Once upon a time in my days of youth, I had all the time in the world to run cross country, track & field, and play tennis — I was in shape. Like most people in their teens, I also had a metabolism that allowed me to eat that extra fry free of guilt. Heck, I had a metabolism that allowed me to eat fries. Nowadays, not so much.
With time, and for one reason or another (mine was trading the gym for Netflix), we let go and put our health at risk. It happens, but I am not here to complain. I am here to do something about it; in fact, I have been in order to get (back) in shape in time for my wedding.
That said, my goal is simple: To lose the 50 pounds that I gained since moving back to California in 2017. It may sound like a lot, but when you do the math, it was only gaining 1.09 ounces every day for 2 years, or approximately 220 additional calories a day — or you know, a side of fries.
While my strategy consists of moving more, eating healthier, and trying to get more sleep, the following factors have been in my opinion more influential in my journey to fitness:
• Mindset: Perhaps one of the most difficult thresholds to cross, is that of getting in the right mindset, that “I can do it mindset” where you actually believe you can. This, like most first steps, is admittedly easier said than done. But trust me, you can.
• Goals: You may have a dream or a vision, but without goals, there is no certifiable way to measure your progress, and without these measurements, you can never know if you’re on the right track or if you need to re-calibrate.
• Motivation: Summoning the will to do what is necessary to make your dreams come true, has to be by far the main reason why people fail, because it is hard. You will not always have the same fire in you that you had on Day 1, and that is exactly when you will need the right motivation to keep going.
• Perseverance: For those days when you lack even the slightest trace of motivation, just keep going. Even when going to the gym or saying no to happy hour is the last thing you want to do and you feel the pain of doing so, do it. You will be happy you did.
• Rewards: Last but not least, it is important to reward yourself along the way, to celebrate the small milestones and recognize your progress. It will re-energize you and make you feel better about your sacrifices.
With these tools under my increasingly less tight belt, in just over a month I have slimmed down 11 pounds, but this is only the beginning. Trust me, if I can do it, you most certainly can. So in the words of every motivational speaker ever: Do it!
Tell me, what does your journey to fitness look like? What is your strategy to getting in shape? What do you find to be more challenging, diet and exercise or the intangible hurdles listed above?
(Featured Image by: RawPixel)