It's that time of year again where everyone is making their little New Year's resolutions and most of the involve things like, "Go to the gym", "Get in shape", "Get abs", or "Eat healthier". While I do think it's great that people want to watch out for their bodies and take care of themselves, I want people to actually look past just the goal and look into the lifestyle. When you think of these goals, you should know that the end result doesn't come from a one month fling at the gym. So here I am to talk some sense into you.
1. Getting in shape is really hard. You sweat and slave away in your workouts and when you aren't seeing results immediately it's frustrating. But always know that with every workout or even just extra step in your day, you are closer to your goal. Rome wasn't built in a day. I think I remember reading somewhere that it takes about 2 weeks for you to feel the difference in your body and 12 weeks until others can.
2. Be realistic about your body. I have friends who always say, well, I'm going to start ballet beauitful so I can look like Lily Aldridge but my friend is an apple shape who is 5 foot 5 inches. Don't focus on that. Focus on your body. I want to hear people say, "I'm starting Ballet Beautiful because it forms really long lean muscle and I feel like my body could really benefit from that. I just started going to Aerospace where Adriana Lima trains but I'm 5 foot 2 inches and a total hourglass. In two months, my results won't be Adriana Lima but a more sculpted version of me. I didn't join so I could look like her. I joined because I watched a video of her training and saw all the amazing jump rope moves she does and thought I want to learn how to do that.
4. Find a workout that works for you. I love yoga because it connects my brain and body but I need more than that to really feel good about my body. I did high interval training for awhile where I would add skipping rope and boxing until recently I decided to try actually boxing. THE BIGGEST BENEFIT to high intensity interval training was being able to do it at home and alone. I like to really push my body. I like to feel exhausted and tired. Ballet Beautiful is wonderful as well. I really enjoy it but not as a primary workout because after years of dance, I don't find it as challenging. The point is there is a billion workouts out there, choose what works for you.
5. Please realize it's a lifestyle. I know someone who has a personal trainer that they work with once a week. The point was to have the trainer give them their workouts for the week and then give them new ones each week. But the person doesn't go except for that one day when they are meeting their trainer. I hope everyone knows that won't do anything except burn a few extra calories in your week. They reason they gave me was because they always felt sore for a few days after then it'd be the weekend so I didn't want to have to go to the gym on the weekend. Well, have to break it to you kids, doing it for 1 day a week won't do shit for you.
6. On another note about lifestyle, it should be a part of your lifestyle. Like anything else you do, brushing your teeth, getting the mail, walking your dog, working out should just be a part of your day. Whenever the holidays come up, people complain how they haven't worked out and I'm never sure why. Pack some free weights and a jump rope. I work out M, T, W, Th, S (or sometimes Fri. instead of Sat.). If a holiday falls on that day that doesn't mean I'm going to interrupt my schedule. On Christmas, while everyone was watching some football game I couldn't care less about, I took my dog for a 30 minute jog and then did 30 mins of strength training. Different than my normal workouts but still, I couldn't still around all day doing absolutely nothing. It's just ingrained in my head, these are the work out days, these are not. Kind of like, these are the days the town collects trash.
7. Stop putting up posts like "Torturing myself at the gym." It's not torture. It's taking care of yourself and the more you surround the pain of being sore and being out of breath as a negative, the more negative you're going to feel about it. By going in with that mindset, you are just setting you up for failure. No one wants to do something they find not enjoyable. Maybe I'm a complete freak but if you see me in the gym and I'm struggling, I start to smile. All I can think is, "It hurts. That's right muscle. My butt going to look awesome." I can't help but be happy because I know the pain I'm feeling is really the payoff. Today, I am so sore from my Aerobox & Aerowheels class but I'm still going back for more. People might look at me like this girl is crazy but 1, I have my workout schedule and 2, All I can hear is that my muscles want more.
8. Viewing eating is the same. Don't make yourself feel like a failure because you had a cheeseburger but say, whatever, I ate it and that's that. Food shame just creates a cycle where you make yourself feel bad and then you start to emotionally eat. I follow the 80/20 rule. 80 percent healthy, 20 percent indulgences. I eat a lot of lean proteins, healthy fats, and greens. I would say the 3 foods I eat the most are salmon, kale, and avocado. I can't eat gluten so all my carbs are ancient grains. I love quinoa which is a grain that is also a complete protein. But I still have a sweet tooth so our apartment always has dark chocolate and sweet treats. It's just about eating them in moderation and really listening to your body.
Hope this helps some of you while you're trying to achieve your goal. Just keep pushing yourselves and love yourselves. You will get there.
UPDATE: I just read this amazing article on NY The CUT by a man who is pretty much a genesis of how we should be eating and looking at food.