Smutty Fitness: Small steps and weekly goals
I need some guidance here Hayley. I’m 26, 5’9, and weigh 180 lbs. I’ve gained 40 lbs since graduating college. I juggle a full time job with grad school classes at night. It’s exhausting, especially compared with my life in college. In college, there was a lot of free time, and an enormous gym that stayed open until 11pm (I’m NOT a morning person).
Honestly, I used to be in GREAT shape. A few weeks after my graduation in 2008, I even ran a ½ marathon, so it’s not like I don’t know what to do to lose the weight. But, I’ve completely lost my will power and my motivation. I’ll binge eat; I’ll sleep in on the weekend KNOWING my gym closes early. I let the exhaustion and laziness take over my life, and it’s hurt my health and body. I need advice on getting my brain motivated, because I know the exercises and the diet needed to maintain a healthy life, I just don’t know how people juggle it into their lives as adults. HELP!!!!
Believe me when I tell you this – you are not alone. So many people, through various life events, lose themselves and after a year or two passes they do not know how to get themselves back. With the memory of who they once were, it is a daunting task to even think about where to start.
The first step you need to do is forget who you once were, as that girl who was once in “GREAT” shape is gone. You are not her anymore so you need to stop comparing yourself to her. You need to be realistic as to who you are now: a busy full time employee who is also going to school and is no longer in shape. Once you realize that is who you are and you do not want to be her anymore then create your plan to becoming who you want to be (not the girl from the past but a new you).
The next step is to take a realistic look at your lifestyle and determine a realistic goal for you to strive towards. Maybe for you exercising 6 days a week is not an option, so do not set yourself up for failure by expecting too much of yourself immediately. However, you do need to make sure that you are making a sacrifice as nothing comes to us without hard work so you might just have to get out of bed early on the weekends to get in your workout, or make time during the day to exercise. Understanding how much you can contribute to your goals each week will give you an idea of where you will be in 3 months, 6 months and a year.
Once you have determined what your goal is and how much you are able to work each day to achieve that goal then you need to start taking the baby steps to get there. Begin by purging your kitchen and getting rid of things that you know are bad for you. Then, make a weekly meal plan, a shopping list and start cooking. Fill your body with healthy, energy rich, real foods that will give you the energy you need to get through your busy day and your workout.
Set weekly goals in regards to your exercise, with the idea of building on those goals each week. Remember, one change a week equals 52 changes a year. Start small, for example maybe next week your goal is to do 90 minutes of cardio for the entire week, and then the following week you add one strength training class to that. The third week add a second strength training day and then week four you increase to two hours of cardio. In a month you will go from zero exercise and not eating well to doing two hours of cardio, two strength workouts and filling your body with delicious and healthy foods.
Health looks different on everyone and maybe you will never be that girl who jumps out of bed at the crack of dawn to go for a run but you need to start somewhere and take back your health because the longer you wait the harder it will be. There is no easy way about making this change and no one can make you do it except you. Make the change now, change your attitude and start realizing how good you can feel.
Attached -- Ali Larter leaving the gym.