when you cheat. This is probably the most important thing. When you slip up and completely abandon every change that you’ve implemented in a moment (or week) of weakness, don’t beat yourself up. It’s done. There’s no going back. There’s no changing it. Accept it and move on. Guilt is counterproductive. Consider WHY you slipped up. What was going on? Were you stressed? Were you hungry? Were you emotional? Find ways to ensure that you don’t slip into that trap again. Know WHY you’re caving into those desires and find ways to resist. Write down the things you are most likely to eat that don’t support your healthy lifestyle then find creative ways to replace those cravings with something more nutritious.
  4. Keep healthy snacks on hand. Sweet baby carrots are great by themselves. Don’t like carrots? Cut an orange into 6-8 slices then peel it and cut eat slice in half so that they’re bite-sized. Don’t like oranges? Do the same thing to cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes, bananas or some other fruit that you enjoy. Stick them in a baggie and pop a couple in your mouth when you want something to sustain you until your next meal. Berries are even easier — strawberries, blueberries, blackberries… Is fresh fruit going to be a bad idea for where you’ll be or how long you’ll need it to be edible? Try flavored rice cakes — I LOVE the ranch and the sweet chili ones. I also keep boxes of yogurt covered raisins (but be careful — you can easily consume 250 calories if you aren’t paying attention) or regular raisins on hand ALWAYS. If you know that you’re going to need some sustenance and won’t be able to get anything remotely healthy, try a protein shake like Special K makes — they’re delicious.
  5. Start out small. Don’t overwhelm yourself with changes. In an article on my personal blog (click here to read it!) I talked about making three changes at a time — all in different areas. Improve your sleep pattern, even if it’s just a MINOR improvement. Baby steps are still steps. Make ONE change to your eating and/or drinking habits. Implement a MANAGEABLE workout routine, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day. Get used to THOSE changes before you make more. The slower you make the changes, the less noticeable they will be and the more likely you will be to make other changes. After a while, you’ll realize that you’ve changed your whole life without turning it upside down all at once!
  6. Know that you aren’t going to be able to measure — or even notice — your progress EVERY week! I know it sucks when you weigh in 3 pounds heavier and you can’t even put your finger on WHY, but the body has its reasons. Water retention (especially in women) is one of the main esteem killers when you’re trying to see a decrease on the scale. It doesn’t always mean you did anything wrong — that’s why weight shouldn’t be your primary focus — how you FEEL and your overall progress with the changes you’re making should be number on on your list of what is important. The rest WILL fall into place — weight doesn’t define your success, ESPECIALLY in the beginning when your weight will probably INCREASE slightly when you begin building muscle before you start to burn fat.
  7. Do some research!!! I know, no one likes homework, right? But this is a FACT: the more you know about the way your body operates and the more you understand about how to TRULY count calories, how certain foods affect you and how they are broken down to fuel/feed the body, what causes weight fluctuations, and how your body reacts to exercise, the more likely you will be to appreciate the changes you’re making toward living a healthier life. You need to know WHY your body doesn’t need that 650-calorie dessert or that next serving of alcohol — not only because it adds volume to your thighs but because of how it affects your internal organs and their functions over time.
  8. If you don’t have a support system, GET ONE. Not only will you need people to encourage you, but you’ll need people who can relate to what you’re experiencing and hold you accountable. Find someone to work out with — even if it’s a virtual partnership (via the internet) — and keep a food diary that you exchange with one another daily or weekly. Those things make a HUGE difference in your success :)

Good luck! If you have any questions or need to reach out for support, please feel free to leave a comment below. For those who have already started their fitness journey, I would love to hear what worked for you. How did you get going and keep going? Drop us some insight in the comments section :)

About Kat Robertson

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