Weight loss and fitness journeys are hard. There are a million people telling you a million different things about the best way to lose weight, the best way to gain muscle, and the best diet to follow. It’s no wonder so many people give up before they give themselves a chance to get started.
I’ve been on some sort of fitness journey for six years now and you would think I would have it all figured out. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. I have had my fair share of big losses and big gains. I have tried different diets and workout plans. While I still don’t have it all figured out and I don’t have a plan I can hand out that guarantees you meet your goal, I have learned one, big thing over the last six years. You will not succeed if you do not enjoy what you are doing. I guarantee it. If you are not trying to improve your health from a place of love and excitement, you will fail. You may lose weight, but it will come back. Why is that? Because it is impossible to maintain a lifestyle that you hate.
Now, I get it. A lot of times, people start a fitness journey because they don’t like what they see in the mirror or they don’t like that they can’t find clothes they like that fit. Most people don’t wake up and say, “I want to start my fitness journey because I want to be healthy and I don’t care what I look like.” You know what? That is ok! It is important, though, to make sure you can shift that mindset into something more positive. You can be motivated by new clothes or lower weight, but if you cannot enjoy exercise and do not appreciate good nutrition and exercise as something that is good for your body, regardless of your size, this journey will be a lot harder for you.
So, how can you fall in love with fitness? It may not always be easy, but here are some tips I have!
Find an exercise you love!
This sounds like common sense, but it is so true! Find something physical you love to do, and do it! Dancing, walking your dog, whatever it is, do that. There are ways to make literally any exercise. If you’re a couch potato, it’s really easy to stand up and walk around during commercial breaks. Once these activities get easier, you can increase the intensity or branch out and try other things! When I first started working out, I stuck to the elliptical like it was my home. As I got bored, I moved to the treadmill and lived there. After awhile, I ended up trying fitness classes and found one I loved which led me to lifting. My love for lifting eventually led me to CrossFit and here we are today. If you realize you aren’t enjoying the activity you’re doing, find another one! The world is your gym.
Find goals that aren’t related to how you look!
This is especially important! You cannot rely on weight, how you look, or what size you wear as your only indicator of success. Your weight really doesn’t mean much. Two people can weight 150 pounds but look completely different because of a difference in body composition. Sure, there is a standard of what is healthy and what isn’t, but, for the most part, relying on weight to indicate your success sets you up for failure and heart ache. Taking pictures is a great way to measure progress, but it’s also important to make sure you’re not putting too much emphasis on that either because you are your own worst critic. If you’re looking for a specific size or aesthetic, it’s going to be a lot harder for you to see progress because you’re constantly going to pick yourself apart. Instead of using your appearance to measure progress, choose goals that are orientated elsewhere. Make it a goal to do a pull-up, squat double your body weight, or run a mile without stopping. Challenge yourself to get through workouts with a positive attitude without negative self-talk. Those things are indicators of progress. If you focus on the things that aren’t related to comparing yourself physically to others, everything else will fall into place.
Find a workout buddy!
Finding a workout buddy is a great way to fall in love with fitness. Not only will you create a relationship with someone who is like minded, but you will be able to push each other to do new things. It’s easy to hate the stairmaster on your own. It sucks a little bit less if you can do it with a friend!
Be kind to yourself- always!
Being kind to yourself if the most important part of falling in love with fitness. You will not always have good workouts. You will miss lifts. You will fall short of your distance or time goals. You will eat donuts when you didn’t plan on it (I could do a whole post on nutrition so I’ll just touch on it here). If you are gracious to yourself and allow yourself to do those things, you will not view exercise and a fit lifestyle as a chore. Eat the foods you love. Skip a workout. Perfection doesn’t exist and once you can truly understand that you’re one big step closer to being kind to yourself.
Question for you!
What is your favorite way to make fitness fun?