As an athletic trainer and strength and conditioning specialist, I work with a variety of clients ranging from the mom trying to get her body back, to the Olympic hopeful javelin thrower. The one thing that I’ve realized makes the biggest difference between those who succeed and those who do not, is their internal motivation. You can’t just kind of want to hit your goals. You can’t simply want to look better or get a “bikini body.” You may be wondering why that is not a valid goal and the reason is that there’s no underlying “why.” Why do you want that body? What does that mean to you? Will losing weight increase your confidence so that you dress up more and go out with your friends? Or so you can be more intimate with your spouse? Does getting in shape mean that you can keep up with your kids so you’re not sitting on the bench at Busch Gardens while they explore the park? Does gaining strength mean that you’ll finally get rid of that back pain that’s been holding you back from the hiking trip you want to plan? Will gaining more energy give you the boost you need to accomplish more in your career?
There has to be substance behind your why or you’ll never achieve IT. You will never maintain the motivation to push through when things get tough. You won’t choose to wake up earlier or stay up later to get your workout in because you’re not thinking about the bigger picture.
You can have it if you want it, but it requires DEDICATION.
Why is it that people can easily take out a loan for a second car, but complain that a gym membership is too much?
Why is it that you’ll see a family eat out 5 times a week but tell you it’s too expensive to eat healthy?
You choose your hard and you choose what you’re willing to push for. People find time and money for the things that they WANT, but not always what they NEED. I can’t motivate you so if you walk into my gym and tell me you just want to lose weight to look good, I’ll tell you that this isn’t the gym for you. We change lives and help women create sustainable healthy habits. Save your detoxes and waist trainers for the birds who are filling your mind with the lies and deception. They do absolutely nothing for you and I’ll go head to head with anyone who wants to assert an opinion otherwise.
So next time you tell someone that “you just can’t lose the weight,” I want you to really think about that statement. Have you actually dedicated yourself to changing your nutritional habits or are you still snacking when nobody’s looking? Are you tracking your food so you can see your energy intake vs expenditure? Have you really been exercising more? And if so, are you actually pushing enough to get your heart rate up? If you don’t know how to accomplish one or both of those, have you reached out to someone who can help?
It doesn’t matter where you have been before, and I know that making the first step may be a tough one, but nothing changes until you do. Find your WHY and find a WAY. If you’re serious about changing your habits, here’s 5 steps you can begin implementing immediately.
- Download a food tracking app and start tracking your calories immediately. There are plenty of free ones out there such as myfitnesspal. It will even calculate your nutrient goals for you based on your goals and current health and fitness level.
- Cut out all drinks aside from water. You can easily drink your day’s worth of calories between your morning frappuccino and sweet tea at meals. In addition to being high in calories, sugary drinks are also addictive. The more that you indulge, the more you crave.
- If you’re cutting your sleep short, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Think about this; If you’re awake for 20 hours a day, how many times do you need to fuel yourself to keep your body going? When you’re tired, it seems like you’re always hungry. Why is this? That’s your body trying to find an energy source to keep you going on overtime. You also tend to crave carbs when you’re tired as carbs are processed quickly and provide immediate energy. Being in a chronically sleep deprived state will throw your weight loss efforts off. Buy a planner and block your time off. Be productive at the designated times and take your sleep back!
- Eat more veggies. High in water, low in calories but filling. You can eat double servings of veggies, feel full, but will see your belly decrease over time.
- Increase your movement throughout the day. Maybe you’re not ready for a gym membership or a trainer. You can walk your dog a block further than normal. Park further from your job. Take the stairs. Walk to get your kids from school. Start biking your normal commute. It’s easy to add in more movement when you’re deliberate about your intentions.
Now, if this article was about you, it’s up to you to do the work. Don’t be inspired in this moment yet fail to act. Think of 3 changes you can implement today and get started becoming the Best version of You.
**Banda, Wikotoria. 8 Healthy Habits of Fit People, www.shapescale.com, 2016. Web. 17 Oct. 2016
**Mold, James W. MD, MPH. Achieving Your Personal Health Goals. Full Court Press, 2017
**Guest Contributor, 15 Ways to Be Healthier. www.gaiam.com, 2019. Web. 4 Apr. 2019