Life is a journey and fitness is one within. If you're choosing to take on a healthier lifestyle or have already started to explore the world of fitness, here are six reminders that I want you to carry along with you.
1. Do it for you
Not because someone made a comment toward you, not to prove them wrong, but to prove yourself wrong for ever thinking you wouldn’t take this step. At the end of the day it’s just you inside of your own mind and body. Feel good and sleep well knowing you’re doing this all yourself and for yourself. No one is going to lift the weight for you, so why are you going to lift it for them? Never lose sight of the right mindset.
2. Eat well but treat yourself
Yes, what you put into your body is an important part of this process and a huge factor on your health, but life doesn’t have to be lettuce and fat-free dressing. Find your balance. Meal prep during the week and go out to dinner once on the weekend. Don’t deprive yourself, because you won’t be doing your body or mind any good. You have to start somewhere, so maybe replace the pancakes for breakfast with some eggs and wheat toast. Take it step by step. Love yourself enough to enjoy a piece of cake today and take a longer jog tomorrow.
3. If you want to post a transformation photo on social media, do it!
Sometimes we find ourselves caring too much about what everyone thinks or we fear someone having a negative opinion towards us. Someone who has worked hard for their change might be afraid of looking like they’re asking for attention if they post their transformation photo for the world to see. I’m telling you this doesn't make you an attention seeker, despite what anyone might say. You SHOULD be proud. Use your journey as encouragement for others. Put a positive note, letting others know that they too can do whatever they set their mind to if they work for it. There’s too much bitterness in the world, so let’s be better and let’s encourage each other. You will get compliments, and it’s okay to enjoy that feeling. We all need and deserve a pat on the back every now and then.
4. It’s not about how many crunches the person next to you is doing
Comparison can be an ugly thing. It doesn’t matter if she’s lifting 25 pounds in each hand and you have a five in each. Use that as motivation, not discouragement. No one’s judgment matters and all of our goals and our bodies are different. It’s just you and your mind in that moment. Tell yourself you can. Do more reps with that smaller weight or give the next set a try. Get where you need to be. This is your body, only you know what you can handle. And remember: you’re there, at the gym or in your workout zone, and that’s a huge step in itself. Be proud of yourself for getting to that point because you could've chosen the couch, but you didn't. That's control and determination right there.
5. Never give up, but know your limits
You are your biggest critic and only your opinion matters, so have a kind mind. Remember why you’re taking on this change of lifestyle—for your health and happiness. There’s going to be days where maybe it’s cold or you debate canceling on the gym. Don’t. Because once you’re there, you will thank yourself. But, if you’re actually tired or feeling ill and it’s not just an excuse floating around and building up in the back of your mind, sleep! You're not disappointing anyone by giving your body what it needs. Your body needs rest and you won’t get so much out of the workout if you don’t have the energy. Don't overwork yourself, listen to your body.
6. Love yourself along the way!
This is by far my most important tip because getting lost in your own heavy mind can be so destroying, even after noticing physical results. Don’t start this journey because you hate your body or because she’s so thin. She is not you, just as strength is not a size. Start this journey because you are choosing to be good to your beautiful body, because you should cherish your home, for your own health, comfort and happiness. The worst thing you can do is put yourself down, thinking I’m not seeing results yet, or I should've never let myself get like this. Stop right there. Think: I can do this, I love my body and that’s why I’m taking care of it. Give yourself credit every step of the way and believe in progress, not perfection. Love who you are from the beginning and that love will keep you going.
I want everyone to love and care for themselves properly, because despite how much of this lifestyle change involves the body, your mind plays a huge role in the progress. Finish the day even stronger—inside and out.