How to You Reach Your Health Goals...Successfully
Last year I added a health goal to my new year's resolution. According to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, this body isn't originally ours, so I wanted to take care of the gift that God has blessed me with by taking care of the body I've been blessed with. Surprisingly, I reached my goal about without realizing.
My goal was: eat and live healthier throughout the year and be stay in a healthy range when it comes to my weight. Now that I experimented on myself I can now share with you some tips on how to live better, how I was able not just gain unnecessary weight in the upcoming year but to keep the healthy lifestyle that you vowed to reach for.
I know I sound cliché since there are multitudes of articles and posts on how to lose weight in the new year and how to reach your weight goals. That's why I had to try this method's out firsthand before I started recommending these tips. I will explain how you can get the workout you want on a budget since not all of us can afford private lessons with top notch trainers.
So how do you drop those couple of pounds or get leaner without going broke? How do you lose it in a way that you can actually handle? How do you remove the bad weight off and keep all of the good pounds in? Well...
1| LET YOURSELF DEVELOP THE HABIT
I think that one of the biggest lies that we tell ourselves when we're trying to pick up a new habit is that if we keep the pattern going for some time intensively, then we'll be able to make the habit stick. Yeah...I tried that, and I've learned that that process doesn't really work for everyone. Everyone develops a habit differently. I learned that for me by doing something gradually over a month, I began to stick to the pattern I had been working on.
I recommend to start off with twice a week when you begin to form this habit. Keep going up with each passing week, so instead of two days on week two, do three days instead. You'll gradually begin to like the habit that you were dreading because it starts to stick. Do it until you find yourself repeating your new lifestyle habit without having to tell yourself to do it.
2 | LET YOUR WORKOUT WORK FOR YOU
I feel like the title just gives it away but just think about it...if you don't like CrossFit why would you sign up for a weekly CrossFit class? Don't put yourself through the pain of signing up for something that you know you don't like. It doesn't make you look healthier if your miserable in that class. Find out what type of forms of fitness are targeted towards what you are aiming for. I have friends that are lovers of yoga, HITT, and CrossFit but I'm an advocate of Pilates. Pilates works for me. Popilates is life...okay maybe for me, oh and so is hiking and...okay enough about me.
Try out different workouts. See which one you don't dread the most and stick to the one(s) that you really like.
3| DON'T SKIP ON YOUR CARDIO
Not everyone is going to wake up and be like, "well, I'm going to go and run a 5k now." Heck, I wasn't even like that in the beginning! But cardio is the secret ingredient to making your exercise actually work! The best part is that you don't need to get on a treadmill necessarily! You can go for a walk before your workout or get on the uplift bike at the gym instead. Anything to get the heart pumping will do. Sometimes I just danced through three to five songs since I like dancing so much. Just make sure to give your heart a workout too not only your abs.
4| FALL IN LOVE WITH WATER
Don't you just get annoyed when you are starting up a healthy lifestyle and the lactic acid kicks in? Oh, the aching in your muscles! It's like you can not even walk without feeling pain. Here's a secret...drink more water! Working out without consuming some H2O is torture you don't want to go through. For whatever the reason we wait for our body to tell us that it's thirst before we actually reach for our water bottles. Apparently, your body is actually dehydrated when you are thirsty. It's better to drink water than to wait it out routinely. If you're busy like me, get a water log app that sends you reminders to drink more water.
P.S. Water cleans you up from the inside out. Water sometimes helps clear your skin up too.
5| BECOME YOUR OWN CHEF
I'm a food addict, I will proudly state it for the world to know. There're perks to being a food addict though like knowing how to cook. I tend to buy natural, fresh, and organic foods. I am blessed to have Whole Foods and Trader Joe's near my house. Aim to shop for healthier choices and look for healthy recipes to try. Pinterest will surprise on all the different healthy recipes that you can make with simple foods. You can find healthier breakfast and protein shake recipes to try out.
Now if you don't know how to cook, it's okay, I developed a lot of cooking skills from FoodNetwork and the Cooking Channel. You'll be surprised.
When you know what's going into your food you're able to maintain and reach health goals that may have seemed impossible. Remember that you can work out every day of the week but if your eating habit isn't as well as your workout habit you're still unhealthy. Be careful of what you consume.
Side Note: Chipotle and Subway are great fast food restaurants for when you're in the junk food mood. Also, occasional chips and fries can be swapped for something in the organic and natural section of the grocery store. You'll thank yourself for it.
6| R&R LIKE A PRO
We've all been told that we should aim for at least 8 hours of sleep but when you're busy and always on the go, 8 hours is like a vacation for you. I typically aim for 7-8 hours a night which isn't great but still enough to give me energy for the next day. Make sure to give your body time to relax and get ready for whatever is coming up next on your schedule. Sometimes I extend my devotional time so that I can be filled more spiritually and physically. Whether you like to meditate, dance, paint, or play some 3 on 3 with a group of friends, whatever is relaxing and healthy is what your body craves. Squeeze every ounce of stress out by soaking in tons of happiness into your system.
7| Get Real About Your Why
After many years of playing just about every sport you could name, and years of working in the fitness industry, I have to say that the saddest thing about goal setting I tend to notice is the fact that people forget why they even began. Everyone has their story as to why they want to live a healthier lifestyle, but a large number of people also forget why they started in the first place. I began working out and focusing on my health when I saw how important it was for my mother.
Yes, I had my own medical concerns attached to my ‘why’ but having the drive to keep going ultimately came from the fact that my mother, despite all her obstacles was committed to living the best life she could through her fitness and wellness. By finding out my way, I was able to counteract the days that I wasn’t as motivated and the days I wanted just to give up. You will fail this journey if you don’t solidify why you’re doing what you’re doing. This goes for health as well as your career and dreams.
Solidify you why and don’t forget it! Pin it up on your mirror, download the images below in this post as your phone wallpapers; do whatever you can to not forget why you’re choosing this path!
Here are some last minute recommendations:
Stop looking at the scale. Oh, I think this was the hardest one for me! I was so eager to see the difference that I would check my weight daily. Weigh yourself monthly instead of weekly or daily.
Get the app that works for you. I use Fitbit to help keep track of everything because it has everything (calorie counter, pedometer, water log, exercise data, and even a running tracker for those 5ks).
Befriend those that walk your path. Literally, I met amazing people on my runs and walks. Now we work out together. Also, gym friends and social trainers are great ways to keep you going back to the gym. You'll need all the motivation in the world, especially on your hard days.
Now, there are tons of ways to reach your health goals. It all depends on you. Speak to your doctor and trainer before you start any program or workout class. Experiment and see what works for you. Ultimately make sure to care of the body God has given you cause you know He's going to ask you one day, "what have you done with the gifts I've given you."
Until next time…