My 10 tips or take-a-ways I have learned since I started my Fitness Journey in 2016 that has lead to me successfully losing weight and being a happier and healthier ME!
1) Do NOT weigh yourself every day or every week.
There are so many factors that can affect your weight – muscle gain, water retention, time of day, etc. Do not stress about how slowly you might be losing weight, stress makes it harder to lose weight! I would suggest maybe weighing yourself once a month and keep a record of it somewhere. Also, when you weigh yourself take measurements and record those as well! You will be pleasantly surprised to see those inches shed away.
2) Take progress pictures.
You see yourself in the mirror and might not see the changes as they occur slowly. Being able to compare pictures of where you started and to where you’re at now allows you to truly see the differences. Do NOT be embarrassed or ashamed and avoid taking a before picture! I felt this way but I took pictures and looking back its crazy to see the difference! If you have someone you trust have them take the pictures, I promise they will be better then trying to take mirror pics, but if not take them on your own! You will be glad you did!
3) Set non-weight related goals.
These kind of goals are very important and will very person to person. Some non-weight related goals I set for myself were to feel more rested and energized, to go down in clothing sizes and be able to complete a 5K. My 1st goal was not something I could necessarily measure but it’s something that I could feel, I was able to go down in clothing size but I didn’t have a set size I wanted to get to so those were both wins for me! Unfortunately I have NOT completed on official 5K, but as part of my workouts I have been able to do 3.1 miles (aka a 5K) on the treadmill the amount of time it has taken me has gone down.
4) Allow yourself cheat meals, days, or even weekends.
This is REALLY important in my opinion. If you are anything like me, you like food and that doesn’t always mean eating a salad. I was determined not to food shame myself and still be okay going out to dinner with friends. So I allow myself cheat meals, days and sometimes weekends. Heck, in February I went on vacation which included a 4 day cruise in total I gained 5 pounds but I was on vacation and didn’t care! This is a lifestyle change.
5) Be sure to meal prep and plan.
This really ties into allowing yourself cheat meals. If I know I am going out to dinner with someone one night I plan ahead to make sure my meals that day are extra healthy. Another thing I try to do is checkout the menu online ahead of time. Get an idea of a few healthier items that are on there that I find sound good and make my final decision when actually out to dinner. I usually meal prep on Sunday and will have the same thing or very similar meals for lunch each week. This allows me to prep in bulk, but if you don’t want the same thing each day of the week you can still prep it and just freeze it!
6) Find mentors or people that have gone through their own fitness journey and inspire you.
I personally have 2 people that truly inspire me with their fitness journey. The 1st person is someone I do not know personally, her name is Arielle. She works at Buzzfeed, lives in NYC, is down 100lbs, and used weight watchers to drop the weight. I follow her on Instagram and checkout her blog when something truly interests me or I want more info then she has shared on Instagram! She seems very real and down to earth. One of my favorite things she shares are the recipes along with pictures of the food she tries/creates! The other person is someone I personally know. Her name is Jen and I went to high school with her. Like Arielle, I also follow Jen on Instagram and I definitely checkout her blog all the time! If you haven’t checked it out you should, not only is the content great but I LOVE the layout of her blog! Jen is very real about her not only her successes but also her struggles, not only just about her fitness journey but also with regards to life in general. I find it very helpful to have someone who inspires you to be someone you personally know because you can go to them. Jen has definitely helped me stay motivated and also given me workout ideas and suggestions along the way! If you don’t have at least 1 person to look up to and inspire you on your journey, I recommend you find one! Please note that you do NOT have to have the exact same journey as them! This is your journey and it SHOULD be your own!
7) Toss out clothes that are too big for you!
For someone like me who has a hard time spending money this was difficult at first because that meant I had less clothing options. But the thing is, baggy clothes are only cute to some extent and not all clothes look good baggy. Work pants for example… ya, NOT a good look! One your clothes get too big first stop and take a moment and realize how big of a step this is! GO YOU! Second, throw them out! If you keep them, you are internally giving yourself permission to one day gain the weight back and fit into those clothes again. You have a new body, go out and show it off, stop hiding under your old (now baggy) clothes!
8) Wear workout clothes that get you excited.
That might mean going out and buying an outfit or two, but it’s worth it! I did this before I started my journey. I bought 2 pairs of workout capris; both pairs were patterned because I found them to be more flattering on me, one was more natural colors while the other was bright. These capris were comfy yet motivated me to work out! I also paired them with a colorful racer-back workout shirt. I found that wearing sweats and a T-shirt didn’t have the same motivational effect on me. The great thing is those first 2 pairs of workout pants are not to big! I have gone out and purchased more and now I am working on making those too big as well!
9) Try new things!
That can honestly be anything from workout clothes, workout machines, different gyms, workout classes, workout videos, protein powders, shakes, veggies, or fruits. Honestly you never know if you will like it and if it will work for you if you don’t at least try! I also recommend trying things out more than once. I know personally there were foods I didn’t care for when I started out that I now really like (ex. Brussel sprouts). My taste buds have changed. Also, with more strength and energy, a workout machine or routine that might have seemed intimidating in the beginning now might be doable.
10) Be real and realistic.
This is the biggest tip or take-a-way of them all because it related to almost each of the others. You are not going to drop necessarily going to drop 20 pounds each month or do down a pant size every other month. You probably won’t like each healthy food item you try. So instead of setting yourself up for failure and being discouraged, know that this will take time and that your goals should reflect that!