Achieving a healthy lifestyle can be done by anyone. I originally began my fitness journey in September 2016, weighing 150lbs. During this time I was eating a lot of Chinese food, Taco-Bell, and playing video games every day. I had moved back home from school and stopped going to the gym. I became complacent. I began feeling less comfortable in my own body. I knew if I wanted to be healthy and active, I would have to change everything about my current lifestyle.
Here are four tips that helped me stay on track and start seeing progress:
I Kept Going
I originally started working out by watching Fitness Blender videos on YouTube. All of the videos are free and provide a different challenge. I remember working out in my living room while barely being able to breathe finishing a set of burpees. I kept mentally pushing myself to complete each rep.
My fitness level was at a beginner level and it took me weeks before I could handle consistent high-intensity workouts. Sometimes I had to pause the video just to give myself an extra break. Do not keep “restarting” your workouts or fitness journey just because you have one bad day. Even if you are struggling to do reps, the more consistent you are, the faster you will improve.
I Stayed Active On Days Off
Instead of sitting at my computer I tried being more productive. I began running errands, doing laundry, and taking walks around my neighborhood. I did anything that would get me out of the house. I even went out of my comfort zone to see people I hadn’t socialized with for awhile. Sitting at a desk all day with little to no movement can slowly kill anyone. I did not want to be the next victim.
When you take a day off, you still need to stimulate your brain by doing light activity. I feel much happier leaving the house and getting work done.
I Set Small Goals
One of my main motivations for working out was to feel stronger. I began by setting small intentions to do more reps during a specific exercise (bicep curls and squats). Also, I started going to bed earlier and getting up at a set time. When it came to food, I focused on eating home-cooked meals with lots of veggies and less meat. I even began scheduling my workouts to keep myself accountable. Each workout is an appointment I strive to keep. Additionally, those who write down their goals are 42% more likely to reach them.
Your goals don’t need to be big, just attainable. Once I committed to these goals I started to show more progress. I also felt proud of myself for sticking to what I wanted to achieve.
I Did Research
Why do you want to start working out or eating healthy? Begin by understanding why you need to set certain goals. If you aren’t sure how many calories you should eat in a day, download My Fitness Pal and record your activity level and goals. Review your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and align your goals with whether you are maintaining, cutting or bulking. In the beginning, I counted my calories (CICO) to understand why I needed to eat at a calorie deficit to lose weight. Currently, I do not consistently count calories but I do use My Fitness Pal and a personal journal to keep track of my overall progress.
Today I weigh 132 lbs and workout four days a week. Don’t feel too pressured to follow every diet and fitness trend. Listen to your body and do what makes you happy 🙂