When I looked at a photo of myself four years ago I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I knew I went up a pant size or two, I could feel my shirts getting tighter, and I felt more uncomfortable in my skin. I just didn’t feel the impact that I had gained nearly 30 lbs in the last year and a half.
It didn’t dawn on me until then that I was living unhealthy until I saw a before and after of myself and unfortunately, this was the kind that you didn’t want to have. I was starting from scratch to build a fitness habit because I was never very athletic and I grew up eating ramen, Buddig lunch meat, and frozen burritos most of my life.
I was small and skinny but I wasn’t in the best shape. I had never run more than 10 minutes in my life and exercise wasn’t something I really understood. At the point I noticed my weight, I was in college so a personal trainer wasn’t a possible solution because of my limited budget. Are you here with me?
It’s frightening, new, and seemingly impossible to start a fitness habit from merely nothing but you’re closer than you think to become the best version of yourself.
Let’s take a look at some self-reflecting tips I have from when my adventure began.
Lay the foundation for success. 1 minute everyday for 2 weeks is a HUGE accomplishment because now it’s in your brain. Your day won’t feel complete without it. Now you’re a pro at 1 minute of cardio, it’s time to turn it up. What you’re doing is not only starting to train your brain to feel this is a part of your day just like sleep or morning coffee but you’re also learning more about yourself. You’ll come across exercises that you cannot physically get through and that’s normal. Take a mental note and try to get through at least one or two reps unless there is pain. If there is pain, find a modifier. We have plenty, just let us know what you need modified by tweeting at us or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so I can consult a trainer for you.
Being the best at something is overwhelming and we can find online is a perfect place to feel like we’ll never reach being the ‘best’. You’ve just got to define your own definition of success in a very specific way so that it’s challenging but fun. It won’t be fun if you say you want to have abs and are waiting for them every single day you work out. It can be more fun if you say you simply want to get through a 10-minute Sworkit ab workout without stopping. Being healthy doesn’t just mean looking the best or training the hardest. It’s all about improving your bodies systems. Overdoing it can be just as unhealthy as not working out at all so looking at the big picture and then making small changes is the best way to be kind to your body and yourself. You really deserve to be nice to yourself on this adventure to kickstarting a fitness habit.
The other day I wrote myself a letter. It was something I typically did when I was in high school and college but I thought I’d give it ago as an adult. It is very frightening to see on paper how unkind we are to ourselves and that can be the hardest part of anything we do in life. It can stem from how we are treated, what we see, and our experiences but to let it get into our own heart and souls is where we find trouble in our spirit.
We can’t control other people or things but we can absolutely control how we talk to ourselves and what we choose to do with the information. When you actually sit down and begin to physically write out that you’re doing good, you’ve come so far already, and that you believe in yourself you can see the truth of it all. You formulate the negatives and positives of your life and maybe you’ll see that nothing about you is incapable of success it’s just the mindset you put yourself.
The motivation for a fitness habit (or any habit, really) lies within ourselves and it is up to us to use all of our resources to make it a pleasant and memorable adventure. I wish you the best of luck! As the community manager, I am always here to talk, share your story with, and to help get over the hurdles that are seemingly impossible. Our whole team is here to cheer you on and we promise, that is the conversations we have day to day. We believe in you! You’ve got this.