Making the transition to a fit and healthy lifestyle
So you want to start living an active and healthy lifestyle but have NO CLUE where to start? Let me take you way back to late October of 2014:
I wasn't completely out of shape or eating terribly (or so I thought). I was working out consistently at least 3-4 times a week. Nothing I was doing was really helping me change physically, or at least not in the capacity I wanted to. I did not like what I saw in the mirror or the insecurities I had in my body. One day, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and I see one of my friends retweet a quote from a girl whose profile photo is her jumping in the air in super bright colors. Her name was Kayla Itsines (which I said wrong for the longest time) and I later came to find that she was doing a move I would soon loathe but love...the tuck jump. Her twitter lead me to her Instagram; where I was astounded by the transformations of women around the world using her 12 week program. I scrolled down Kayla's feed and eventually made it to her old posts that talked about basketball and I was sold! After a few weeks of following her and feeling so inspired and motivated, I told myself I was going to start her guides the first Monday of the new year! (My birthday was coming up, along with Thanksgiving and the holiday season and knew the new year was realistic.) It was time for a change.
Preparation is key when you are starting something new. So get ready to spend some time getting ready for what's to come. In the final weeks of December of 2014 - I studied the BBG Workout PDF along with Kayla's Food Help Guide. It was an overwhelming amount of information and I'm really glad I took time to understand it. If you want to switch up your habits you need to prepare yourself in every way to do so. Get all the equipment you need, the gym membership, the healthy grocery haul, new workout clothes and MAKE A SCHEDULE. Besides a new workout regime the biggest thing you are going to have to prepare for is new FOOD! You can workout all you want but you can't eat crap anymore or "semi-healthy". You need to go all in. Educating myself on the food guide was a huge eye-opener; it took some time to make sense of it all but I had to so I could change my eating habits. I accepted the fact I would be in the kitchen way more and it would take time for my body to adjust to my new way of eating. A tip I have is: Physically write down your workouts and meals and stick to them.
TEll your family & friends
If you are serious about making a life change then those who are most important to you need to be aware. Think about all the things you do with these people, especially how many meals you share together! I told my family that I was going to be eating healthier and I still remember telling them, "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle." My family ate relatively healthy so they looked at me like I was nuts. For a while I got the whole mocking, "It's a lifestyle," but I laughed it off knowing it was harmless and I would prove them wrong. This meant more grocery trips by myself and I would not always have the same meals -- I cooked what I had planned and this eventually turned into cooking meals for my whole family.
When I started all this I only told my closest friends that I was diving into a healthier lifestyle. Trust me, many more found out shortly after when my cup on a Friday night was filled with water and not a vodka lemonade. I have extremely social friends; with drinking being a regular social thing on weekends. Nothing crazy, but enough that I knew I had to cut WAY back on alcohol if I wanted to see any kind of change. I would still go out but I would get water and I would volunteer to be the DD. I am all for living your life and having memories with the people you love, you just have to make certain sacrifices and smarter choices. If your next question is: do you drink? Yes, I do; but in moderation - typically around 2-3 nights a month! I dealt with some judgement and still do at times, but ask my friends -- I'm not one to fall to peer pressure easy! I had a goal and I stuck to it!
Find things that keep you motivated! A lot of my motivation comes from within. You have to dig up every feeling you have about this choice to make a change and use it. I felt different about this new start: I was committed and more determined than ever to stick to a program. I followed Kayla's Instagram, along with a few other BBG inspirations on my personal account for my first round of 12 weeks. I took progress photos throughout (DO THIS!) and comparing little changes always kept me going. Download new music, buy new workout gear -- whatever it is that will make you go workout, DO IT! Loads of motivation for me came after I made a fitness instagram; I can't believe I made it through an entire round without it. The support, motivation, inspiration and downright amazing people on there are enough to make anyone want to stay accountable. You form incredible friendships with like-minded people and it brings a new element of fun to your healthy and fit lifestyle. I truly don't know if I would still be on track if I hadn't created my instagram. I know it is not for everyone and that is A-OKAY! So if you don't want to create one, you don't have to! Find people who inspire you and motivate you to be better and check their feeds daily to keep yourself on track.
No matter what you do when you make this switch, always remember why you started. Think to yourself: Why did I want to make this drastic change? For me, I didn't like what I saw in the mirror or the way I felt in my clothes. I was sick of making excuses and only doing half of what was needed. Maybe you don't have some defining moment when you decided that enough is enough, but there is probably a feeling that sticks with you of WHY. I made a commitment to myself and I did it all for ME, no one else - and that felt damn good. So set goals, push and challenge yourself, get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Will it be hard? Yes.
Will it be worth it? Hell YES!
Remember there is no end destination, because it's a lifestyle.