I’ll paint the picture for you: You’re scrolling on your smart phone, maybe with your left hand elbow-deep into a bag of chips, repeatedly shoving food into your mouth, and googling ways to “drop weight fast!” because summer is slowly but surely creeping up on us, and you have a vacation coming up. Maybe you’re going on vacation with your boyfriend. Or a group of friends. Or with you husband and kids. You’re shopping online for bathing suites that you hate, cover-ups that you swore you wouldn’t have to wear this year, because this year was going to be different! You swore on December 31, 2013 that 2014 would be different. You were going to quit junk food cold turkey, join the gym and get up every morning before work to workout for 1 hour, each and every day! And here we are, 93 days into the New Year, and I have a sneaking suspicion that a majority of you have fallen off of the “I’M GOING TO LOSE WEIGH THIS YEAR!” bandwagon.
It’s got to be overwhelming, to start from scratch, have no idea where to start, how to start, or where to go from there. You know you have weight to lose, you know something has got to change, but you just don’t know where to start. You realize quickly that it’s hard: it’s hard to cook differently, hard to get motivated to work out, hard to do it day in and day out, with what seems like no end in sight.
If you promised yourself this year would be different and you’re finding that so far, it’s been playing out like every other year in the past, allow me to assist you.
1) Start Small: Don’t leave the block in an all-out sprint. This is a marathon, you need to pace yourself and go slowly. Don’t vow to give up every bad habit you have that’s contributing to your weight-gain. Don’t promise yourself that you’re going to get up early every morning and then hate yourself when you realize it’s harder than you thought. Start small. Add one new change each week. Example:
Week 1: Each 1 cup of vegetables at every meal
Week 2: Workout 3 days this week, for at least 1 hour
Week 3: Only drink 1 pop a week
Week 4: Workout 4 days this week, for at least 1 hour
–each week, continue to incorporate the goals from the week prior. Eventually, you will have a progressive plan that you implemented slowly. The blow of changing your lifestyle will be lessened, and you won’t be so overwhelmed!
2) Accountability: You need a reason to stick to your plan. Write down your goals somewhere where you can see them, and so that other people can see them too! Stick them on your fridge, in your planner, on your desk at work, anywhere. Tell your best friend, boyfriend, or husband to keep you accountable- or even better, ask them to join you!
3) It’s not all or nothing: What you do all the time is more important than what you do sometimes. Don’t throw in the towel because you had one bad day. Or one bad meal. Or one bad snack. Or even a bad weekend. Pick up where you left off and keep on going. Your results are the sum of what you will do repeatedly. Daily, continue to strive for PROGRESS, not perfection. If what you’re doing today is better than what you did yesterday, than that’s all that counts. Continue to make progress, and success will come.
4) Quit looking for short cuts. Honor the fact that there is hard WORK to be done. If you keep talking yourself out of the work, you will fail. Did you hear that? You. will. fail. If you have 5 days until vacation, tough cookies, my friend. You will not see a change in 5 days. Pulling the old “college girl diet” for 5 days will undoubtedly do more damage. Cutting out large portions of your calories and starving yourself for a few days will only be counterproductive. You will slow your metabolism down, and the minute you re-feed yourself, your body will hold on to everything it’s been given in an effort to not starve again. Losing weight is NOT impossible. If you embrace the fact that changes have to be made, and that progress will be slow but steady, you will be OK.
5) Drop the excuses. It’s raining. You’re tired. Work sucked. Your kids will miss you. You’re sore. Your husband doesn’t support you. (ask for a divorce, seriously) You don’t have time. You didn’t make dinner. bla, bla, bla. Get over it. Get over yourself and get over your excuses. Plan ahead and get out of your own way. Going to work out after work? Pack your bag and take it with you in the car in the morning. Pack it the night before instead of rushing around in the morning like a mad woman. Pack a pre-workout snack for the ride to the gym so that you’re not light headed and woozy at the gym. Worried about dinner? Meal prep before hand. Leave your husband directions for the chicken in the fridge, so he can just pop it in the oven while you get your sweat on. Even better? Easy crock pot recipes that will cook while you’re away!
6) Find a support system. Surround yourself with people who support you and your goals, even if they don’t share those same goals. If you constantly feel that you’re battling with your friends about margarita night and your conflicting workout schedule, ask for their support instead of their guilt-trip. Don’t ever feel that your friends are the reasons why you’re not reaching your goals. Real friends will support you, fake ones will make you feel guilty for taking your body and health into your own hands.
7) Just start. Don’t think too much about it. Pack up your gym bag, and head to the gym. Set up a new playlist, and just go break a sweat. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, just do your thing. When you’re done, sit down tonight with your planner, and a big sheet of paper and plan out your next 4 weeks. Write down your goals for each week. Figure out when you’re going to MAKE time to go to the gym. If you’re new at it, start with 3 days. If you’ve been doing this for a while, commit and make the switch to 5-6 days. COMMIT to your new life style, whole heartedly. Enjoy the journey and embrace the change.
If you’re really stuck, email me at