Getting Started on Your Fitness Journey (Part 3 of 3)
Welcome to part 3 of 3 of my 'How To Get Started On Your Fitness Journey' blog.
If you haven't checked out part 1... make sure you do as I am covering foundational tips that will help you get set up right to start with.
These were mainly to do with mindset and things you need to do before you kick off your journey to ensure you have a higher rate of success.
You can check them out here >> https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/blogs/news/getting-started-on-your-fitness-journey
Once you have read through part 1, you should definitely check out part 2... as it runs through my next three practical tips on things you should do when you are getting started on your health and fitness journey. If you miss these three crucial steps you may find it more difficult to stick to your plan long term.
You can check them out here >> https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/blogs/news/getting-started-on-your-fitness-journey-part-2-of-3
Once you have read through part 1 and part 2, you are ready for part 3... so let's get into it!
7. Take Your Weight And Measurements
Personally I recommend doing both weight and measurements, or even getting an inbody or dexa scan if you are wanting to get serious. Those last two options can be a expensive, so weight and measurements are fine.
Why not just weight?
Well if you are weight training or doing calisthenics style training and working your muscles there may be some weeks where your weight loss stalls, but your CM or inches keep going down.
This is because muscle PER VOLUME weighs more than fat.
You aren't going to gain crazy amounts of muscle in a short period of time, so if your weight loss stalls there could be other reasons such as water retention (intracellular or fluid retention - this is common if you weren't drinking enough water and then all of sudden you up your water intake and your body may take a week or two to regulate to the new intake), fibre intake, slower bowel movements that can happen with a change of diet, that time of the month, hormones (increased stress can cause cortisol to rise and mean extra fluid and weight retention) and more.
This is why it is good to do both measurements and weight as you can get a better picture of what is going on with your progress.
If you are losing in some areas, and holding in others, this can give clues about what is happening. This is why it can also help to have a coach or have a plan done, so these changes can be monitored and you can be helped through this process. If you need a hand click here.
What measurements do I recommend?
At a minimum you will want to do your chest, waist, hips (across the top of the hip bones), thigh (I like to go 20cm up from the top of the knee cap to get an even spot each time, unless you have really short legs then you can do 15cm), calf and bicep.
Do your measurements and weight on the morning you start. Get up and go to the bathroom, then take your measurements before you consume any water or food.
You can also take a 'start' picture too. I always recommend this, even if you don't show anyone ever. You may feel embarrassed, I know I was when I took mine, but now I am proud of how far I have come, and how long I have managed to maintain my body.
8. Just Start
Now is the time to stop overthinking, to feel the fear, anticipation or excitement but to take action anyway.
And just start.
No plan is perfect when you start out.
But as you go along and get a feel for how you are responding to what you are doing, you can make adjustments based on what is and isn't working for you.
Don't get paralysed by finding the perfect plan or waiting for the perfect time, these don't exist. Sure there are 'better' plans and 'better' times to start... but no time will be perfect, and no plan will always be perfect.
You are better to start where you are, with what you can do and do the best you can.
Then you can always adjust as you go along, as your lifestyle changes, as your body changes and as your needs change.
We are always in a process of change, and don't live in a vacuum... so I don't know why we would think that one plan will suit us indefinitely and if we can't do that then we may as well not even try.
When you learn to do the best can you with your current circumstances, you can achieve amazing things, and will reach your goals, even if it does take a little bit longer than what you first thought.
So stop waiting, and just get started!
9. Review & Revise
A big reason why people don't succeed long term is that they don't review what they are doing and be critical of what worked and what didn't.
You don't have to spend hours analysing what your are doing, but doing a bit of self reflection is super important for progress long term.
I like to check in once per week and do my measurements/weight once per week. When I get an inbody scan I'll usually get them every 4 to 6 weeks. I then record this and also take updated progress pictures. Sometimes I will do pictures only every fortnight as you may not notice as many changes once you get closer to your goal.
Then I like to ask myself some questions to reflect on the week and see how I can do better going forward, and also to acknowledge the progress I have made.
Some of the questions I like to ask myself are:
- What worked for me this week?
- What didn't work for me this week?
- Is there anything I can do better?
- Do I need to give myself a bit of a kick in the butt and step things up next week?
- Did I achieve the goals I set out to achieve?
- Am I on track with my progress/goals?
- Do I need to adjust my progress/goals?
- What can I do better?
- What did I do really well?
- What wins did I have?
You can write them down to cement them in further, or you can just run through them in your head. I tend to just run through most of them in my head - and after a while they become an automatic part of the process. You start to be able to tell what is working and what isn't and can make adjustments on the fly, or give yourself a kick in the butt to step things up cause you can just tell when you are slacking.
But if you don't know, you don't know.
That's why running through a checklist like this every week can help you stay on track and keep focused on what you want to achieve.
I hope this week's blog has helped you, and if you have been slacking on your fitness journey, or are just wanting to get started, you now have the tools to step things up and make a strong commitment to your goals.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below... or in the Facebook group.
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