While turning back the clock isn’t an option, if I could start my fitness journey over, these 10 tips would change everything!! If you’re new here, you know I didn’t grow up an athlete. I was the fat kid, who sat on the sidelines dreaming up ways to get out of gym class. In my 20’s I was a health wreck, basically binging on anything binge-worthy with the exception of hard drugs. A devastating heartbreak lead me to change everything. That’s a story for another blog. Somehow, in the post-heartbreak darkness I realized it was up to me AND ONLY ME to take care of myself and end the gripping pain.
Fast forward to now: my daily life includes workouts, yoga, lotsa leafy greens, guzzling water and daily personal development. How’d that happen? I won’t tell you it’s been easy. I’ve lost weight and gained more back. I’ve been obsessed with food, afraid of food and careless with food. I’ve gotten to my ‘ideal body’ only to find myself completely miserable. I’ve sobbed on the bathroom floor after scrolling Instagram, comparing myself to fitness models. I’ve cancelled plans so my friends or clients wouldn’t see me in a bikini and find out I don’t have 6-Pack abs like trainers are ‘supposed’ to have.
Thankfully, there is no failing, there is only learning and I’ve learned so much from my self-inflicted chaos!
In hopes that this helps even one person, here’s what I’ve learned:
You decide your body ideal body.
You, yes, YOU get to choose what you want your body to look like. A Victoria’s Secret model body does have to be your goal. A bubble butt might only be what you want because of those darn Kardashians. One of my favorite challenges I do with my 90 Day Mindset & Muscle group is to think of yourself on an island. No social media, no ridiculous magazines, no tv – no other people! In that situation, what do you want your body to look like? Do you care what it looks like or do you care what it can do? I mean, how many of us wanted big ol’ butts 10 years ago? Now it’s all the rage! While it’s perfectly awesome to want a round butt or Michell Obama arms , it’s important to ask yourself where that idea came from and what it really means to you to have it.
Mindset is everything.
If you only take one thing away from this blog, it’s this. You can have all the fitness gear, meal plans, workout programs, trainers and supplements on the planet but if your head’s not right nothing will change.
The mindset works isn’t sexy. It’s not even visible! You don’t seen it changing like you see your biceps poppin’ or clothes fitting better. In fact, most people only realize their mindset work is happening when they come up against a big life hurdle. In hindsight, we say, WOW – I wouldn’t have reacted that way a year ago!
Mindset work makes you more resilient, consistent, happy, fulfilled and fun to be around. Get into it. If you need accountability, click here to join my next 90 Day Challenge!
Enlist a team.
Who have you shared your fitness goals with? Who in your life is the person that can relate when you talk about that awesome workout your trainer just prescribed? I’ve written about this extensively in the past and here are my top four reasons why enlisting a team (a trainer, a buddy, a community) is a MUST:
1) Deep and Strong Connections with Like-minded People
The journey to health can be tough and sometimes lonely! When we share our goals, accomplishments, aspirations and struggles in a safe group setting the pressure is inevitably lifted.
2) To Challenge Yourself and Up Your Game
Working with others ups our game and helps us reach our fullest potential. Our lives are full and it is easy to get side tracked. In groups, we will stretch beyond boundaries, be more consistent and learn new skills from one another.
3) The Joy of Giving
There is nothing more satisfying than helping others. By joining a group, you suddenly have multiple options to help others achieve their goals, generate new ideas and share insight into overcoming problems. With an online Facebook group, even something as simple as a like is a gift of support!
Who holds you to your fitness goals on a daily basis? For most of us, that burden lies on ourselves. Knowing your team is always watching and full of support can make all the difference. Discipline is the key to meeting any fitness goal and it’s much easier to stay the course when you see your team focusing and staying on track!
Performance goals will drive you. Clothes. Events. Rewards.
Saying you want to lose weight is not enough. There simply has to be an outcome attached to it. For some it’s wedding day photos, for others it’s skinny jeans, for me it’s performance (do pull-ups, run 8 minute miles), for some it’s buying a new book at the end of a month of solid workouts or hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It doesn’t matter what your reward is! Just get one!
Being fit affects your entire life.
Who you are in your workouts changes how you show up in your life. It will enhance your work, your relationships, your parenting skills and the overall peace you feel in life. Exercise is proven to reduce anxiety and increase feel good hormones! It’s science, boo! Do you want to be a better parent, partner and leader? Go workout.
You are inspiring people. Long before you ever know.
One of my clients recently told me that a neighbor approached him and asked about going running together. He said, “I’ve seen you running for years now. I don’t know what I can offer but I’d like tips or to train with you.” My clients asked him for a lesson in tree climbing! How cool is that? The thing is, people are inspired way before they ever say anything to you. In fact, I bet 90% will never say anything to you! They see your example and it shows them they can do it too! This is the best part about humanity, when we see something amazing and choose to emulate it with our own style and purpose.
Rest is the secret sauce.
The fitness world is driving home: get killed, smashed, shredded. Check out this blog for my rant on it… The truth is most of us are worn out. High stress workouts can add to that, especially if you’re not recovering adequately. Push hard 2-3x week and do enjoyable activities the other days. Go for walks. Go to yoga. Get a massage. Go to bed! Play! Keep in the back of your mind that sleep is when your muscles regenerate! You gotta have rest to make those gainZ!
There really aren’t any secrets. It ALWAYS comes back to these seven pillars:
Clean, whole food & rich, colorful nutrition
Positive, resilient mindset
No one cares.
Well, that sounds a tad harsh, doesn’t it?! For real though, no one is looking at you in the gym. No one cares what you look like jogging down the street. And on the off chance someone is making fun of you for not knowing how to adjust the cable cross, that person is an asshole and not worth a single thought from your brilliant brain.
Your body was designed to move.
Moving always makes us feel better. I’ve kept track and on average, I have 9 people throughout the week tell me how much better they feel after a workout. Some come in tired, some are super stressed, some are crabby, some just aren’t feeling up for it. Do you think the world’s most complex machine (you) was designed with all this muscles to lay on the couch and binge Netflix or sit at a desk?! Nope. Move whenever and however you can. March in place reading this!!
You can be happy right now.
I love Rachel Hollis’s grow chant: SAME YOU, NEW MOOD and then clap your hands. Unless you are experiencing depression (help IS available and you are worth it, I promise) you can change your mood that simple. Did you know feelings last about 20 seconds? If you’re feeling angry, sad, jealous – whatever – for longer, you are dwelling in it. I love you so much. That’s why we need to take our power back and embrace that we are in control of our mood. Another fun one from Rachel – “You don’t get mad, you DO mad.” Clap. Do happy instead.
Thank you for reading and I’d love to hear if there’s anything you wish you’d known ten years ago in a comment below!