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If you do these four things, you WILL succeed at losing weight, getting healthy, and getting fit. You will not fail, you cannot fail, and success is the only possible outcome.
I'm not saying doing all four of these things is going to be easy, but I'm telling you for damn sure if you do them, you will reach your goals.
Are you willing to work for your dream body? If you are, then these four steps will lead you to success.
RULE 1: Never go more than two days without working out.
RULE 2: Aim for 45-60 minutes of exercise a day (preferably 60).
Cardio: This can be ANYTHING that gets your ass moving and sweating. ANYTHING! Walking, jogging, cycling, elliptical, aerobics, hiking, swimming, cleaning your house... Literally ANYTHING that gets you sweating. I used to have a tiny office at work. I only had about the size of a large welcome mat in free space. I would jog in place and do jumping jacks on my lunch hour.
Weight Training: This does not have to be complicated. Weight training can be a ton of things. It doesn't just mean that you have to join a gym and throw yourself into a weight room. You can weight train at home with no equipment. You just need your body. I think you have one of those ;)
You can weight train by using:
1. Your body (Body Weight Exercises)
5. Weight machines (at the gym)
6. Resistant Bands
YOU ARE CHANGING YOUR LIFE.
And after a while, believe it or not, my hubs came to me and told me he didn't want the junk in his lunch anymore. He got so used to eating healthy and delicious foods for every other meal that the greasy and sugary foods started to taste different to him. He jumped aboard the healthy train all on his own :)
I started my weight loss journey eight years ago, have maintained my weight for six years, and have a rock solid regimen in place. But if you place a pan of brownies in front of me and make me stare at it all day, I'm going to eventually dive into that shit like the ocean. No one is immune to temptation. So do yourself a huge favor and rid the house of as many junky, unhealthy foods as you can.
Put fresh fruit and veggies in plain sight. As soon as you get home from the store, wash, dry, and cut fruits and veggies. Have them easily accessible and in plain sight. I can't tell you how many times I'll see my girls walking around the house with a baggie of cucumber slices, carrots, or grapes. If your kids are hungry and all they see is healthy, ready-to-go foods, that is what they will eat. Same goes for you. And maybe, just maybe, that stubborn spouse too ;)
Most fruits and veggies are flash frozen so they are preserved in their freshest and ripest stage. Frozen fruits and veggies can be a life saver, especially in the winter when there is a more limited amount of produce options in season. So even though organic fresh produce is the ideal choice, organic frozen is definitely a great runner up and should be utilized often.
*For a more in-depth look at what you should be eating (and why) check out my article, "WHAT YOU SHOULD EAT: Not All Calories Are Equal".
Here's where so many of us get in trouble. We let our dreams scare us. And when we finally find the courage to tackle them, we bite off more than we can chew. We get frustrated and convince ourselves we can't achieve our goals. I'm here to tell you that you CAN achieve your goals. I'm living proof. If I can do this shit, anybody can. For reals.
Here's the trick. Keep your dream big, but break it down into small pieces.
Big dreams are achieved by lots and lots of small successes.
When I started my journey, I needed to lose 120 pounds. The thought scared the hell out of me. When I thought of that insanely huge dream, I wanted to go hide under my covers... with a pan of brownies. I couldn't think that far ahead, it made me whimper.
Do NOT look any further than five pounds. You have to work and sweat and push like that five pounds is your only goal... like it's your job.
Don't focus on getting to the top of your mountain. Just focus on each step in front of you. Before you know it, you'll be amazed at how high up you are.
*Eat something high in protein before you go. You won't be hungry and the protein will keep you full. If we are not hungry, we are much less likely to succumb to temptation.
*Bring something healthy to the gathering to ensure you have something to eat. Veggie trays, fruit trays, and shrimp trays are all good choices. It's a twofer. You get to look thoughtful by bringing something AND you provide yourself healthy nibbling while you're there.
Countless studies have shown they actually make you GAIN weight, not to mention the plethora of dangers and side effects from them. Try using stevia. It is an all natural sweetener and comes in packets and liquid form. Baking stevia is also available for all of your cooking and baking needs.
Find a pair of super tight pants and try them on every two weeks. No matter what the scale says, your pants will tell the true story if you are making progress. Avoid the scale as much as you can. It's a huge discourager.
Oh how we make things so hard for ourselves. We are our own worst enemy. We are experts at talking ourselves out of something that we want because we convince ourselves it's just too hard or that it's impossible.
STOP IT! Stop selling yourself short.
Losing weight is NOT complicated. Is it easy? No. But is it complicated? Hell no. Listen, in order to lose weight, you need to burn calories by exercising and you need to eat healthy food. Period. So why the hell is it so hard? Why the hell do we fail at trying to lose weight?
The answer is simple. Our brains screw us up.
The physical end of losing weight could not be more straightforward. If you consistently eat healthy meals and snacks and exercise five times a week, you WILL lose weight. There's no other outcome.
It's our mind that effs with us.
Losing weight is a mental battle.
Mentally we need to change how we think so that we can make the necessary changes to our lifestyle. But way more difficult than that is dealing with the unexpected internal battles that show up. All the shit you have stuffed and buried for so long will start to come to the surface. This surprises us. We have no idea in the beginning that losing weight will turn into something more. Something much harder. You will have to accept that this is going to happen. You have personal work to do. If you know this from the get go, it will go much smoother.
Remember this, you are not overweight because you like food. You are overweight because you ate to deal with something painful. Weight loss journeys aren't about losing weight. They're about slaying the demons that make you abuse food.
They're about finding the real you that's hidden under that weight. It doesn't have a damn thing to do with food or how big your ass is. You don't have to lose 50 pounds, 100 pounds, or more because you love food. You need to lose it because you lost you.
Dealing with the demons is the real reason we make losing weight complicated. Because if all it entailed was eating right and exercising, there would be fit and healthy people running amuck.
So how do we un-complicate our journeys?
Here's the deal. You need to prepare yourself that you will continually face personal issues. Know that right off the bat. Because what trips us up is when we don't expect it. We enter our new healthy lifestyle thinking our only goal is to squeeze our asses into a pair of small jeans or to proudly don bathing suits this summer. WRONG.
Having a nice tight ass is not the true goal (even though you think it is)... it is the by-product of a successful journey.
At the end of your journey (not that it ever really truly ends), you will be an unstoppable, fearless, strong, and most importantly happy warrior. Not because you are healthy and fit, but because of all you battled to get there.
Knowing your journey will involve slaying personal demons and facing all the crap you've been hiding under all that food and weight will free you from the element of surprise. You'll be ready. It's the pop-up emotional challenges that come up that cause us to fail at losing weight.
One minute we're sitting there eating our peanut butter and apple slices feeling confident that we have this losing weight thing in the bag and then all of a sudden some yucky shit we haven't been dealing with is right there on our plate sitting next to our apples. It's important to be ready for unwanted feelings to show up. Don't let them sucker punch you. And for God's sake, don't eat them like you have in the past. Stare them down, deal with them, process them. Once you do, they'll stop showing up.
Be ready and arm yourself with the knowledge that you have lots of internal work to do so that you can eradicate any complications.
On this journey you will find the real you. She's been hiding inside of you this whole time. Fight to free her.
You. Are. A. Warrior.
Life isn't a picnic. In fact for the most part, it's a ruthless bitch. You need to fight for want you want. Always and forever. Life doesn't hand you happy. Life doesn't hand you healthy. Happy and healthy are an inside job. You need to work for them. You need to fight to get them and then fight to keep them.
Stop making things complicated. Know what your up against, suit up, and just do it. Life is too short to live a life you don't love. And you for damn sure can't love a life if the real you isn't living it.