I can’t say I have always been interested in being fit or healthy because I haven’t. In fact the only consistent loves of my life are pizza and S’mores.
Then a combination of reaching my mid 20’s and the growing popularity of stretchy leggings as acceptable day attire meant the skinny jeans which once fit, suddenly became another item of clothing destined to hang in my cupboard forever. Or at least until car boot sale season came around and I could flog them for a pound, eradicating all evidence that I was once thin.
Then came the season of Crop Tops and Bralet’s and it dawned on me, that if I ever wanted to get out of leggings and into something non elasticated I was going to have to unhand the box of Oreo cookies and pick up the occasional carrot stick.
If all that sounds a bit too familiar but you don’t know the first thing about getting into shape, well first finish reading this blog and then consider getting someone to advise you on your fitness journey. Mine started with the help of a personal trainer who helped me set realistic goals and told me where I was going wrong; according to him, swapping lunch for chocolate was not an acceptable weight loss technique and upon reflection, perhaps he was right.
But since even a trainer can’t come to your house at 1am and confiscate the cookies from your hands, you have to accept that this journey is going to require some will power.
But first, the basics:
You can’t lose weight on a half-hearted diet. I have been on a life long search of how to stay in shape without making any effort what so ever. It turns out, you can’t.
Your body goal is something only you can set. No one can tell you what size or shape is right for you. However, if the shape you want is not the shape you have, then set a target and work towards it.
I know what you’re thinking “Learn how to eat? What a load of old tosh. Eating is just about the only thing I do know how to do”. But trust me, eating and eating right are two different things.
Achieving the body you want is 30% exercise and 70% diet. Learn what foods can help maximize your results, cut down on salt and sugar, increase your protein and vegetable intake and don’t be scared of carbs. Excuse the cliché but, a good diet is a balanced one.
No, walking from your desk to the office kitchen doesn’t count.
Work out 3 times a week, don’t be afraid of weights and try exercising with a friend for extra motivation. If you make working out fun, you won’t dread it as much, in fact eventually you’ll start to look forward to it.
On average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. So all you have to do is stick to it for two months and then it will become part of your life. If you want to maintain a fit and healthy body you have to accept that it’s all about making a positive lifestyle change.
Everyone has a vice; whether it’s too much alcohol, too much sugar or too much snacking on the wrong things, if you’re having trouble achieving your goal weight, you’re probably going wrong somewhere. I found that keeping a food diary was key in identifying where the extra weight was coming from.
Before you begin your diet, considering writing down everything you eat or drink for a week, after all, it’s hard to deny the truth when it’s written in front of you. My vices? Six cups of tea a day with 2 spoons of sugar each. Large meals after midnight and no breakfast resulting in large 11am pre-lunch, lunches.
You don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right. 2,000 daily calories in burgers, chocolate and fizzy drinks is never going to get you where you want. 2000 calories consisting of healthy meals, vegetables and low-fat snacks will.
Losing weight shouldn’t be slow and painful torture. If you fancy being a little bit bad, go ahead. Just remember that a cheat meal does not need to turn into a cheat day (or a cheat week). Change that “I’ll start on Monday” attitude to “I’ll start after this cupcake” and you’re half way to success. Well, figuratively speaking anyway.
Work towards being a healthier person and the weight will sort itself out. In the mean time, don’t get caught up on what the scales show you, think “fat loss” not “weight loss”.
It just don’t work like that.
It takes 4 weeks to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends to notice and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. Keep at it and results will come.
As for the personal trainer part, if you’re in the market for someone to help you squat to your ideal bottom size, click here to check out mine.