At the beginning of the year, I was at an all-time low. My body was a disaster and physically I’ve never looked worse. Ever since I can remember I’ve battled with my weight – being naturally a little on the plumper side. And my habits over the years have only made this worse. The worst thing was, I was blind to how my body looked. And I ignored it when it was telling me how it felt.
But two months ago, I saw photos of myself. All of a sudden, I couldn’t blame the camera or the angle anymore. I was horrified and it made my self-confidence drop to a dangerous low. I hid under layers of clothes, no matter how hot I was and made sure to avoid being in front of the camera at all costs. But it wasn’t just about the weight I gained, it was how my skin looked and how sick I felt all the time.
That’s when I knew things had to change. Because the truth of the matter was that it was only going to get worse. And the worse I continued to let it get meant that it would get considerably harder to change. Rather than waiting for a new Monday, I started straight away. And because naturally, everything I do has to have a plan, I came up with fifteen ways to make my life healthier. Here’s how you can do the same…
1. Start with a plan
Trust me when I tell you that if you’re not keeping track of your progress then it will be easy to lose your motivation and give up. I know this because I’ve been there, over and over again. In the past, I’ve tried to use whiteboards and notebooks but there’s not been enough structure there to achieve my goals.
That’s why I had to be smarter. And when I bought the Fit Is The Sh*t Planner everything changed. With weekly and monthly overviews I never lost track of even a beat. It also has daily meal and workout planning that allows you to really monitor your fitness journey, which really helped me to maintain a healthier diet. Plus the progress shots you put in throughout really help.
2. Take It Step By Step
Remember that it’s called day one for a reason. It takes time and dedication to smash your goals. So, don’t expect to be at the top of your game as soon as you start. You’ll have to take baby steps and build your strength, stamina, and resistance up by the day.
Take me for example, I’ve always loved to run. There’s nothing like shutting off from everything and being alone with just your thoughts and your feet hitting the ground. But just because I love it, doesn’t mean I’m any good at it. I can’t run for long without the overwhelming feeling telling me to give up. Because the truth is my stamina isn’t there yet. Start small and build up to the bigger wins. It’s important to register every win as a win instead of fixating on all the things you can’t do.
3. Make It Visible
I’m not talking about telling everyone you know, studies have shown that telling people can even make it harder to achieve your fitness goals. I mean create a reminder for yourself that you’ve got to work out as soon as you wake up (or get home) in the form of a photo, a message, or just your workout gear waiting for you as soon as you get in. Once you get into the routine it’ll be easier to stick to it.
4. Get Your Daily Challenge In
Pick an area of your body you want to tone. If you want to concentrate on more than one part you can. However, if you’re just starting off, then I’d recommend not to overdo it. But rather, focus on one area a month until you increase your strength. don’t overdo it and focus on one by one until you increase your strength.
Now do a 30-day challenge where do you exercises that are specific to that area of your body. I’m currently doing the 30-day squat challenge because you know…squats.
5. Workout Short And Often
I’ve never understood people who work out only once a week. While that’s good and a great place to start, it won’t do much to help you be fitter, faster.
What will work is if you work out in short bursts every day. I’m talking about 15-20 minutes a day of high-intensity cardio. The times goes quickly and it can be a really effective way to see results faster. Plus, it will help get you into the routine of including exercise in your daily life and will help blow off steam! Plus, if you switch it up enough you will feel more energized and your body won’t get used to one type of exercise.
6. Go The Extra Mile
Now is not the time to be lazy. Instead, go the extra mile. And you can do this anywhere and everywhere. Rather than taking lifts or escalators take the stairs, speed walk up hills, walk half your commute or all of it, stand rather than sit.
All you have to do is not take the easiest way. Fight the urge to fall back into old habits and instead choose to be more active and work closer and closer to your goals.
7. Set Mini Goals
Obviously, you would have set your long-term goals. You’ll know how much you’ll want to weigh and when, or how far you want to run by a certain point in time for example. But the one thing many people forget to do is to set mini goals and challenges within their routines. I write those mini goals down in my Fit Is The Sh*t planner every day, alongside my huge goal. And honestly, I would be nowhere without it. It just helps me to stay sane and make the changes I’ve never made before.
Remember that this goal also needs a strategy, which means there are mini goals and targets that need to be hit along the way. Take me for example, I need to learn to walk before I can run. This means I need to increase my stamina by setting myself a daily step goal which increases every two weeks. This helps me work towards my end goal but also increases my fitness along the way.
8. Cut Out The Inessential
You may be an avid gym-goer, who eats pretty good and lives a somewhat healthy life. But do you feel like you’re not any closer to your goals? This could be because you’re consuming empty calories and holding onto things that are holding you back.
These are things like sugary drinks and snacks. And quite frankly you should cut down on non-natural sugary products or avoid them all together. Get rid of the fizzy drinks and instead stay hydrated with water. Avoid that “one” chocolate bar or sweets and ignore that voice in your head that tells you it won’t hurt anything.
If you are a sugar addict, try to give yourself a short deadline, so one week no sugar and then you get to have a treat on the weekend. You’ll see a difference and won’t feel like you’re giving up everything you love.
9. Push Yourself
When I first started this journey it was really difficult. The beginner workouts I was doing seemed impossible. But the surprising thing about your body is that it gets used to things very quickly. And after two weeks my body wasn’t feeling exhausted after these workouts.
And this also scared me. Because I wasn’t waking up with the aches and the pains, which to me says that I wasn’t working hard enough. So, it’s always really important to step up your workouts every so often. You need to push yourself in every workout to the point where you feel you can’t do it anymore. Going to workout classes like Barry’s Bootcamp and doing HIIT workouts really help you to do this because you’re forced to go hard.
10. Make It Your Life
Changing your life and becoming more healthier is more than just a goal, it’s a lifestyle, which means everything needs to change. If you’re just trying to lose weight fast then you’re always going to be in the cycle of starting and stopping. And this isn’t a good mindset to be in.
You want to work on your body and make it work for you. The only way you can do this is by making fitness and wellness a part of your life. You have to want to be that person and make the necessary changes. And just like breaking any bad habit, it’s going to be hard. But there are plenty of ways you can get around this. If you want to know more about breaking bad habits read my previous article here.
…come to those who sign up for our emails
Photos by Halle Berry