Friday, October 24, 2014

Transforming Your Body- Part 1:Prep Work



Welcome to what I am officially dubbing- Fitness Friday. Like it? I thought so. I seriously can't tell you how thrilled I am to begin this series so let's get to it.

I want you to get some type of notebook or blank journal, just something you can write in each day and keep your info all in one place. Why? Keep reading and you will see. (see above link for ones you can purchase, just one I stumbled across. I've never used this particular one.)

This is not going to be some quick fix or fad diet. In fact when I say the word diet I am referring to what you are habitually putting into your body, not something like Atkins or fruit diet, your daily diet of what you are eating. That being said this will require you to change your lifestyle, yes you heard me, change your lifestyle. If you continue on the path you are traveling do you really think you are going to see the results you are wanting? And if you do change your lifestyle briefly yet return to the previous habits what do you think is going to happen? This is not going to be easy, if it were, everyone would be smitten with their body and not have to do a thing about it. And before you start comparing yourself to others and how they don't have to lift a finger in the gym and can eat candy bars and still look great, let me stop you right there- you aren't reading this for them and you aren't living for them so stop comparing yourself to them. This is about YOU! You are competing against yourself so you can become an even greater version of you! Got it? You still with me? Good. Now, let's continue.

Find your reason why
Before you even get started on this journey you seriously need to fine your reason WHY. Without knowing this it will be easier to give up and give in. When you know your reason why it will keep you going during those moments when it it so hard you want to say, "Why bother?", then you turn to your reason why and push through. I want you to write this down on the first sheet in  your notebook/journal. I'm not kidding, write it down. Write down your reason and state that you are making a commitment to yourself, to change and transform yourself to an even better you. You will have this to think back to whenever your mind starts telling you that you can't, or anyone else for that matter. Trust me, there will be days where you want to just say, "screw it",  and eat that Reese cup or days you just really don't want to go to the gym or moments where you just feel like you can't push out that last rep. Focus on your WHY and tell yourself you can do this. If it helps find some pictures of women who empower you or motivate you , someone that you look up to or admire because of their healthy lifestyle. I remember when I first started training I took a picture of Gwen Stefani to my trainer and said, I want these arms. I loved her toned physique and knew it was something she constantly worked on to maintain. *told you I loved Gwen since she was in No Doubt.

Educate yourself
I honestly believe that if more people did this we would not be such an obese nation. Why? Because when you educate yourself on nutrition (and exercise) you know what to actually put into your body and what you should be consuming and why you should be consuming it. We cannot & should not rely on those buzz terms used in advertising. (eg.-low fat, sugar free, no sugar added, no high fructose corn syrup) If we as a nation would educate ourselves on what is really healthy I believe we would be in a different situation than we are now. Knowledge is important if you truly want to change your body. If I tell you to eat X, Y & Z that is great but what happens when you have a girls night out and you meet up for dinner? What should you order on the menu? What is actually healthy,what isn't and how should you ask to have it prepared? These are all things we should know. Also, a calorie isn't just a calorie. Unfortunately for us we need to understand or at least have a little understanding of how certain foods break down in our body. This is when reading labels come into play. How many sugars, carbs, fats, protein, fiber is found in this? Have I lost you? Maybe, but hopefully not, just hang in there with me. We will discuss more of this as we go but in the meantime begin to educate yourself. Google is awesome, just make sure it's a creditable source. I'm not asking you to learn this all at once either. Heck, I learn something each day. Just don't stop educating yourself and don't limit that knowledge to nutrition only. What? Now you're saying I have to learn something else? Yes- fitness and exercise. Again, this is not something that should be consumed all at once but as you continue on your journey continue to educate yourself on different workouts, stretches and form. I was in the gym training once and had someone ask me, "when does this get easy?". My response-never. If it becomes "easy" then you are not pushing yourself enough. You are working your tail off to become the best you, not to become a mediocre you. You get out what you put in so push yourself and don't waste your own precious time. Don't know where to begin? Visit bodybuilding.com. This site can become your friend and aid in this journey. Don't let them name fool you. It's not just for your stereotypical "bodybuilders". This site has great articles and information on nutrition as well as physical exercise and also sells a HUGE variety of supplements, vitamins, etc. You can even create your own profile to track your fitness journey. Go check it out and look around between now and next week. Learn something. In fact read at least 1 article on nutrition and 1 on some type of exercise or physical activity.

Create a food journal
Before you start changing anything with your diet I need you to commit a week to journal truthfully  everything you put into your mouth, the time and the amount. Also record what type of physical activity you do, how long and at what time. And if you really want to go a step further record your feelings after you eat something or exercise. (Eg.- still hungry, satisfied,bloated, craving more, headache, tired, energized, etc) Jot down how your body is feeling. I want you to do this for one whole week, no less, so you can get a really good visual of your eating habits. I will address this further next week. A plain journal or notebook is all you need. You don't have to get fancy, don't complicate this.


Set a realistic goal
During this week I want you to think about what you want to get out of this? Strive for something measurable. Not just I want to lose weight. Set defined goals that are realistic and set a  realistic deadline as well. For instance rather than saying I want to lose 60 lbs say I want to lose 60 lbs in 6 months so I need to work toward losing x lbs per week. Or if weight isn't something you care about (which in my opinion shouldn't be your primary focus but will touch on that later) set  a goal of I want to run my first 5k in 3 months from now or I want to run a 5k in x amount of time or I want to be able to push/ lift x amount of weight. Set a measurable goal so you can actually see yourself working toward it and eventually accomplishing it. Go ahead and write this down in your notebook/journal along with your reason why.

Ok, time to get at it . You've got the weekend to get started and get your head wrapped around all this. If you have any questions or comments fire away in the comments section. I'd love to hear from y'all. 

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