So I know a lot of you follow my fitness journey, and are curious on how you can get into fitness yourselves. Many of you want to get fit, you want to get in shape, you might be feeling uncomfortable in your skin, you want to take good care of your body because you know, even though you are young now, eventually your lifestyle is gonna catch up with you. Or, even though you don’t know why you would start working out, you just can’t shake the feeling that you should. This article is for you.
I started getting into fitness because after finishing my professional dance training, I started my training to become a health coach, I started blogging, and one day I noticed that my life had become pretty sedentary. I felt uncomfortable in my skin and I felt bad for having a healthy, young body and not using it. Health and wellness were my passion, but in the pursuit of getting a degree so I could start teaching about these things, my life became more sedentary than ever. How ironic. But this is how life works sometimes. And it doesn’t matter how we got here, what matters is how we can create a lifestyle that is more aligned with our goals and desires.
CONSIDER YOUR MOTIVATION, YOUR WHY
So when pursuing a healthier lifestyle, first of all, consider your motivation. WHY do you want to get into fitness? And I suggest you go deeper than superficial goals alone. Wanting a shapely body is fine, and it’s the reason a lot of people get into fitness in the first place, but physical progress takes time. It WILL come, but it takes time. And until you get there you need a goal more meaningful than “rock hard abs”. For example, and I’m getting personal here, something that’s always been in the back of my mind is the fact that I want to have children someday. And I want my body to be as healthy as possible before I even get pregnant so it will be a wonderful home for that growing baby. During pregnancy the body literally takes cells from the mother’s body to make the baby’s cells. So when my cells are healthy, I can provide some high quality building blocks for my unborn child. I just feel blessed to have the knowledge and the means to make my life choices with that in mind. And that’s the key word here: choice. Some people don’t even have the option to work out and to feed their bodies with healthy, high quality food. You do. So be grateful for that and realize that working out and eating healthy aren’t chores, but an option you’ve been blessed with.
Working out is a celebration of what your body can do; not a punishment for what you ate.
So what’s your motivation? Why do you want to get into fitness? How do you want to FEEL? When I first got into fitness I wanted to feel comfortable in my skin, I wanted to feel more energetic, stronger, and happier. Focus more on the feelings you want to attain than the physical changes. As I said, they will come. But the mental progress will not only be quicker than the physical progress, it will also be more meaningful to you over the long haul.
I know I just went kinda deep on you in that last section, and I do think it’s important to have a more meaningful goal than just a certain body type, but equally important is this: don’t take it so damn serious! Some people become obsessive with it and start beating themselves up for every indulgence, for not looking a certain way, for not being able to perform their workouts a certain way, basically, for not being perfect. And all of that is so unnecessary! Health and fitness are meant to ADD to your life; not take away from it.
Fitness is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to make you feel good and give you better health. So instead of starting this journey in the hopes for six pack abs, just start working out to feel good, to do something nice for your body, and to achieve greater health. I promise, the results will follow. But you should enjoy the journey all the way through. This is something you want to make part of your life for the rest of your life. And the only way it’s gonna stick, is if you enjoy doing it.
Not a diet, a lifestyle. Not for him, for me. Not for a day, but everyday. Not to feel good in a dress, but to feel good in my skin. Not for the beach, but for my mind. Not for a competition, but for THE competition I have created for myself, by myself, to become the best version of myself. Every. Single. Day.
So in the last section I talked about some of the ways in which we often beat ourselves up on this journey, and one of the main reasons we start beating ourselves up is because we are comparing ourselves to someone else and our journey to someone else’s. Stop doing that! When we look at other people, especially online, we only see the tip of the iceberg, i.e. success. What we don’t see is everything that’s below the surface: dedication, hard work, good habits, disappointment, sacrifice, failure, persistence, patience, and all the time that went into creating that success. Don’t compare your journey with anyone else’s goals or process. Everyone’s different. Everyone started out as a beginner. And this is supposed to be fun.
Because she competes with no one, no one can compete with her.
BE PICKY WITH YOUR FITSPOS
Nowadays social media is full with so called fitspo accounts, and I think it’s great that fitness is becoming more accessible. But be aware of who you follow online. You want to only follow people who make you feel good and positive, and who inspire and motivate you. If someone you follow makes you feel like you, your body, or your life are crap, unfollow. Why would you do that to yourself? Remember that people only post their highlights on social media. No matter how perfect their life looks, behind the scenes they’re just as messed up as you are. No one’s life is perfect. So be discerning with the people you follow online. Make sure you feed your mind with uplifting content, and stay away from anything that makes you feel less-than.
The big lie is that everyone is happy except you…even if someone looks happy online or in the store, guaranteed some part of their life feels like it’s falling apart. They just aren’t talking about or showing that part.
Keeping the comparison and fitspo topic in mind, free yourself realizing that you don’t have to be like anyone else. Your journey doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s, your routine doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s, your body doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. You are free to BE YOU and DO YOU. So find what works for you. What type of workout are you interested in? Lifting, circuit training, HIIT, boxing, yoga,…? And what setting works best for you? Workout classes, home workouts, gym workouts, outdoor activities, working with a trainer, following workout videos,…? What fits you, your personality, your schedule, your budget? Be realistic and find something that works for you and that you can fit into your schedule.
And most importantly, do what makes you feel really good. Don’t choose a workout program that you know you’ll hate but you think will get you “amazing results”. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick to it. So I’m pretty sure you’ll get better results from a program you actually like and will stick to than from a program you’ll do for a week before quitting because of how much you hate it. Right? So find something you enjoy and that you’ll gladly stick to.
Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.
JUST DO IT – EVEN IF YOU SUCK
That should read, even though you suck. Every good workout will push you outside your comfort zone, ergo, you’ll suck. It’s part of the job really. When I started out I couldn’t even do one push up – on my knees! I could only go down a couple inches in my squats, I had to modify almost every exercise, and I was struggling SO MUCH. Over time my form improved, I’m able to do push ups, I’m able to squat deep, but I’m not perfect in any way, and I still struggle through every single workout. So just do it, even if you suck. Forgive yourself for sucking and just do your best. You’ll improve over time. But the process doesn’t have to be so stressful. As long as you’re doing your best, you’re doing great.
You’ve got to be a beginner before you can be anything else.
WHEN YOU FALL OFF TRACK
When you feel like giving up, remember step number 2. Relax. It’s just a momentary pause. Life is really long. So getting of track for a week or a month isn’t that big of a deal. Give yourself a break, realizing that you’re not alone, everyone goes through this, and it’s okay.
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.
Life goes through seasons. Sometimes everything will click and fall into place beautifully. You’ll crave your workouts, you’ll crave your healthy meals, you’ll have high energy and high motivation and sticking to your routine will be a breeze. Other times though it will take every last ounce of willpower for you to get off your butt for a workout or for cooking yourself a healthy meal. And even other times, all your willpower won’t be enough to get you to stick to your routine. It’s okay. Life happens. We all go through times like that.
Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster; it’s more like a cha-cha.
LIVE YOUR LIFE
You can eat all the raw cacao chia seed goji berry quinoa in the world, but if you’re still obsessing about that one slice of pizza you ate last week, that’s not healthy. Don’t sacrifice a healthy mind in the pursuit of a healthy body. You know, in between goals is a thing called life that needs to be lived and enjoyed. And you can find a way to incorporate health and fitness into your life without giving up your personality, your friendships, or fun. Remember, it’s supposed to be fun! Yes, there’s discipline involved, but it’s still something you do because you know how good it makes you feel. I don’t know why, but we all have a really hard time doing the things that we know make us feel good. That’s why we need discipline. Discipline to get our butt off the couch and do the things that we KNOW will make us feel amazing.
And everything about this journey, the type of workouts you choose, the approach to healthy nutrition you choose, can and should be tailored to you. You shouldn’t do something just because someone else is doing it and having success with it. You should do what works for YOU, for your life, your body, and your personality.
Restriction should never be part of your journey. Discipline, yes. But as we said, that’s just discipline to do the things that you know will make you feel great. Not forcing yourself to do something you despise, or give up things you love.
Give up carbs? Over my bread body.
I don’t ever want you to feel like you can’t have birthday cake, or eat your grandma’s rich food, or enjoy holiday treats with your family, or spend your vacation lounging on the beach eating ice cream. Life is meant to be lived!
And as I keep saying, health and fitness are meant to ADD to your life; not take away from it. You can and should enjoy these occasions guilt-free. As I said here, it matters what you do MOST of the time.
LOVE YOURSELF EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
As I kept repeating throughout this post, progress takes time. But this journey is meant to be enjoyed all the way through. Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take toward reaching that goal.
Don’t start obsessing over numbers or progress. Know yourself. If seeing the number on the scale go up and down will make you anxious, get rid of your scale! You don’t need it. The number on the scale doesn’t represent health, it doesn’t represent fitness. All it can tell you is the weight of your overall body mass. Just look at yourself and watch how you FEEL. Feeling healthy, feeling energized, feeling happy, feeling strong, feeling comfortable in your skin – that’s real progress.
Your best weight is whatever weight you reach when you’re living the healthiest life you actually enjoy.
Be proud of all the small victories along the way. Every completed workout, every healthy meal, every step outside your comfort zone. You should be proud of yourself for taking such good care of your body and your self. That’s time and energy well-spent.
And don’t give up when you can’t see results right away. Some things take time. Just be patient with yourself. Progress starts from within. Take your time and ENJOY every moment of your journey. It’s not about the finish line; it’s about what’s between now and then.
So just go for it. Start now, start with what you have, start with what you know. Just take it one day at a time taking one step after another towards a healthier, happier you. The universe supports righteous action. So everything you need, all the resources, information and people you need will enter your life as soon as you start taking action. Ready, set, GO!
Thank you for reading! Now I’d love to hear from you.
Have you been thinking about getting into health and fitness?
If so, have you answered that call or are you still on the fence?
What type of exercise do you feel most drawn to? And what is your biggest hurdle towards living a healthier lifestyle?
Please share in the comments. I’m also happy to answer any questions you might have.
With love and burpees,
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