Okay so there you are, all gung-ho about starting the year right! You’re ready and have decided it’s time to tackle your fitness. But how do you start? What’s the protocol and HOW are other people so freaking good at it?!
Chances are if you are reading this, you are not aspiring to be the next fitness model, but instead you are looking to be at a healthier weight, have maybe your arms or legs look more toned, flatten your belly, be strong enough to lug around all the groceries, laundry, soccer, and baseball gear, etc. for your family, keep up your energy for your kids’ jam-packed weeks of activities, reduce your stress from a busy schedule, and actually step into your closet and rock those favorite skinny jeans or LBD again. That about right?
Nearly eight years ago, I was the “beginner”, so I totally get it. I had worked out in my early twenties, but had taken a six-year break and there I was again at a gym at 34. Then, a mom of a 4 and 2 year-old, I felt like I was pretty ready, but it was super intimidating, and I’ll never forget the intro session the trainer did with me.
You see I was not the overweight mom trying to lose weight. But, I had little to no muscle tone, was a sugarholic and I needed to get my energy back. That first workout literally kicked my ass! I remember feeling like I wasn’t going to be able to catch my breath and it was horrible! (No offense to my awesome trainer :)).
All I kept thinking was, “I can’t believe I am THIS out of shape!” I knew then that I needed to dig deep to find my mojo to continue.
Can You Feel It?
I started putting chores like cleaning up the house lower on the list and actually putting myself first again. It was exhilarating! I can only imagine how much more confident I would have been though if I would have known the impact that a positive mindset and a strong vision could have played on my goals back then.
Getting into the right mindset is the FIRST thing you must do when beginning this journey. And it’s not like you can just say a few positive affirmations and think you’re good to go. Just like anything you want to be really good at, a positive mindset must be practiced -- DAILY. I schedule the habit of mindset practice with clients in their app calendars to help remind them.
When I started practicing a positive mindset nearly 2 years ago, it felt weird. I didn’t realize how much I had been feeding off of my excuses, complaining about silly things and being a little dramatic over how busy my life was. But, I’m here to tell you, that gets you nowhere fast.
Our minds are wired to react, feel and think the same things and as a result, we take the same actions. It’s called our comfort zone. But, a lot of times our comfort zone can leave us feeling stuck in the same old situations that we’ve been in time and time again. So if you want to truly change, you’ve got to put on your big girl panties and be brave. Step outside of your comfort zone to try something new. You obviously know the “old way” isn’t working, right?
As you start this new goal, begin your day with at least one positive statement about yourself. When those hard times or excuses come, acknowledge them, but then talk yourself through it with positive affirmations and rephrasing your negative thoughts to positive.
For example, let’s say you go out to eat with friends and instead of ordering the grilled chicken with veggies you meant to order, you order the lasagna with breadsticks. You eat the meal with guilt and then your bloated tummy makes you feel even crappier.
Your mind may be saying, “This is what always happens. I can never stay on plan!” So, this is your chance to rephrase. Instead, try, “It’s only one meal, and that won’t ruin my entire plan. I’ll commit to get back on a track tomorrow. Nothing can stop me from fitting into my jeans again.”
Visualize what you want your health and body to look like, and feel the emotions of where that takes you. Does it feel good? Make you feel happy? Keep looking and attaining that feeling over and over in whatever way you can. Sometimes that will come from other things you love to do or people you love to be with. As they say, seeing is believing, and believing in yourself and feeling happy is truly the first step.
Needless to say, I went back to the gym little by little and ended up falling in love with exercise and nutrition. I would tell everyone I knew about my new goals and changes I was making. I started reading every health magazine I could get my hands on. It was so encouraging picking up Oxygen Magazine and seeing 35+ year-old women looking their best. I decided that was what I wanted to achieve. I wanted my girls to see me as a role model for living a healthy life even though it wasn’t always easy!
As silly as it sounds, getting that magazine each month supported my vision of what I wanted to look and feel like, so it gave me extra motivation. Also, one of my friends decided to start a program, so it was so helpful to have someone to bounce ideas off of and keep me a little more accountable. Surrounding yourself with like minded people, or those that at least support your goals are key!
Cover the Basics
You’ve got the support, mindset and desire. So now we must equip you with some gear to increase your success. You’ll need the following gear so you’re journey to fit can take off:
Some comfy running shoes. My favorites are Nike’s, but make sure you order a half-size up with them. Check out my latest pair that I scored for a crazy good price at Macy’s this week! Perfect for going into spring!
Some super cute athletic gear and a good sports bra. Some of my fav’s include: Target sports bras, Old Navy tops and shorts, and Lululemon leggings (The price is worth every penny for the fit, and if you’re lucky you’ll find some on sale in the “We Made Too Much” section!)
A 24-32 oz. water bottle. I prefer a 32 oz. one with a straw because I only need to fill it up twice and the straw helps me drink more during the day. I’m a Bubba stainless steel fan.
Some music (to keep you pumped UPP).
Turn Your Living Room Into Your Own Little Gym
All you need to work out while in the comfort of your own home is to clear a space with around a minimum of 6’x6’. More space is great, but this is very doable!
Next, you need some equipment. If you have never lifted weights or do not feel you have much strength, definitely don’t be afraid to begin workouts with just your own bodyweight. However, you may want to be prepared as you progress to have more resistance on hand. I recommend having 2-3 pairs of dumbbells. For many women who are beginners you can start with 5’s, 8’s, and 10’s. If 5’s seem to light for your current level of strength, start at a weight where you feel you could lift 10-12 reps and still feel fatigued while using good form.
Beyond dumbbells, using a stability ball and a staircase in your house is very handy. And lastly, if you are the type that will get bored with just a few pieces of equipment, both looped and handled resistance bands open up the doors to a lot more exercises.
Diving into the fitness pool takes minimal equipment and maximum mind power. Embrace those first crazy tough steps and do the mindset work. If you don’t move forward today, then when? You deserve to make it happen now!
Let’s get Fired Upp!
P.S. If you want a workout to try, check out my Instagram @fireduppfitness or Facebook Page for examples videos. Be on the look out for a new one this week!