There is SO MUCH health, fitness, diet & exercise information out there how do you even decide which one is the “right” one? How do you know who to believe?
When I was 19 years old, I completely changed my lifestyle. I went from a “college girl” (partying all the time, eating horribly and never getting enough sleep) to someone completely different on the inside and on the outside. I realized I wasn’t doing my body ANY favors by living this way – and so I decided to change. Nearly 7 years later, healthy living and regular exercise is still a part of my life and a part of who I am.
Here are 8 truths I have learned, without a doubt when it comes to getting in shape, and staying that way.
1. Fitness is for EV-ER-Y-ONE!!!!
Now, you don’t have to be a fitness professional to live this way. You don’t have to have a fitness and healthy living You Tube channel, be a personal trainer…you don’t even have to love working out….you have to love yourself!! You have to love yourself enough to accept the fact that FITNESS IS FOR LIFE. Fitness and healthy living knows no age and no language. No matter who you are, what your occupation, where you come from, or what your goals are – you have to think about what you are putting into your body and moving your ass! No joke! You cannot pound Twinkies and beer like it’s your job and barely break a sweat.
2. Perfect isn’t possible
If you tell yourself “I am going to eat perfectly and not fall off my workout plan this time,” you are lying to yourself. Perfect isn’t the goal and perfect is boring. Perfect doesn’t build character and it doesn’t teach you any valuable lessons in regards to moderation and self-control. Don’t aim to be perfect, aim to be YOUR BEST. But, at the same time you have to be honest with yourself and really know what “giving your best” means for YOU. Giving your best isn’t grabbing a candy out of the candy jar every time you pass it at work. But, giving your best can be indulging in dessert at your best friends birthday. Giving your best isn’t indulging at every single holiday party you attend during the season. But, giving your best can be indulging at your family Christmas celebration (one time deal).
3. Consistency, consistency, consistency!
(photo not my own)
Once you accept that fitness is for life, you also accept that there is no finish line. There isn’t a “Lose 10 lbs in one week” or “Six Pack in 7 days” that is going to distract or deceive you. Good ol’ sweat and hard work has to be at the forefront of your mind. As Dori from Finding Nemo says, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!”
4. REAL Results trump any “quick fix”
I remember the first time I looked at myself in the mirror (after months of hard work) and I was like “Damnnnnn!” That was SO much more rewarding than losing water weight during a “3-day detox cleanse” could EVER be. Change resulting from hard work makes you want to push harder! My results are my biggest motivating factor.
5. You gotta find ways to mix shit up
I am always looking for different workout styles and routines to try. While I may still be working out in the gym or at home most of the time – I am always looking for ways to mix it up so that I don’t get bored. Weight training, Pilates, martial arts, kick boxing, yoga (of all types), water aerobics, HIIT, Zumba, Spinning, running, walking, biking….I get into it ALL! Yes, some I like more than others but anything is better than being bored during your workout and wondering “Is this over yet?”
6. Ditch the “Debbie downers”
My Dad always says the 5 most important words are: Surround yourself with good people! Being around people who bring you up, support your goals (even if they do not have the same ones as you) and who are always there for you no matter what. At 19 years old you bet there were a lot of people who tried to get me to go out, who stopped calling and texting me because I was “boring” and didn’t care to understand why I wasn’t “having fun” anymore. The thing is, I was (and am) still having fun; my idea of “fun” has just changed. I had some friends who stuck by me – and they are still my friends today. If someone says “You can’t” you say “GOOD BYE!” Don’t let anyone stand in the way of your fitness and health goals (or any goal for that matter).
7. You must practice portion control
Nuts are my favorite example. Yes, they are totally healthy!! Full of good fats and plenty of vitamins and nutrients. However, you can’t eat them by the handful like they’re going out of style – there are a TON of calories in them.
8. Nothing easy is ever worth doing
If you could just take a magic pill, how would that make you grow as a person? It wouldn’t. Getting in shape and being strong for the sake of your health transcends into so many other areas of your life: your job, your relationship, your family life…! We have to fight to be our best selves and become strong physically and mentally. A strong person, physically and mentally, will be a much more effective worker, partner and parent.