I remember the first time I stepped into the gym. It was very intimidating because, 1. it was my first time to be at a gym for the longest time, 2. I felt like I was too fat and unfit to be there 3. I had no friends with me that I almost took a u-turn and just head home! I seriously had to brave up getting my ass inside that unfamiliar territory. Glad I did because it changed my life and brought me to where I am now. Thus, my Fitness journey began.
That day, that courage, that decision, changed my life. Fitness became a lifestyle. My social media feeds gradually changed too, mostly showing gym photos, workout routines, and progress photos. Later on my journey my family and friends started to notice the weightloss and the physical change. At first I loved the feeling of people noticing how fit I have become and later on, that transcended to the desire of inspiring women to take on this journey too because if I did it, certainly they can too.
As days, weeks, months progressed, I started getting messages from friends and even strangers asking about my fitness journey, the diet, the exercises, and then some gym inquiries. Most of them worry about not knowing what to do or how to start. All those questions led me to write this blog post with the hope to be of help at least.
Ready? Okay, here are 6 tips to start your own Fitness Journey.
1. Commit to Be READY – ready for what? Ready for Change that is! Be ready physically, emotionally, and most of all mentally! Actually, the hard part isn’t getting your body in shape. The hard part is getting your mind in shape. So be ready to commit to this journey. You see, if you are not fully committed to the process, chances are, you will stop and you won’t reach your goals.
2. Set Time, Plan ahead – understand that for this to become a lifestyle, you have to set time for working out. You know your schedule and your possible roadblocks, so plan ahead. Mark your calendars if you have to! Set for yourself a reminder and make sure to stick to that schedule, unless you REALLY have to skip it for something very important. Be mindful with the roadblocks though as letting other developments in your life cut into this, can easily put you off track. Make at least a month-long schedule for your workout routine. It doesn’t have to be everyday. A 3-times a week workout is fair enough for you to jump-start your fitness journey. Make that conscious effort to prioritize the habit of exercising regularly.
3. Change Your Mindset with Food – I exercise because I want to eat. I have heard this so many times, even from friends I work with. Nothing really wrong with it. We all have to eat, but careful with this mindset because if you are aiming to lose weight and get back into shape, this mindset might jeopardize your goal. While this might be true to some, the mindset to exercise so you can eat can lead you to eating more than you burn calories on your workout. Exercise is an actor while nutrition is the star of the show. Definitely no starving, just eat right and feed your body right. AND! Don’t be afraid to have your favorite foods every once in a while! I recommend, diet on weekdays and cheat days on weekends ;).
4. Set Realistic Expectations – Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your body. Key is knowing your body and PATIENCE! Set goals that are realistic and achievable according to your exercise routines/frequency and nutrition. Do not be too hard on yourself and never compare your goals and results to others or you are doomed to disappointment and failure. Patience is virtue so do not be alarmed if the weight does not come off as fast as you’d imagined them to be. Bear in mind that IF you are making adjustment on your diet and moving more, it’s impossible not to see some extra weight coming off as the days would progress. Track your progress only if you are consistent with #2 and #3.
5. Participate in Exercises or Sport that you Enjoy – oftentimes the reason why people throw in the towel so fast is because they are not enjoying the fitness activity that they do. Let’s face it, if exercising feels like a chore, you won’t last long and that’s when this fitness journey becomes just a fad for you, a seasonal thing. I suggest you participate in exercises and activities that you enjoy doing. Everything does not have to be very structured or should be done in the gym. You might be the sociable type of person and you enjoy doing activities with a group. In that case join an active running group, a zumba class with friends (or make friends while you’re on it), or an outdoor sport that you love. I personally love weights and strength training so my primary exercise is at the gym where lifting weights makes me happy! Weight training is a great way to tone your entire body from head to toe. Then later I learned to love running (road and trail) and started a club for road and trail runners alongwith some friends who enjoy the same sport. It’s a great cross-training. Cardio and Weights is a perfect combination so if you can have that type of fitness routine, it would be great!
6. Be a Part of a Community – It’s undeniable that working out with friends or with a crowd makes exercise even more fun! Since you are just starting your fitness journey, being a part of a community is a good idea. A community can help you go through the phase of creating your “new normal”. Supportive peers and trainers will help you get through the early stages.
So there you go! I hope these tips will help you jumpstart that Fitness Journey you have probably been putting on hold for a long time already. I know that the starting point is the most difficult and the scariest, but don’t let that be your hindrance in improving your health and well-being. Make that decision to be fit and healthy right now and commit to it! Remember, you are doing this for YOU!