I’m probably not the best person to give fitness advice, but I do know how it feels to struggle with weight, body image and just overall fitness routine bordom, stardom and just overall gettingoffyourbuttanddoingitdom, but this year, I told myself I’m not going to get discouraged, and I’m just going to try to get some type of fitness activity no matter what.
Before I get started, a little bit about my body (haha, that sounds so weird!). I’m not thin, I don’t think I’ve ever been thin. If there was ever someone who was big boned and could fully admit it, it’s me! (seriously, my doctor told me this!). I’m muscular, but I have a gut and someone my height should probably be thirty pounds less than what I am, but regardless the shape that my body has taken, I’m probably in the second best “shape” of my life.
I hate to say, I’ve been on a diet all my adult life, but I think it wasn’t until college did I realize that it was time to nip this whole baby fat mantra in the bud and really start getting out there and going for it. I’ve always been bigger than my friends and I grew up in a predominantly Asian community, so I NEVER felt thin… ever. There’s a reason why one of my Almost Thirty Proverbs is Beauty isn’t defined by skinny. It’s because all my life I’ve heard, “You’d be so pretty if you lost some weight.”
I’m not at my weight goal, but I am in a happier place when it comes to my fitness and weight. I think I’ve come to a realization that when it comes to fitness it’s either you do or you don’t. I can tell stories and anecdotes of when my fitness life was good and my fitness life was not so good, but from 2006 (when I decided to do something about my weight) to now, I’ve realized that I can’t be discouraged and I can’t be negative. I have to stay upbeat and keep everything in perspective.
It’s so easy to be unhappy about weight, but the biggest struggle in the last couple years is to shake being unhappy about it and just be about it! I could name all the times when I was discouraged that I wasn’t at the weight or fitness level I wanted to be at. Even as recent as a couple days ago I received my holiday bloat drivers license picture and all I could think is, “Ugh, not there yet.” BUT before I could beat myself up about holiday eating, I just said, “OK, hit it… let’s start running more.” and I just started doing it.
I got carded this weekend and the doorman was like, “Is that you?” and all I could say is, “I know, it’s a bad picture.”
For all the starts and stops and false starts I’ve had to my fitness plan, I feel that the same rules have stayed tried and true. This time, even though I’m motivated by the Resolution Challenge, I’m also just over being discouraged about it. Let’s just do it… let’s just go! So with that all said, here are some of my favorite ways to get the fitness in without any excuses. Again, I don’t claim to be an expert at fitness, but I do know how it feels to be discouraged about getting started!
Nicola’s Fitness Steez Starter/Continue Tips
- Leave the gym bag in the car. I leave everything in the car, and lately I’ve been taking my bag up to my classroom so there’s no excuse to not change. I figured if I took the time to get the bag up to my room, I might as well use it.
- Find quick workouts that you can do without excuses, even if you’re tired. This year, my favorite is jumping jacks and Just Dance 3. Jumping Jacks are the bidness! It gets everything going, and it’s just not cardio. Your love handles and your arms will feel it if you do it right. I’ll do 500-1000 jumping jacks when I can’t go out for a run.
- Track your workouts. I have an iPhone, so I use Nike + to login my workouts. It’s great motivation because not only does it track average pace and miles, it also tells you how many calories you’ve burned which I love seeing. Makes me feel really proud!
- Find an activity you enjoy doing. I think that’s why people hate the gym, no one really loves going to the gym because it’s so boring an repetitive. I like yoga, hiking and running. These are activities I like doing and don’t mind doing.
- But… don’t ditch your gym membership… and make sure it’s on the way home from work/school. Having the gym membership means that there’s no excuses to doing something active (especially if the gym bag is with you). It’s also super important to be able to get to your gym without any excuses about it being far. There are three gyms in a 3-5 mile radius from my work, so I totally have no excuses. I also think it’s helpful who have friends who go to the same gym. A lot of friends who I could workout with have my gym, so it’s nice to know if I want to workout with someone, I could.
- Tell friends and family you’re trying to lose weight. I think people are usually embarrassed that they have to tell their friends they’re watching what they eat, or they’re trying to workout. I think that’s the hard part about being in this age range is that food is so social. It’s so easy to say, “Let’s go out to eat!” and just catch up over drinks or eats. You just have to tell them you can’t, or just suggest things that are more active instead of eating. Even if your friends are not responding, be persistent about it. Tell them your health is important to you, and that this goal is important to you and ask them to help you out. If your friends don’t take your seriously, each time they say, “Let’s go out to eat!” politely decline, and after the third or fourth time, they’ll get the picture. Besides… I think hiking/walking/something active is a much better way to catch up with friends. This is probably the hardest thing to do out of everything I’ve suggested.
- Stay positive! At one point, I was halfway to my weight loss goal, but I ended up gaining it all back. I was super mad at myself for doing that, and really beat myself up for failing. Each time I didn’t do what I was supposed to, I would be so hard on myself. The last year or so, I’ve realized that the negativity is not going to work when sticking to weight loss or a fitness plan. You have to stay positive, and you have to keep going. You don’t need other people to cheer you on (because I HATE THAT) but the best cheerleader to help you out is YOU! You’re the one in the driver seat.
- Be patient. It’s not going to happen overnight, so stick with it like the image says.
This is the year, I know, I’ve proclaimed this before, but this is the year that I get it right, and so far the month has been pretty good. I’m running an 11 minute mile again (give or take a minute) and I’m being more conscious of the food I’m eating. I never have a particular weight goal, but I’m going to really focus on my clothing this time around. My fat jeans have been a little looser the last couple weeks and I’m just taking it day by day. That’s all you really can do. Stay focused and go!
This isn’t my original idea. I actually got this from my bestie David, but as motivation, I always look at old pictures, and remind myself that that’s where I was and this is where I am now, and that I’ll never be where I was again as long as I keep at it! I guess that could be another suggestion as well. I’m not into those body before and afters ala P90X but I think it’s important to celebrate the success instead of dwelling in the failures. That’s a lesson in life that can be applied everywhere, not just this particular goal.
What are some of your fitness tips? Share below so we can all help each other out! ALSO, it’s not a serious suggestion, but my Fitness Steez Pinterest Board is my biggest source of motivation and workout tips. It’s my homepage when I start my web browser! It’s going to be a good year fitness wise! I can feel it!