Updated: Jul 17
How often have you said that today was THE day? You're finally going on that diet. You're finally going for that run. You're finally going to start your health journey to be and feel like a better you. Plus having a nice set of hams and abs doesn't hurt either, right? Then only to see a month later you're right back on your couch stuffing your face with your favorite snacks, and binge watching a Netflix series. Like, what in the hell happened?
This has happened so many times for me. At one point I was literally four months in and one week of bad habits turned into seven months of bad habits because I reverted back to my old ways. I wasn't happy with myself. I didn't feel good nor did I look good. I tried different diets from low carbs, no carbs, no meats, no red meats, clean eating, and even the cabbage soup diet, which is by the way one of the stupidest of them all that I've tried. It worked but not for long.
Why was this so hard for me? Why couldn't I find some type of results? Why couldn't I stay motivated? I reached a point where I gave up on myself. What was the point of trying if I wasn't going to follow through? I didn't want to start again unless I was really going to do it; and then I did it! I, for one, am not a fitness expert, trainer, or guru. I'll be perfectly honest and tell you I didn't love nor did I like to work out or eat healthy. I might also add that I probably would've gotten some sort of plastic surgery if I could afford it but that clearly isn't or wasn't an option.
So what did I do? What made this time different from the other ten times? I can tell you that it was easy but here are some of my tips that helped me kick start my healthier lifestyle/journey:
IT STARTS WITH THE MIND
When I decided to really push to change my health this time around, I saw something different with my mindset. I was absolutely tired of feeling the way I felt; to the point where if I wasn't going to go all in I didn't even want to do it. I also realized that this had to be way more than just seeing or being happy with how I looked. I knew that I wasn't happy with who I was inside and even if I looked the way I wanted to look that it could possibly still be a void within me. I would still feel incomplete and unsatisfied with myself. So I worked on knowing and loving myself. Telling myself regardless if I'm 200 lbs or 150 lbs that loving that person within was most important.
Many of the misconceptions of getting fit is that it's the physical but it has a lot to do with the mental and emotional. If you're able to get some type of therapy session in to unpack the things about yourself that brings on the lack of self care, definitely indulge. This will help tremendously because you're able to know your triggers that puts you in a place of regression and altering your upward mobility. However, if you aren't fortunate enough to just be open and honest enough with yourself to confront those issues and triggers.
Through learning and loving myself I realized that I'm motivated off of results. Hence the reason why I quit pursing my profession as a makeup artist. I wasn't getting a consistent clientele as a makeup artist with my health journey. I would try these different techniques and diets that were suggested but I couldn't see the results. Now mind you, of course I knew that this wasn't an instant gratification but four months of hard work and not seeing but four pounds down definitely wasn't motivation to keep pushing. This information was very helpful for my journey and taught me a lot about myself. In turn allowing me to learn what tactics were best at my pursuit for progress and results.
FORM GOOD HABITS
We're often taught to not form habits but in this case forming good habits will be your best friend. Especially, for someone like me who wasn't the fondest of physical fitness and healthy eating habits. I learned when I was younger that if you can consistently do something for 21 days it becomes a habitual and those are FACTS. One of my healthy habits that I formed was drinking more water. I'm not much of a drinker and I definitely didn't drink a lot of water so when I decided that I was going to kick sodas and drink more water I did it for 21 days straight...nothing but water. Now I go through water religiously, not even thinking about how much I drink. This helped tremendously when it came to me loosing an extensive amount of water weight. I lost 85 lbs alone before I started working out.
Another good habit I formed was eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting out sweets. This was rough for me at first because I had a serious sweet tooth, however, after 21 days of cutting out sweets I rarely eat sweets the same. I do kind of indulge during that time of the month but it's nothing like I use to. So forming a good habit whether it's walking 30 minutes a day, drinking water, or eating more vegetables can help with your weight loss journey. Take 21 days straight of committing to healthier decisions and watch how natural it goes with your daily routine. Please don't just stop with forming one or two good habits but once you've one into your routine then start another. Keep it going until you've met your goal.
TAILOR TO FIT
Listen, this is YOUR journey and no one else. It's great to get advice and help from others but if you're not getting results or it's not realistic to your lifestyle than try something else. This is a lifestyle goal, this isn't temporary. You want to make adjustments and changes in your life that will be long lasting and beneficial. Some people count calories and see the best results while others don't. Doesn't mean that the calorie intake diet doesn't work but rather that it's simply not something that fits everyone's lifestyle and aesthetics.
I'm a firm believer that we're different and as a result we learn differently, love differently, things affect us differently. It's no different when it comes to your health. Your body and lifestyle might not respond well with a calorie intake diet or keto diet. When I tried working out the fourth time around and bought the Britt Babe workout plans, I was doing everything verbatim to what she assigned but I just wasn't seeing anything while others were. However when I started this time around I saw a complete difference. I realized with my body and Britt Babe's workout plans, I wasn't going to see the results like others and it would be more of slower gradual process. I for one have to start with cardio and lose the fat before I can start strength training, which is toning and sculpting.
The way Britt Babe's workout regimen works is that she simultaneously have you toning and sculpting while you're melting off the fat with cardio; and that wasn't working with my body. I'm someone who has to burn the fat first and then come back to tone and sculpt, giving me the curves and abs I desire. It was the same with my diet. I couldn't start my diet and my workouts all at once. I had to slowly introduce the next phase as I progressed. Working out worked up and appetite for me which allowed me to feel hungrier than before I started working out. That in turn made me have more bad eating days than good, so I decided to first work on my eating habits before I got into my fitness habits.
At the end of the day you have to try things ( I suggest a week or two) to see how it navigates in your life but also how it adjust with your body. If it works and you like it then keep it and if it doesn't make adjustments and keep pushing.
KEEP GOING NO MATTER WHAT
You know how many times I would completely fall off the wagon because I had a bad week or day or month? SO WHAT!! If you didn't work out for a whole two weeks it doesn't matter, get up on the third week and start back working out like you didn't skip a beat. Don't be hard on yourself because shit happens in life and we have bad days or moments. That doesn't mean your bad moment or day says you have to totally give up. If you ate horribly for a whole month doesn't mean you have to say "F It!" Just do better by picking up a fruit or ordering a salad for dinner. I went a whole week and a half without working out and I didn't beat up on myself, I just started working out on a Thursday in the middle of the week. I was back on track like I never stopped and I'm still going. I'm not where I want to be just yet.
Often times we're too hard on ourselves and put a ton of guilt where it's not deserved. Don't think about it as starting over but picking up where you left off. Our bodies develop muscle memory so your body is well adapted and equipped to finish where you left off. Your body didn't erase your progress, trust me it's there.
Even in this article I want you to walk away with what was helpful but continue to do what works for you. Overall just know that you have the capabilities to whatever you want if you believe it. So if you don't take any of my tips I want you to most importantly walk away believing in yourself because that's where it starts.