Ever heard the expression "fat & happy?" Replace that with FIT & happy. When you look and feel great, how could you not be happy, right?! Actually, there’s more to it than that. Listen up.
1. Do it for YOU
If you are trying to be fit to please anyone besides yourself, you will never be satisfied. Of course it’s okay to get in shape to make others proud, as long as you’re making yourself proud too. Let’s say your significant other is obsessed with working out, but it’s not really your thing. Don’t spend two hours killing yourself in the gym everyday to please them while you’re secretly miserable. Be honest with them and yourself; find a way to make living a healthy life enjoyable for YOU. Seek out healthy recipes that fit your taste and a method of exercise that you love. Maybe you love dancing—go for it! Just get moving! Ultimately, it has to be YOUR decision to better your health. No one can make that choice for you.
2. Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself
I definitely struggle with this one. Nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes. I ate pizza at 2 a.m. this past weekend. (Oops… but it was so delicious.) We all have our days. We all slip up and eat a few too many bites of that dessert that’s been around for a few days and won’t stop screaming at you to FINISH IT. Hey-—s**t happens. Don’t beat yourself up about every little mistake and dwell on it for the rest of the day/week/the rest of time. Doing so can snowball into some pretty toxic thoughts that won’t benefit ANYbody, especially you. Let the past be the past, and just get back on track!
3. Figure Out What Motivates You
Everyone gets motivated in very different ways. it is much easier for some people to get started and/or stick with healthy habits than it is for others. Some people may look to Pinterest for “fitspo” to get their butts to the gym, while others may find it depressing to look at the washboard abs of fitness models next to inspiring quotes like, “strong is the new skinny” (which it is, by the way). Some of you may just need a bitchin’ playlist to get you going. Maybe you need a word of encouragement from a friend. Find whatever it is that makes you wanna go kick ass in the gym, and use it to push you everyday.
4. Put Exercise on Your To-Do List Everyday
That way you just think of it as an automatic part of your agenda. There’s no debate about whether or not you’re going to workout—the only question is WHEN. It’s best to get in a routine so once it’s a regular part of your schedule, you won’t stress as much about “making time” for it. We ALL have time to exercise. If you say you don’t, that’s an excuse. If it is important to you, you’ll make time. There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Dedicate at least 60 of those to exercise. I dare ya.
5. Surround Yourself with People Who Inspire You
Do you have a friend, sibling, significant other, or even an acquaintance who is super into health/fitness and makes you wanna try it out too? Spend more time with that person. Pick his/her brain a little. The road to living a healthy life is much easier if you have people who encourage you along the way and can relate with your struggles and successes. If there is someone in your life who gives you crap for ordering healthy meals when you go out to eat, or about any of your other healthy behaviors, get rid of them. You don’t need that negative energy in your life. Okay, less dramatic—sit down with them and explain why this is important to you. They’ll come around. The people you love should support your decision to be healthy, not knock you down. So, set up a dinner date with that inspiring friend and try out a new, healthy recipe together. Find a workout buddy to go on evening walks or attend workout classes with. Anything that fits into your health goals, find someone awesome to do it with that’ll make it that much more enjoyable. I betcha that behavior will soon become a habit, or even a hobby!
This pic is from last spring after I finished running my second half marathon. My parents, brother and boyfriend ALL came out to cheer me on! Find some cheerleaders of your own. : )
6. Be Confident
Maybe you’re not where you want to be just yet, but if you’re actively trying, you should be damn proud of yourself because that’s more than a lot of people can say. If you’re making little changes here and there and seeing tiny improvements, celebrate those small victories!!! You will get there. Be confident in yourself and know that you can do it. Because You. Are. Freakin. Awesome. ; )
7. Do It For the Long Haul
Everyone tries all these “cleanses” and crash diets for a week or two so they can fit into a certain dress or wear a bikini on the beach. I’m here to tell you that A) many of those diets are not safe, and B) the results will not last. Wellness is not temporary; it’s a forever lifestyle. Every tiny little change counts. Make it a goal to drink more water and less soda. Stop salting your food. Eat out a few less times a week. Workout at least 3x a week. Make small, gradual changes that you can realistically stick with for a long time, and avoid weight fluctuations with crazy diet tactics. You will look and feel much better when you eat well and exercise regularly, so you’re more likely to maintain it.
8. Don’t Give Up
Never forget WHY you’re doing what you’re doing, especially when times get hard. The results will NOT happen overnight, so don’t set yourself up to fail by having unrealistic expectations. Many people want to eat better or workout so they look better on the outside. That’s all fine and dandy, but don’t forget about what’s going on inside too. Your ability to do everyday tasks as well as challenging activities will be easier for much longer if you live a healthy, active life now. Feeding your body nutritious foods and regular physical activity promote lifelong health benefits that you will thank yourself for the older you get. Keep your diet in check now so your doctor doesn’t tell you that your blood pressure & cholesterol are off the charts down the road. Save yourself the trouble & start being healthy now. What are you waiting for?
1. Do it for YOU
2. Don’t be so hard on yourself
3. Find motivation anywhere and everywhere
4. Put exercise on your schedule
5. Surround yourself with inspiring, healthy people
6. Do it for the long haul; no quick fixes!
7. Never give up
It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Trust me.
Follow Shanna Hutcheson @wellnessforthewin