You want to know why most people wait until January 1st to start a fitness routine? I know you think it is because people figure that January 1st is a great time to start something new … it being the new year and all. But I believe the real reason is that they don’t want to feel deprived during the holidays.
The holidays are the time when families and friends come together and celebrate and love on each other and good food is always at the center of these celebrations. So, we think to ourselves, I haven’t really been doing anything all year, it won’t hurt if I wait until January.
I know that’s what you’re thinking. But there’s a problem with that thought process. Waiting will only make it that much harder to start. Gaining 5-7 pounds during the holidays is not unrealistic and you have to keep in mind that losing that same 5-7 pounds is extremely difficult – so why put yourself through that?
Let me give you a suggestion: start now.
And by “start now” I don’t necessarily mean start a diet now and go get a gym membership now. What I mean is get in the right mental space now. Fitness and living a healthy lifestyle is 100% mental – your body will not do what your mind won’t push it to do. So set your mind on living healthy now and your actions will surely follow.
Before you count the first calorie, pick up the first weight or run your first mile there are things you should complete first in order to ensure success. I call them the 3 Ps of Healthy Living:
You have got to make your fitness a priority. Think of it as making your life a priority because that is what it is. Not the dress size or even the number on the scale. Skinny is not the goal, good health and a stronger body are the goals. You have to remember that if you eat right and exercise consistently, the weight will take care of itself. So remember, if you make healthy living a priority the weight will come off without you having to obsess about it.
Make a plan. Plan your strategy ahead of time. A good place to start would be to first decide how much time you can devote on a weekly basis to your healthy lifestyle. The plan should include meal planning, meal preparation and exercise. An example plan would look like this:
Exercise: Strength training, 3 times/week (MWF); Cardio, 3 times/week (TThSa)
Nutrition: Sundays: Plan each meal for the week and shop for the plan
Breakfast: egg whites, oatmeal, fruit, toast
Snack: greek yogurt, fruit
PostWorkout: protein shake, banana
Lunch: chicken breast, sweet potato, green salad
Snack: baby carrots and hummus
Dinner: broiled salmon, roasted asparagus
Snack: cottage cheese, mixed nuts
Write down your plan! This way you will see it and be reminded of what your intent was at the beginning of the week. Life happens and sometimes things don’t always go as planned but at least if you start with a plan you are more than likely to be successful.
Rome was not built in a day. Stay off the scale and focus on overall good health and be patient. It will happen. Your everyday actions will determine your ultimate outcome so be consistent and if you fall off every now and then (as we all do) don’t beat yourself up about it. Just remind yourself that you are human and start again. Be patient and before you know it you will see results.