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Starting your fitness journey can be so exciting. It is a chance to start over and become the person you always wanted to be. It is wonderful to see you wanting to get yourself out your comfort zone and try something new.
As a personal trainer I want to help you get on your way by giving you 8 tips on starting your fitness journey to help shift your mind set into one of success. Over the years I have found these 8 tips can be the difference between someone being able to do this long term or giving up. So let's get started!
1. Nutrition is key
I know this can be overwhelming so let's break it down. First you need to know:
> How many calories you need to have to lose weight
> How many macronutrients
>Look at your micronutrients ( this can be done further down the line )
> Making sure you are getting enough water
This does not mean we have to do everything at once. For weight loss, focus on your calories first, so you begin to understand how many calories you should be consuming and so you start to get familiar with calorie content in foods you have frequently. Once you are familiar with your calories the next thing you need to focus on is macronutrients which are; protein fats and carbohydrates. This is particularly important for optimal building muscle and reducing recovery time between training, as well as total body functionality. Approach this as a project so that you are educating yourself on nutrition overall, bit by bit .
2. Setting your environment up for success not failure
By setting your environment up for success, you take away the process of having to make difficult decisions.
A lot of people think they do not have the will power when actually what it is, is that they have not created an environment that supports their goals.
For example, I am the cookie monster. I cannot have packets of cookies or hobnobs in the house because I will eat them. I will eat them all!!!
Even if there is a healthy alternative around I torture myself, asking should I eat the 5 cookies (because that's what happens ) or should I have the one rice cake that will keep me feeling full; which would you choose?
Either way you would have to make a difficult decision every time. All it would take is one bad day.
You would most likely blame yourself, go into a negative mind frame, spiral and either do more damage or give up entirely because it's just too hard.
Even if you did manage to not have the cookie but you have a feeling of being deprived of something you enjoy, again that is associating the action with a negative feeling.
Whereas if the cookies were never there to begin with you are not going to have to make difficult decisions therefore you are not going to make yourself feel deprived about something that was never an option in the first place.
This can also be applied to meals, girl's nights out and your working environment.
3. Having a plan
We are all trying to achieve something or reach a certain goal. However if we don't have a road map of how we are going to achieve that, then it is not really a goal. It's more of an idea or a day-dream. We want to make it a solid destination with a clear plan of how we are going to move forward and reach this goal. So you will need a plan of:
> When are you going to train?
> How many times are you going to train?
> How many calories roughly are you going to burn?
> How often are you going to eat?
> What times roughly are you going to eat?
> What food are you going to eat and how many calories are you going to consume?
>How are you going to measure your progress?
> How often are you going to monitor your progress: weekly, monthly?
> What way will you monitor your progress; scales, tape measure, photos?
4. Planting the seeds
Anything worthwhile takes time.
Getting started is quite often the most difficult part and it takes a lot of courage for someone to let themselves be vulnerable and try something new.
If you are in the very early stages or maybe you are just contemplating the idea or even looking for motivation to strike. Remember this, small actions build momentum. If there is a small action that you can do today to take you a tiny step closer to what it is you want to do. Then priorities that small action over everything else no matter how small it is, plant the seed.
5. Don't be hard on yourself
You have to understand you are trying to change your behaviour which has been programmed into you for as long as you have been alive.
You are not always going to get it right. Sometimes you will mess up but those moments are the moments that define us, through the actions we take next.
Failure is part of the process, becoming patient and having a level of resiliance are going to be the most crucial qualities for you to have or develop in your early stages of your journey. Developing the ability to get back up when you fall and being consistent overall will get you far.
Learning from your mistakes is a great way to constantly improve. Looking at your behaviour objectively and seeing what led up to the point where you struggled and how you could reduce or prevent that next time.
A fitness journey can bring many inner demons to the surface.
Many of us feel inadequate when we can't do something well or we can sometimes tarnish ourselves with a belief that is not a reflection of who we are, only the current state we are in for example: I am greedy, I am lazy, I am unfit
Actions change your current state.
Take actions of what you think the person you want to become would do, you will change your state of mind therefore the belief that you previously thought about yourself is no longer true because of this process. Therefore it helps boost your self-esteem and self worth. If this action is performed repetitively over time it becomes habit and you become the person you want to be.
So be kind to yourself.
6. Motivation comes and goes
Understand you are not going to be motivated all the time.
There will be days when you have zero motivation and you will need to do it anyway.
That is why all the other steps are so important because if you have a system in place where you are in a controlled environment with healthy snacks and teas then being less motivated will be easier to manage. You understand that to change your state of mind you will have to do things you sometimes don't feel like. If you have a plan a timetable of your workouts there is no decision to be made you just go and do it.
You don't give yourself a hard time for not feeling like training, you just take the emotion out of it and just focus on getting your gym clothes on, getting in the car and before you know it, you will wonder why you didn't want to go in the first place. After the work out you will feel amazing nine times out of 10.
7. Become a problem solver
Become a problem solver and identify your own problems and create solutions before they even happen. Why spend time putting out a fire if you can prevent it from becoming ablaze in the first place. Get your self-sabotage head on and think of every conceivable reason why you would not be able to do this or areas of weakness and create solutions. For example:
>Problem Too short on time to cook tea every night solution meal prep on the weekend
>Problem I don't like training around other people solution do home workouts
>Problem I can't train because I have the kids solution get the kids involved
>Problem I can't afford a gym or a pt solution use free resources like this to help
Many of our problems stem from a certain mindset we have built up over time. This can cause barriers for us, and hold us back from progress. You will need to work on changing this if you want anything in your life to change.
8. A journey of self discovery
Our bodies are often a reflection of our habits and self beliefs and if you want yours to change, only you can do it. You must start to change from within first. There are no quick fixes that will create long lasting change, so Embrace the process, be patient and commit to the journey.
Wishing you all the best on your fitness journey. Lots of Love xxx