Updated: Mar 19
I’m so excited about this post because I hate how brainwashed we’ve become when it comes to fitness and getting in our best shape.
We always want fast results. We jump from this 30-day challenge to that 7-day detox and then continue life as normal until we feel we’re getting too fat again and dive back into some unrealistic diet that leaves us feeling hungry and pissed because we aren’t eating what we want to be eating.
Keep in mind, this used to be me. It’s a vicious cycle a lot of us struggle with and how could we not? Social media is full of perfectly built fitness gurus who sell 30-day transformation guides, detox teas, flat tummy waist trainers, fat loss supplements and whatever else is out there.
But one day it hit me! I thought, what the heck am I doing!? Why am I buying into the bull crap. Science doesn’t lie ladies. It’s very simple. In order to be in your best shape, you have to properly fuel your body and exercise on a regular basis.
Each and every one of us has different body types, different genetic makeup, different goals and different versions of what we think “looks good”. So why do we buy into the hype of these 1 size fits all programs?
I am seriously thinking about creating a realistic program for different sized women to take control of their lives and get in their best shapes using practical and healthy practices based on individualized goals.
Especially because of the amount of knowledge I’ve learned over the last couple of years. I believe the best way to learn is through experience and this has by far been the most valuable lesson.
Getting in my best shape went from being a challenge to being a new lifestyle. Most of the changes happened on the inside of me which brought dramatic changes to my physical appearance.
When we shift our way of thinking and build our confidence inside out, we tackle life a little differently. We start to see the glass half full instead of empty and begin to appreciate ourselves and our bodies. I used to hate certain body parts and would get really discouraged because I felt like no matter what I did, they never changed.
But in all reality, I was getting discouraged so often that I never actually committed to being consistent with anything long enough to see real results.
The harsh truth ladies is this. There are no shortcuts to being healthy and feeling and looking your best. The same way that we learned bad habits like eating before bed, not eating breakfast, not drinking enough water, over seasoning our food, not making exercise a priority or my personal favorite, eating a whole bowl of chipotle in 1 sitting even though we know it has enough calorie intake for the entire day is the same way that we have to change those habits.
Cleanses, binge diets and challenges will not change those habits and they definitely don’t teach us new ones. Nothing about those methods equal long term practices.
So instead, I challenge you to view your toning or weight loss journey differently and begin with your mind first.
Psychology tells us that most of our choices are made subconsciously. Which means that we do what is most familiar and what is most comfortable. What a lot of people fail to realize whenever they are trying to change a habit, is that our brain will try to keep us from changing. Our brain will naturally tell us to do the exact thing that we are trying to steer away from.
So knowing that the odds are stacked against you when it comes to actually commit to new actions, it makes the most sense to fix ourselves mentally first.
All this means is that you have to re-teach your brain to WANT to do the new things that you’re introducing it to. The best way to do that is by becoming familiar with the information surrounding the new changes BEFORE you actually try to implement the change physically.
For example, for so long I said I wanted to be that girl who wakes up early every morning and doesn’t miss a workout. So I bought my gym membership and said okay, tomorrow I start. I didn’t even make it 1 week. I got discouraged and tried again a couple of weeks later but this time I bought some new workout clothes to help motivate me. And as you could probably guess, I still didn’t make it a full week.
I was getting so frustrated with myself and this pattern continued for months. Then I thought, let’s take a different approach. Before I started to work out again, I got myself really excited for it by doing lots of research, hearing peoples body transformation stories, looking up ways to improve my problem areas, looking up healthy but yummy recipes and I started to feel a shift.
I thought, let me baby step this thing because I refuse to take 5 steps forwards and 4 steps back. I focused all my efforts on eating healthier and learning about the different methods of working out.
Before I knew it, I was getting really good at healthy eating and was actually enjoying it. Anytime I had a cheat day, I focused on how I would make my next meal healthier instead of feeling discouraged because I made a bad choice that day. This made it easier to stay on track and just make better choices in the first place.
Then, because I was eating healthier, I was seeing a difference in the way my clothes fit and the way my body felt. It made me excited to try the working out thing again.
But I did things differently this time. I sat down and I came up with all the reasons why I wouldn’t be able to commit to the workout schedule I wanted to have:
- I don’t like waking up early
- I’m cold in the morning because Dre likes sleeping with the window open so it makes me want to stay under the covers
- I might stay up late and not be well rested when my alarm goes off
- I don’t really have accountability because the gym I go to doesn’t have a set schedule or a system to make sure I show up
And I started to come up with solutions for each 1.
- I learned a 5-second method to help me get out of the bed in the morning. When I hear my alarm, I count down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and get up like a rocket before I have time to change my mind
- I told Dre we have to crack the window instead of full-blown open it but that once I leave out for class I’ll open it up more
- I gave myself a strict light out, phone and computer away time so that I would be able to fall asleep at a decent time
- I researched other memberships to find something with more accountability. I ended up choosing Orange Theory because of a couple of reasons. 1, it’s right up the street so super convenient. 2, its $150 a month so I feel like I have to put in the effort because I’m paying for it. 3, its scheduled group workouts and they charge you $12 each time in addition to your membership if you don’t show up for class. 1 thing I do not like doing is throwing away money, so it forced me to commit.
Again, I had spent so much time prepping mentally for these new changes and really understanding why I wanted to do this. It wasn’t just to look good, it was to prove to myself that I can do it and to overall be healthier and feel better about myself. I kept thinking about how far along I would be if I would have committed the first time. I knew that if I could commit to 60 days, it would become a lifestyle and would no longer be a challenge to me.
With everything set in place, I started by doing 3 days a week. Then four, then 5 and now I’m at 6. Now, if I miss a day, I feel crappy about it. It excites me to go because I love how I feel after. And even though the compliments I get from people are nice, that’s not why I do it. I do it for the result of feeling good and working towards my dream body.
The progress and results have been slow but steady. Again, I’m not in any rush because I want to maintain this lifestyle not to spend my life looking for short term quick fixes.
So if you too are looking to get into your best shape and feel and look amazing, here are my 5 steps:
1. Determine Your “Why”
Decide what your reason for changing is. Be detailed and specific. Is it to feel better? Feel more confident? Fit Your Clothes Better? What does your dream body even look like?
2. Set Realistic Goals
Setting unrealistic goals will only discourage you when you don’t meet them. Start with small and achievable goals and slowly work your way up.
3. Expect Off Days
We all have them, it’s about how we bounce back that counts. Create a plan of action for when you stumble or lose your motivation and momentum.
4. Don’t Weigh Your Progress
Forget the scale and stop chasing numbers. Judge your progress from what you see in the mirror and how you feel about yourself.
5. Make It A Lifestyle, Not A Challenge
Consistency is key! Challenges might give you temporary results but the goal is to be in your best shape long-term. Every day you’re making choices to be better, that’s called a lifestyle.
I really help this was insightful and opens your mind to a new way to tackle your health and fitness goals. If you need help remembering the 5 steps, download my free guide!
Until next time, be shameless!