What it takes to reach your fitness and health goals – The first step towards your journey.

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So what is it going to take for you to have the body and health you want for your life? If you are anything like me, you have had a number of Day 1’s, you have been okay with your body but not entirely satisfied and/or you have missed a couple of summers of two-piece bikini’s, short shorts and skirts or you crave to be fit enough to climb the many steps. For myself, it was a combination of all that pushed me towards making a change. I needed change, I need the body I have always desired and I want to live a long, healthy life because those things are important to me. That is the first step towards achieving your health and fitness goals, the desire for change.

We have all been swept up by the latest diet and exercise crazes but have they been sustainable? I mean they work for Julie, why not me? I went about researching all the different ways in which I can motivate myself enough to make a diet and exercise program an entire lifestyle change because as they say, It’s a journey not a destination. I have been on a couple of programs since 2013 and only now in 2015 did I find the right motivation to gear me towards my goals. Let’s visit some of these:

You need to be mentally prepared and self-motivated to challenge yourself towards your goals. A positive, determined mind is what is going to get you into those skinny jeans. Focus on why you are doing this and what your long term and short term goals are. Imagine yourself achieving those goals and having everything you have desired. Do you feel an adrenaline rush or fire and excitement in your belly to get started now and rush to the grocery store? If not you may need to reevaluate your goals or you need to alter your mindset from I can’t to finally I am going to give myself what I have always wanted.

Set your goals both long term and short term. One goal is not enough to sustain you if you are like me, you need a set of short goals that will help you champion on through to the next phase of your journey. My ultimate goal is to have the body I want and to live a healthy lifestyle, but being honest with myself I know that will not happen in the next 7 days, you have to be realistic about your goals. This is where the short term goals come in. What do you want and realistically expect to see in 7-14 days? I told myself that the first two weeks I will be detoxing and increase my fitness capabilities and then rewarded myself with a craving I had been holding off. My overall fitness and health has changed significantly and that is when you use that accomplishment to push you to the next phase and/or month.

Stay motivated. That could mean throwing out all the unhealthy temptations in your kitchen and replacing them with wholesome foods. Find recipes that are tasty because let’s be honest, it sucks to eat bland, cardboard-like food, it is a lifestyle change not torture, so you should enjoy eating clean. There are countless customised diets out there that are sustainable enough for you and will teach you about calorie intake, portion control and the healthier alternatives you can use in your cooking and eating habits. Have a buddy that is in line with your own personal goals, they can help you stay on track and when you need a little extra motivation, theirs can rub off on you. Keep a food diary in your bag and document your progress, write it all down and seeing what you have placed in your body will give you a realistic idea of how you are treating your journey. You may also find yourself skipping out on those late night binges with your girls. Remember that you are on you Own journey and others may not be in line with that, but why should their choices affect your own growth? You have goals and you will achieve them and you are in control. If you cannot resist a girls night I would suggest eating before you go out and limiting your alcohol intake to one glass and sticking to low calorie alcohols such as vodka.

Reward yourself! And don’t feel guilty if you have a slip up. There is nothing wrong in going for that juicy burger once in a while but just remember to get right back to that diet. Offer yourself a cheat meal (not a cheat day or cheat weekend) once a week or once every two weeks and if your diet meals are that good then maybe you wont even desire that fatty burger, fries and soda.

Forget your weight obsession. I know that some people are plagued by their scales, throw it out if you have to, especially if you obsessively weigh yourself everyday and it does not make you feel good about yourself and your journey because it is only discouraging you, not encouraging you and what we are looking for is motivation. If you are sticking with the scale, weigh yourself maximum once a week and avoid weighing yourself during and a week after your period because some women do tend to be heavier during that time (don’t worry your true weight will reflect after that week). Switch your scale up for a measuring tape and record the centimeters/inches that you are shedding away.

Prepare! How many times have you slipped up on your diet because you were too hungry to wait and prepare your meal? I have suffered that plenty of times. It may seem like a huge inconvenience at first but you will be grateful when you pull that ready prepared meal from the fridge and heat it up immediately. It is time saving, convenient and it will keep you on track. No excuse for grabbing that bag of chips when your food is waiting for you in the fridge is there?

Eat for your body type. Research and find out exactly what your portions should look like, how many calories you should be consuming in a day and what exercises will help you achieve the results you desire.

Achieving our health and fitness goals require work. “You get what you give.” – Jillian Michaels and if you are willing to do the work you will reap the benefits. So to all my Day 1 ladies, let this be our last, my Day 60 ladies I hope this has given you the right motivation to continue on strong as you have. And if you have decided to join the health and fitness journey, welcome. We are all a team and the best of work to you. 

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