We all have them, reasons why we just won't/can't do it. I hear them all the time. My kids, my work schedule, my back hurts, I’m tired after work, etc. I’m not saying they aren’t valid obstacles that can make exercising more challenging but they are not reasons we cannot overcome. Living a healthy lifestyle starts with having the right mentality. Some people have an all-or-nothing mentality, meaning they are either working out for 2 hours a day and eating perfect at every meal or they are completely off the wagon. There is nothing about the all-or-nothing mindset that will get you to a healthy lifestyle long term!! We’ve all heard that yoyo dieting can mess up your metabolism and actually make you gain weight! Losing weight or maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean your life revolves around your gym schedule, it just means planning out your week ahead of time and being prepared for the obstacles so being healthy fits into your life!! Here are a few easy ways to always stay on track!
Book an exercise date with yourself or a friend at least 3 days a week! Put these dates/times on your calendar and make plans ahead of time for your children or whatever other responsibilities you have that might serve as an excuse to not go! If you end up having to miss one of the three days, find another day that week to add in your exercise!!
Work into your new fitness routine slowly. Do not go to the gym day one, spend 2 hours running at an 8 on the treadmill and kill yourself- odds are the next day you will be overly sore, somewhat burnt out and not want to go back (hence- yo-yoing). Start with 30 minutes a day, you can even break this into 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch, and 10 minutes after work or 15 and 15. Start with an easier exercise and something you enjoy like swimming, walking, jogging, zumba, pilates, yoga or a workout DVD from your house. Slowly, each week, add a little more time or an extra day to your workout and soon you will be working out for 1 hour, 5 days per week!
Find a reason to go to the gym and make it something that means a lot to you and post this somewhere you can see it often (the fridge is always a great place). Write down 3-5 truly inspiring reasons why you are doing this so when the motivation to go to the gym starts fading you have your reasons to help you! Great goal examples: Decrease my risk of diabetes due to family history, high school reunion, vacation in 3 months, I deserve to feel good in my own skin, because I am sick of covering up at the beach, to prove to myself that I can do it, etc!
Set both short term and long term goals, use events in your life as goal assessments. For example, every week I set short term goals for my fitness/nutrition and at the end of the week if I have accomplished my goals I give myself a non-food reward (!!) like new workout gear, pedicure or something else I have been wanting. A long term goal could be your high school reunion, vacation or a family event that is at least 6 months away. Your short term goals are reachable goals that keep you motivated week-by-week so you are not overwhelmed with that long term goal in the future.
Never consider yourself off-or-on your diet!! A healthy lifestyle requires balance and you are not going to eat perfect or exercise 100% of the time! We are all human and just because you slip up and have one bad meal or miss a workout doesn't mean you failed!! It just means you are going to get right back on track with next meal and find another point in your week to work out.
A healthy lifestyle is not a perfect meal plan or 2 hours of working out per day <— that is very hard for anyone to maintain! A healthy lifestyle is about 90% of the time you are doing the best you can/making the right choices for your health and 10% of the time you are having a little bit of fun! It is the only way to stay sane while reaching your goals!! What are your favorite tips for staying on track?!! Love, Marla