The hardest part about starting a workout program is finding the motivation to do so. We all have excuses as to why exercise and eating well is not a part of our weekly routine, but the truth is, no excuse is good enough when it comes to taking care of our body.
If you have to wake up an hour early, do it. If you have to come home an hour late, do it. If you have to cook a bunch of chicken and chop up vegetables for the week on Sunday, DO IT!
See the pattern here?
Stop allowing your mind to tell you that you can’t, because eventually, if you keep neglecting your health, you really will not be able to.
As soon as you begin to head down the path towards a balanced life, everything will suddenly feel lighter, both mentally and physically.
Start now. If not now, when?
Here are some tips that I recommend to clients who are struggling with finding a healthy balance.
Figure out what works for you and stick to it.
Put yourself first. Everything else can wait an hour until you are finished.
Make your breakfast the night before so that it is ready in the fridge for the following day. Oatmeal, eggs, green protein smoothies, or fruit with nuts and yogurt are all great “grab and go” meals.
Use your Sunday as prep. Make a batch of proteins such as chicken, lean ground turkey, beans, or hard boiled eggs. Chop all of your vegetables and set them in Tupperware containers, along with a carb such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, or quinoa. All you have to do is pick what you want, pack it up, and go.
- Make sure to also add a healthy fat to each meal, such as almonds, flaxseeds, coconut oil, avocado, or hummus.
Craving sweets? Grab a piece of fruit with a small handful of mixed nuts, make a cup of sweet tea, or drink a glass of water.
- Try and figure out why your sweet tooth is acting up, and fix the problem right then. Ask yourself: Did I eat enough at lunch? Drink enough water? Have a healthy fat with my meal? If so, and your body really just wants a taste of the good stuff, snack on a small piece of dark chocolate.
Acknowledge that you are eating it, savor it, and move on.
Spice up your life. You do not need to add cream sauces, butter, or high sodium marinades to your food. Herbs and spices, lemon juice, and fresh tomato sauce can add an abundance of flavor to any dish.
Check the Online menu. Before you head out to dinner, look over the online menu so that you have time to figure out what you want to eat. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a vegetable medley or salad in place of pasta, or to change the way your meal is prepared. Most restaurants are more than happy to accommodate you.
“Bet you can’t finish it”
Buttery / Buttered
Creamed / Creamy
Fried / Deep fried
Your water bottle is your best friend. Always have it by your side.
- Try adding lemon, cucumber, or orange slices for a refreshing boost of flavor, along with a cup of decaf tea throughout the day.
Always have a challenge in mind, and make it your mission to achieve it.
- “I will run 1 extra minute today”. “I will try Yoga this weekend”. “I will perform a push up” “I will walk into the weight section with confidence, and bang out some bicep curls like the best of ‘em!”.
Pack your gym clothes for the next day in a bag by the front door, or lay them out so you can quickly get dressed and start your morning off right. Or…sleep in them!
Don’t think of exercise as a chore. It should be something that you enjoy because it makes you look and feel good. Figure out what type of exercise interests you, and use that as your starting point.
- Incorporate cardio, strength training, and stretching into your routine, and if you are unsure about how to perform a certain movement, or how to work a piece of equipment, be sure to ask a trainer at your gym, or the class instructor. It is their JOB to help you.
If it feels too easy, it probably is.
- If you don’t feel like you’re working out, then bump up the intensity. Don’t be afraid to sweat, or feel the burn when lifting weights. Those moments of discomfort are what change and challenge our body.
Realize that everyone is here for the same reason. The gym can be an intimidating place at first, but it’s important to realize that nobody is any better than another when it comes to exercise. Our goals may vary, but the fact that we are taking care of ourselves is what we all have in common.
All you need is yourself, and a little room. If you do not have a gym membership, use your living room as your workout area and your body as resistance. Push ups, squats, jumping jacks and mountain climbers are all challenging movements that target a large group of muscles and speed up the metabolism.
Remember why you are doing this. Whether it is for weight loss, muscle tone, lowering cholesterol, or stress management, remember why you are taking the time to workout and eat well. As the weeks pass, you will no longer need the reminder. It will become a part of your life that will continue to benefit you in more ways than one.
A healthy body is a happy body. Take care of yourself because no one else will. You are your own worst enemy, and best friend all in one. Become one with yourself, listen to your body, and begin to feel amazing.