I’ve already told you why I started my journey to a healthier lifestyle, but, as a person who has struggled with eating habits and weight my whole life, I would now like to share with you what has kept me motivated after seven months (which is a miracle for this gal!) of chipping away those bad habits and replacing them with better ones.
One thing that I have discovered to be very important in this journey for me is how quickly I introduce each element I want to change. For instance, I knew that I needed to start exercising in addition to changing what and how much I ate. But growing up I’ve learned that trying to suddenly improve everything at once is too overwhelming and I always just end up failing. So this time I thought I would try reaching for smaller goals over a longer period of time.
I’m sure all of us at one point in our lives have announced our New Year’s resolution of “I’m gonna lose X amount of pounds this year!” or “I’m promising myself I’m going to live a healthier lifestyle…like, for real this time!” But what happens a month later? We’re back into that pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food, eating out for every meal, and hating ourselves for it. Or at least that’s what happens to me.
A very useful method when trying to lose weight is a reward system, which I will be enjoying this December when one of my sisters and I travel to Florida for a super fun and extravagant eleven day trip. We’ve been planning for what seems like forever! We’ve allotted three days for the Universal theme park and three days for a couple of the Disney parks, giving us a few extra days to explore Orlando and the 60’s themed hotel we’ve booked. And I would really rather not be doing all that with extra poundage slowing me down. And let’s be real; ladies my size only dream of thigh gaps, which I imagine would make walking all day so much easier than having to feel that fiery sensation. If any of you guys or girls don’t know what I’m talking about, count your blessings.
In April, I began to eat less. Because I had started work and wasn’t at home all day anymore, it was easy to simply eat less food. Not necessarily eating healthier yet, just less. So when I got used to eating smaller portions and less often, I started to (and am still working to) change what I eat. Instead of consuming foods with little nutritional value and a high calorie count, I switched to more foods that provided my body with higher protein and good fats to keep me satisfied throughout the day like carrots and hummus or almonds.
And once a few weeks had passed and I got that concept under my belt, I implemented a workout routine. But even with this I knew that jumping into an intense cardio workout and weightlifting wouldn’t work for me. So I started doing this low impact, full body workout from Fitness Blender (an amazing resource for anyone seeking a healthier lifestyle, from beginner to advanced) three times a week that is easy on the joints, simple to follow, but still leaves me feeling so much better afterwards. And because it is fairly easy and quick, I know I can do it on those days when I feel whooped or lazy.
I am still in this stage of my journey. Recently I’ve been adding a cardio workout here or there to my week in addition to my regular workouts but for months that simple routine has been my sole exercise. So because I have kept things simple and continue to incorporate things one at a time, it has made a world of difference for my mindset! And I have also been able to tell a major difference in the appearance of my muscles. Like you can actually see them!
So maybe you’re discouraged because you’re not losing that extra pudge as fast as you would like, or because you just can’t stay with a routine. Take it from somebody who has failed time and time…and time again. If I can do it, you can do it! It will take patience and consistency. But you CAN do it!
Maybe you have your own tips and tricks that have worked for you in your own wellness journey. And maybe some things that didn’t work so well. I would love to hear it all here in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org!