(4) Number four is creating ROUTINES and HABITS.
At first, it will take discipline and motivation, but you are motivated. That’s why you’re reading this and want to start getting healthy! I believe motivation (and thereby discipline) are always present at the beginning. But it does not last! You will not always be motivated to workout (or eat right). That is why it is ESSENTIAL to form routines and habits.
How do you do that? By being consistent and doing it over and over and over. As I mentioned above, I committed to working out no matter what 5 days a week. You can start by just committing to a 20 minute walk everyday, then start doing YouTube videos, then maybe move to the gym. I started doing free videos at home with very little equipment. I eventually joined the gym and focused more on weight lifting, but for months and months, I just did videos at home. I think it’s best to do it around the same time every day. I have to workout before I start my day. So it may be at 8am or it may be at 5am if I have something to do that morning, but it is always before I start working or running errands or whatever I’m doing that day.
I hated working out my entire life. I still hate cardio. But because I kept with it, working out is now a habit for me. It’s part of my routine. It’s actually weird- I don’t even think about skipping the gym. It’s like brushing my teeth. Even on the days I don’t feel like going, it doesn’t occur to me to not go- just like even the days you don’t want to go to work, you still go, right? You can’t just skip 3 days of work every week! Same with working out. I happen to love weight lifting (but that doesn’t mean I don’t have many days where I do NOT want to be at the gym!), so do what you love. If those circuit classes or spin or running is your thing, do it! But again, I highly recommend that you still incorporate serious weight lifting because I do think that’s the secret to my success.
And finally, I was patient and consistent NOT perfect. Consistency over Perfection!
(5) Number five is PATIENCE AND CONSISTENCY.
It took me about a year to lose 40 pounds. You can definitely lose weight faster, but I believe that the faster you lose the weight, the less likely you are to keep it off because you’re probably doing a quick fix or fad diet or over-exerting yourself. Like I said, I still went out with friends for dinner, I had days when I binged. I was not perfect, but I was CONSISTENT. I always got back on track the next meal/day.
I had DAYS or WEEKS even where I would not lose weight…a lot of times, the scale would even go up. In the past, I would ALWAYS give up and say, well this isn’t even working so why I am even trying? This time, I just kept going. And eventually, the scale would go down further, and my arms did look more cut. Don’t forget that- you will have days or weeks with no weight loss and even weight gain. DO NOT GIVE UP. If you stay consistent, you WILL get there.
You can do this!! I consider myself an inherently lazy person, who would eat fast food for every meal if I could. Trust me, I am not that naturally disciplined, loves to workout and eat kale type person. If I can do it, you can do it. I know people always say that, but really, I’m just like you. I would have rather sat on my butt watching Real Housewives and eating Cheetos, but I just needed a change. I wasn’t happy. I still hate cardio and only do it twice a week, BUT I’ve gained a love of fitness in general. I love lifting. I love hiking. I love going for walks outside. I love being active now, whereas before, I would always choose sitting inside and watching tv over doing anything active (btw, I still do like to sit and watch tv!).
Oh! And one last tip- since I hate cardio and don’t do it very often, I do try to get at least 10,000 steps a day. I recommend a Fitbit (or something similar) because it does help keep me on track with getting my steps. But no worries if you don’t have or want one – I didn’t get a Fitbit until after I had lost my weight so it’s definitely not necessary!