Getting Started on Your Fitness Journey (Part 1 of 3)

Whether you are getting back into a health and fitness routine after an extended break (like me), or if you are brand new to the game... 

Setting yourself up right can literally make or break you and determine how successful you are going to be at achieving and maintaining your results long term. 

Over the coming week I am going to be sharing the exact things I do to help motivate myself and create success when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. 

1. Get Your Mindset Right 

Everything starts with the right mindset. 

You should be focused on achieving what you want, no matter what. 

Want to lose 10kg, that's great. 

Don't focus on how quickly it "has" to happen, or on cutting corners to get there. 

Focus on the person you need to become to create that change, and maintain it once you get there. 

It was only when I gave up being the girl that hated exercise and eating healthy that I was able to lose 50lbs. 

I had to transition to my 'new' identity. 

So think about what kind of person you need to be to achieve and maintain your goals. 

Then think about how you can transform into that person. 

You don't have to become that person overnight, you can take gradual steps (which is what I advise), but you do need to realise that you will need to change and transform into a new version of yourself. 

You have probably heard the saying that goes something like this...

if you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got 

Meaning, to create change that is different to what you have always got in the past, you will need to step outside your comfort zone. 

Let go of time restrictions, of food restrictions and of negative self talk. 

Commit to the journey, to the process of transformation and remember it's not about how quickly you can create the changes, it's about learning what it take to achieve, maintain and sustain those changes long term. 

2. Set Yourself Up For Success 

Setting yourself up for success is absolutely crucial. 

But unfortunately I see so many people underestimating this very vital step. 

They think that they just need to work a bit harder at their self control and they will be able to push through. 

But the thing is, most of us don't have a lot of self control, and there actually have been a lot of studies showing that.

Why do you think that they put the chocolate bars and soft drinks at the cash registers at the supermarket, where you will be waiting and spending the most time? 

Because there are only so many times we can say no, before we will eventually say yes. 

So how can you engineer your environment for success? 

  • Don't keep your treat foods in the house at all. Make it difficult for yourself. If you kids need to take chips or lollies to school then buy ones that you don't like so you won't be tempted. If I have chocolate, ice cream or chips in the house they don't last long, so I don't buy them... it's a simple as that. If I want them I have to make a special trip to the shop. So then it becomes easier to make myself a chocolate flavoured smoothie bowl, or whip up some loaded home made chips. 
  • Get in the habit of meal prepping, or batch cooking. If you have healthy meals on hand you will be less likely to stop in the drive thru or get takeaway on the way home. 
  • Start off slowly and gradually 'level up' your intensity. If you are constantly starting over it means you are probably setting the bar too high. Aim a little lower, that doesn't mean you have to aim lower forever... it just means you need to for now. For eg. I am easing myself back into workouts right now after my pregnancy. Last week I aimed for 3 walks and doing some pelvic floor exercises, this week I am aiming for 4 walks and doing some pelvic floor exercises. Depending on how I go this week I might continue at 4 walks next week, or increase to 5. By setting the bar a little lower, but achieving what you set out to do you create motivation and momentum because you are winning. When you are constantly falling short, it can be easy to get into a negative mindset or feel like a failure. A simple tweak to your goals and expectations and your whole outlook changes. 
  • Write yourself out a plan for the week and assign yourself daily to do's. Failing to plan is planning to fail. I find a lot of people hesitate to plan or set out "to do's" because they are worried they won't do them all. Some days you won't do them all and that is okay, some days you will. But if you are sticking to your plan 80% of the time, you will be further ahead than if you had no plan at all. If you need help with a plan, I can design a personalised one for you HERE.
  • Celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small. Did you stick to your meal plan 100% for the week? Did you manage to lift 5kg heavier than last week? Give yourself a pat on the back and allow yourself to feel accomplished. Don't get so focused on the end result that you don't take time to give yourself high fives along the way. This will help motivate you and give you some inspiration on days where you need to dig a little deeper to keep on track. 

So there you have it, some simple ways to engineer your environment for success. 

3. Don't Underestimate Discipline and Consistency 

Discipline and consistency aren't sexy, they don't sell or make losing weight or getting fitter sound glamorous. 

We're all looking for that next big thing, or shortcut that is going to give us the results we want. 

I have been in that mindset before too. 

It wasn't until I stopped looking for the shiny short cut and realised that it was going to take time, consistency and discipline that I finally was able to achieve and maintain what I had been chasing all along. 

Yes, there will be days where you won't feel like working out. 

There will be days where you will say yes to a burger and fries when it wasn't your designated free meal. 

But as long as these times are in the minority and what you are doing MOST of the time is the right stuff, then you will see results. 

These are some simple rules to live by... 

  1. Eat whole food plant based 90% of the time, allow yourself 1 or 2 free meals per week. 
  2. Get active each day. Whether that is a walk, the gym, a HIIT circuit, playing a sport or playing with the kids. If you currently aren't exercising at all, feel free to work yourself up to this. 
  3. Drink 2 - 4 litres of water each day. 
  4. Get at least 6 - 9 hours of sleep each night, depending on what works for you and leaves you feeling refreshed. 

They are my basic rules, stick with those rules and most of you will reach your goals, or at least build a solid foundation to start working toward more advanced goals. 

I hope you have enjoyed the first part to this blog series, you can find part 2 here >>>

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below... or in the Facebook group

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