Chances are if you are new to hitting the gym or want to give the gym a try, you may have felt Gymtimidated at some point. I know I have, and it was hard to get over at first.
So I'm going to share with you what I've learned.
Ok, you've decided you need to change things in your lifestyle, maybe you want to be a more healthier you. While I totally agree everyone can benefit from change, you first have to make sure you WANT to change and that you're ready for it. Change is usually not easy so don't try to change everything at once. For me, finding a good balance between what I'm used too and what I want is a good place to start.
So let's talk about THE GYM...You drive by and see all those people in there working hard and you think...daaaaammnnn, I wish I could do that!! Annnnd then you keep driving, hopefully not through the drive thru across the street. But guess what, YOU CAN do that!! Not everyone that works out at the gym is a jacked up muscle head or can run 20 miles. You might be surprised at who is actually at the gym when you relax and look around.
So you did it, you signed up and now you're either panicking or you are excited. Don't worry those feelings will most likely fade. I used to drive to the gym and cry in the parking lot and then go home....Yup, I did!! The hard work seemed endless, I would think about those dreadful machines and how fast everyone else could go and I'd already be setting my mind up for failure. I'd see the women in their adorable workout pants running, ponytail bouncing, and I'd think screw you!!
I was afraid to try anything new and out of my comfort zone, which was pretty much any machine at the gym. I felt like everyone was staring, so instead of asking someone I would avoid it....fear can be crippling!!
So here is what I know, everyone going to the gym has something in common. They are working on THEMSELVES!!
And everyone has different goals for themselves. It's not a competition and nobody, trust me NOBODY is judging you harder than you're judging yourself.
So a few things that have made my life easier since working on myself and sticking to it.
INVEST in YOU.
If you're longing to hit the gym or take a class but you've thought up every excuse why you can't, start rearranging things so YOU CAN. I gave up drive though coffee, an easy $10 a week, that pays for my monthly gym membership.
Look at your schedule and schedule your gym time. It helps if you can write it down, thats right put it in WRITING!!
Put your gym clothes and sneakers on before you can change your mind, this helps. It's so much easier to find more things to do around your house when you are still in your jammies. I put my gym clothes on right when I wake up, no excuses.
Bring a buddy or don't bring a buddy. I feel like this is more of a personal preference. I started working out with my husband in the beginning which held me accountable. BUT...I couldn't keep up with him which made me feel like a failure. SO, I started to break away from him at the gym and just work on what I wanted and that works for me. If your friend wants to quit early and you still have plenty more to give, you are more likely to quit because of your friend...just saying.
Find SUPPORT!! Do not try to do this alone. Even if it's an online FB group Click here to join mine Find one you can check in with to hold yourself accountable and share your accomplishments. Groups are awesome for this, because celebrating even the smallest step is IMPORTANT!!
The good...The bad...The ugly!!
Now that we have given ourselves permission to invest in changing our lifestyle, let's talk about food. This is where balance comes in. I am not a dieter. Anything to hard or restricting I run away from.
So start small. I'm not good at food prepping BUT I do prepare somewhat of a list / menu before I go to the store for my weekly groceries. If there is something you want, look online for healthy option recipes.
You would be amazed at how picky I am about food, I don't like fruits and I barely enjoy veggies. BUT, after playing around with different ways to prepare them, Whoa!! I'm eating like a champ!!
I've been able to cut carbs and dairy. I eat very low sugar, tons of veggies, and SALADS...anyone who knows me probably thinks I'm lying at this point!! But I'm serious...don't go by what someone else is doing or telling you to eat, go by what works FOR YOU!!
I'm a big believer in creating healthy options,
Muscle FUEL for weight loss, another thing I could not be bothered with in the beginning and has now made a huge difference. Find yourself some sort of protein supplement. Chances are if you're trying to scale back, eat healthy, and cut carbs you are NOT eating enough!! Find a protein shake, powder, whatever and add it to your day. You will be amazed at how much energy this gives you!! And how much this actually helps your appetite and weight loss.
STAY MOTIVATED...How??? I thought you'd never ask. What I have found that works for me when I'm slipping or want so badly to give in and quit, I don't just think about why I started or why I'm doing this. I repeat the reasons over and over in my head. In the beginning, I would workout or run with my head phones in but no music. Being able to focus is important. Get honest with yourself and let the thoughts flow, I will tell you what came flowing was uncomfortable to admit at first and actually felt awkward. But allow yourself to think beyond your normal. Repeat them over and over. On days I really need to dig deep I say them out loud!! I've literally been running down the street yelling these out loud. You will be AH- MAZED at how well your mind responds to this.
Another trick I use when that one gets boring and sometimes my mind just doesn't want to believe me, especially if I've cheated or I'm having a "fat day" c'mon we all have those. Instead of focusing on how I feel, or how I think I look, maybe my stomach is a little jiggly or my legs are weak today. I envision what I want my body to look like. I think about my muscles underneath what I see, and focus on the muscle moving powerfully as I work out. ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL STRONG!!
And lastly, spend more time finding what works, instead of time being hung up on what doesn't....You might have to try several different things, you might have to accept a few things you don't want too. You might have to dig deep. You might have to get comfortable with being UNcomfortable. Things do not change over night.
So do yourself a favor and show up everyday with a smile on your face because you're worth it.
Make 2017 YOUR year...do it for YOU!