Ask anyone, from respected University professor to magazine journalist and they will all tell you one thing. The closer you work to a deadline, the more of a rush you get. Somehow we have plenty of time to do the things we want to do, but we only get into gear just as the deadline approaches.
It’s that way with everything, with the paper you have to write for school, the presentation due tomorrow, or the deadline you set yourself to get in shape. Once you’re comfortable, it’s harder to push yourself to get it done. And if you really want to find easy ways to get in shape, it starts with your mindset.
Even when you know something is coming that requires you to be healthy, like a marathon, or a big event, we still do the minimum for as long as we can get away with it. That’s just the way our brains were wired, they don’t like to be uncomfortable. But the trick is to keep it as easy as possible, don’t wait for summer to roll around before you start thinking about being healthy and fit. Start right now.
Keep yourself on track every single day
I always find that if I have a goal to stick to, there’s nothing like a planner to keep me on track. I love to write down my daily goals, dreams, to-dos, and timekeeping. But I’ve never really done it with my fitness before – or considered it actually.
We all want to be healthier, better, and stronger. Why not start by writing everything down in a fitness journal. The only way to move on from where you are is to accept where you’ve started. The Fit Is The Sh*t planner will help you grow and develop, every week you will build on your routine, reflect on what went well, and become better than ever.
Not only do you log your meals for the week, you also log your exercise and (the most important part) take progress photos to keep you on track. This is the best way to start any journey to getting healthy because often we go for it without even attempting to track it.
Move your body even when you’re not working out
The biggest mistake I made when I started getting healthy was working out once a week and thinking that was enough. Eventually, I saw a difference, but not enough of one that I’d actually be motivated to carry on. I didn’t know that to make something work, you needed to work out a little bit every single day. And I thought that if you did work out every day, it had to be hardcore.
Simply making sure to move enough every day will help massively. You can do a strict HIIT workout twice or three times a week, a run every so often, and make sure to go on a long walk at the weekend. It will make a huge difference in your mental health, your wellbeing, and the way you feel.
Edit your diet
I took a long hard look at myself at the start of the year. I was eating and drinking the same things as when I was sixteen, wondering why my metabolism couldn’t handle it. Ten years of eating junk food can take its toll, and even though I wasn’t seeing much of one, I knew it would come. It would hit me like a ton of bricks. So I looked at myself. What am I eating that I can do without?
For one, snacking on things that had no nutritional value. Also, drinking fizzy drinks loaded with calories, and needing to take two sugars at least in every cup of tea. All those little things add up. And with so many horror stories about sugar around, I decided this is what I needed less of in my diet. Once I made small changes, I noticed things. I lost weight in my face and people started asking me to ‘Give them a twirl!’
I remember hyping myself up and telling people I’d worked really hard, but thinking to myself if they only knew how easy it was!
Join like-minded people
Another thing that really helps when you’re trying to make being healthier easy, is joining a community of people who share the same goal as you. For example, a Facebook group dedicated to a certain type of workout. I love seeing other women’s progress shots, hearing their struggles, and being around to talk them up when they feel like quitting. And likewise, I’ve shared a lot with them too. Supporting each other is always better than trying to go it alone.
Don’t make it too simple
In the Facebook group I’m part of, a few women were complaining they can’t stick to it. Their workouts are too simple, their meal plan was getting boring. Of course, hundreds of others had the same experience, and they found that every three weeks they needed to change the routine entirely. Change the meal prep, do a new exercise and surprise their body and their mind.
Simple is good, to begin with, but you have to try and keep it fresh to stop yourself from falling into a monotonous routine. Now, I’ll be honest I have two years to get in shape for a nice wedding dress, but it’s still daunting. I took the first step a while ago and I know these things happen with time and dedication, but keeping a handy log of my journey is seriously keeping me on track.
Photo by Romee Strijd