My last blog post urged you all to get started on your wellness journey. That it was ok if your efforts weren’t perfect to start and that it was ok to start and re-start… start 17 times if you have to. And while it was motivating to some, others remained skeptical and are loitering behind the finish line.
I heard, “Rebecca, I’m ready to start – in fact I’ve started 3 times already this year and I could use some help. What’s the key to starting and staying started? What should I eat? How should I exercise? When will I see my results?”
Great questions! Let’s talk about them!
First, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t suggest that you check with your doc before starting a new fitness routine or diet, especially if you have high blood pressure, a heart condition or are on medication. Like Mom always says, “Safety first!”. Ok, moving on…
5 Tips to Thrust You Over the Start Line!
1. Get your head right.
Be really clear with yourself on your expectations, why you are doing this and what you want out of this effort. Because it’s going to take effort. It’s going to take change. It’s going to be disruptive to the routines you have today. You will need to dig deep at times to resist that 2nd cupcake, swallow the kale salad and get your backside out of bed at 5am for spin class. Take time to collect your thoughts and clarify what you’re looking to accomplish. Write it down, send a text, craft an email, make a voice recording, anything that makes you think it through and get to the heart of the matter. You might discover there’s more to your motivation than you thought.
2. Think about your body differently.
You are a complex and powerful machine. Right now your heart is beating, brain is analyzing, lungs are pumping and your muscles are holding you upright and you didn’t have to say a word or do a thing. Any one of those things fail and you’ve got a serious problem. Find ways to respect yourself and your body for the fascinating system that it is. You wouldn’t pour soda into your car’s gas tank, why are you putting it in yours?
3. Think about food differently.
Food was meant to be sustenance to feed our powerful machine so that it would run efficiently and allow us to DO stuff with our lives. Over the past few decades we’ve developed the luxury to look at food as a pastime, a hobby, a reward, instead of something to fuel our body. I’m as guilty as the next guy when it comes to preferring food that is delicious. BUT…. there is no reason why the food we eat can’t be healthy and tasty. Just remember that the first purpose is feeding the machine that keeps us upright day after day. Make choices that fuel your engine first and then find ways to make those choices yummy!
4. Think about exercise differently.
Please don’t exercise for the sole purpose to lose weight. The only thing you’ll lose is interest in no time. Exercise is the opportunity to take your finely tuned machine out on the open road (or down a twisty mountain or off-roading in the hills). Let your body open up and run free. You can choose how fast or slow. Just be sure to take it out and give it a good run to keep it in shape. Maintenance is far easier than dealing with major repairs. Discover the type of movements that excite you, fill your soul or stretch your limits. Then do them. A lot.
5. Organize your thoughts regularly.
Once you have a destination and a well-maintained vehicle you want to be smart about your journey. Plan your week, plan your meals, plan your movements and anticipate roadblocks. Check in with yourself daily to be sure you’re on track. If you veer off course simply make a correction. By now you know that the road to health and wellness never really ends, it’s a constant journey peppered with highs and lows. Set your goals, determine the fuel you need each day to help you reach those goals, identify the movements you want to do to keep your machine revved up and plan it out every week.
Then, my friends, Live It Daily!
Follow my blog to continue receiving practical strategies for your best health. In upcoming blogs we’ll talk specifically about nutrition, food as fuel and different types of exercises to consider as you plan your wellness journey.