Getting lean and healthy is such a big topic that I can’t cover it all in one post so I thought I’d make it a little series. There is so much good advice out there but it can be really overwhelming. Which is the very first obstacle to getting started.
Then there’s ourselves – we are probably the biggest barrier to achieving our goals, which brings me to my first tip..
By far the biggest barrier to health and fitness is mindset. If you feel like you’re suffering through a temporary diet to lose weight and then go back to normal after, you’ve already failed. If you constantly feel like you’re missing out or that your goal is impossible then you won’t be motivated.
Feeling miserable for health is counterproductive so the very first thing you need to do is find a long term, maintainable healthy lifestyle that works for you and do whatever you can to start feeling positive about it.
For most people motivation comes when they lose a stone or 2 but it can come initially from surrounding yourself with material from health and fitness role models – books, blog posts, podcasts, youtube videos etc. I LOVE Sarahs Day on You Tube. Her videos inspire me and make me feel excited about my healthy lifestyle. She shares a lot of quality information and if I’m having a down period I just watch a few of her videos and it gets me back on track.
So get inspired, find some healthy recipes you like (Joe Wicks books are a great starting point as they’re quick, easy and UK based) and figure out how you can get some workouts into your week. I recently created 5 x 10 minute workout routines for myself which I can do anywhere. I often do them on my deck in the garden first thing in the morning. And I can squeeze one in at least 3 times a week. I also use the exercise machines at the park when my children are playing, do bodyweight exercises here and there whilst playing with the kids and I recently installed a pull up bar which is giving me some serious strength. That thing is KICK-ASS.
So don’t make excuses for working out – the only person who’s losing is you. I have soooo many beginner workouts I can recommend, DVDs, free videos on youtube etc. so I will post those up in a top tip about workouts. I used to think I didn’t have the energy to workout as I had young kids and they were tiring enough but once I started I had more energy, a better mood (which benefits the kids) and have felt inspired and motivated enough to start a business! People say exercise is a catalyst for other great things in your life and it is SO true.
My own personal health journey was a very slow process. I used to eat complete rubbish. I was and still am a sugar and cocoa addict due to the vast amounts I ate as a youth. I gained more info bit by bit (albeit some of it wrong, like animal products are bad for you). And gradually worked to achieve a more natural, healthy lifestyle.
I’ve always liked vegetables so got a fairly balanced diet but relied on processed foods a lot and drank a lot of alcohol. I felt bad about the damage I was doing to my body from the alcohol so I alternated between binge drinking and then going on extreme detoxes to heal my body.
So don’t think you need to jump 100% into a strict paleo diet for example. There are SO many little changes you can make step by step and as they become new habits they will just become how you live. The way I live now is so drastically different to how I used to live and instead of feeling like I’m missing out, I feel amazing and have my eyes open to all the opportunities I’ve had because of it and all the possibilities for the future. In short, I am happy now and I wasn’t then. It’s the lie we tell ourself when we’re changing our lifestyle – that we’re giving something up. But you’re only giving up the negative and are gaining an infinite amount more.
Be careful if you do jump in too quickly and avoid taking it to the extreme – more isn’t always better and can lead to Orthorexia or another form of food extremism. Balance is subjective and unique to everyone so you need to find your comfortable point – I’m just saying that your true comfortable point is probably a way from where you right now.
I would highly recommend the Allen Carr books if you’re struggling with any kind of addiction and Christmas Abbot’s The Badass Life book is great for motivation and changing your mindset. I would love to hear your recommendations for motivational materials and hear how you motivate yourself!
In next week’s top tip I will be discussing eggs and how they can aid your health and fitness journey!