We've all made the new years resolution to lose weight and get fit. We usually show our commitment by ridding our refrigerator and pantry of all the things our taste buds love and replace them with anything green, low fat, and tasteless. Then we run to the nearest gym to sign up for a gym membership because we've convinced ourselves that this new monthly bill will drag our butt's to the gym no matter how unmotivated we are. After that we set our workout schedule and we are pumped, but by the end of January, all that motivation is gone. Sticking to the schedule and making it to the gym feels like torture. By the end of March, we talk ourselves into believing that life is really busy and that even though we are stuck paying for a membership, there are much more pressing things to attend to...like...kids...work...binge watching Insecure.
One of the biggest struggles with losing weight is staying consistent with exercise. Most of us do not enjoy voluntarily doing something things that cause pain, makes us tired, and makes us sweat. Exercise does all of those and doesn't offer immediate results to reward us for all the hard work. Now before I get into my tips for overcoming this frustrating cycle. You may even hate exercise so much, that you try to lose weight without it. I won't lie, it is possible, but you will likely need to be on a drastic diet that will not be sustainable in the long run. Not only that, but you will be depriving your body of all the benefits that exercise has to offer, such as reduced risk of breast cancer, regulation of blood sugar levels, and stress and anxiety relief just to name a few. Ill just say, losing weight without exercise is like buying a mansion, but only living out of 1 room. You are limiting your body's full potential.
But unlocking this potential doesn't have to be difficult...and here's how:
SET REALISTIC GOALS:
Your goal may be to look like Taneya Taylor, and sis, I get it because mama is fine, but I can guarantee it will take some serious hard work and dedication to even begin to see those results. While its okay to aspire to be like her, you have to know that those results will not happen overnight. A more realistic goal would be something that is more personal to you. Maybe the goal is to just be consistent for 30 days, or to lose 5lbs. Whatever the goal, make it realistic and attainable. The small wins will motivate you to keep going.
KEEP IT SIMPLE:
It's easy to feel like you gotta go hard when you go in the gym and see a room full of gym rats who workout like they actually enjoy it. Maybe your favorite fitness guru on Youtube says you should strive to workout 4 times a week and rotate between weights and cardio days where you run at least 1 mile. It sounds good, but when you actually try to put that routine in motion, it way to hard and you end up getting frustrated giving up pretty quickly. Your workout routine should be challenging, but something you enjoy. For me that is running, for you that may be walking, or swimming, or dancing. You don't have do spend hours at a gym to see results. Your workout can be as simple as a 30 minute walk 3 times a week. Once you are consistent with that, you can gradually incorporate other things, but even on the days where you are less motivated, you know you can at least walk. Learning how to exercise is a gradual process. Start simple and add on as you go.
SET A RITUALISTIC SCHEDULE:
As busy as life is sometimes, we are still able to make time for the things that we enjoy. So anytime you make the excuse that you cant workout, just know, it's an excuse. You can avoid the excuse by planning ahead. Be specific, down to the time you will start, and the length of your workout. Schedule your workout around other responsibilities in your day to make it more ritualistic. For example, wake up, eat breakfast, workout, shower, then go to work. If you make it a ritual, it makes it easier to stay consistent. Once you have your ritual in mind, schedule it on you planner, set recurring reminder in your phone and block of the time so nothing else takes precedence.
DON'T WORKOUT TO LOSE WEIGHT:
While this one sounds a little counterproductive, trust me its not. While your goal is to lose weight, you have to know ahead of time that working out will not help you do this alone. There are several other factors that go into successfully losing weight. This is just a tool in your toolkit to help you be successful in losing and keeping the weight off. Exercise has so many other benefits that make it worth your time, losing weight is just an added positive side-effect. If you focus on your weight, and don't see the pounds coming off like you want, it's easy to ditch the exercise. But if you look at exercise as something you need do to help keep stress low, reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, it becomes much more valuable.
For more information about the benefits of exercising, and how you can maximize your weight loss by incorporating intermittent fasting check out my blog on Exercise and Intermittent Fasting.