It’s an all-too-common scenario: since changing my life significantly last fall, I seem to have forgotten everything I ever new about working out and eating healthy. This has happened to me a few times before in my life, once after a breakup and again when I moved to Washington, to name a couple – and I always ultimately realize that I need to go back to my healthier habits if I want to look and feel my best. This time around, I’m happy to say that my desire to lose a little weight and get back into good habits is driven more by a desire to be my best than by a feeling of insecurity about where I am currently. I feel more confident than I have in years, maybe in my entire adult life, and I know that I am already good enough. That said, I know that I can treat myself better than I have been, so I’m ready to get in shape!
Last year, I wrote a series of blog posts that I titled Motivation Monday. I thought that as part of my promise to myself to start getting healthier, I’d start those up again. Here are a few of my first-week tips to transitioning to being healthier:
Get rid of bad food. For me, this isn’t really a problem because my pantry is pretty bare after a long weekend away from home. But if you want to lose weight, grab a trash bag and throw out all the unhealthy food stored in your house. I know that for me, if I have junk food in my house, I will eat it in a moment of weakness. Now, if you can keep cookies in your pantry and resist the urge to eat all of them during an after-dinner tv-watching session, then more power to you. I’m not that person. In fact, just writing the word ‘cookies’ makes me want cookies. It’s easiest for me to just remove the temptation altogether.
Don’t Diet. Most people who embark on a journey to get healthy are looking for some sort of weight loss, myself included. So it would be easy to jump into diet mode and make an extra five or ten pounds a thing of the past in a matter of weeks. The trouble with this is, and I’ve said this countless times, diets do not work.
Here’s the thing: maintaining weight loss is something that is far more difficult than losing weight in the first place. I could put myself on a diet and probably lose all the extra pounds I’ve put on in a few weeks. But in order to do that, I’d have to seriously restrict what I eat. I do not like doing that. Feeling deprived makes me grouchy, and ultimately leads to binge-eating everything I’ve told myself I can’t have once I hit the magic number that I was seeking on the scale. It’s much better to make small, manageable changes. Yes, the weight will come off more slowly, but once off it will stay gone – which is what I’m aiming for!
Give yourself a visual of what you want. For me, seeing where I want to be will typically stop me in my tracks before I eat junk food or make up an excuse to miss the gym. And since I’m attached at the hip to my cell phone, and check it hundreds of times within any given day, I set my lock screen to a picture of a girl with six-pack abs lifting weights. I have no grand fantasy that I’m going to end up with abs like that, but seeing that picture definitely makes me think twice about eating junk!
Another great tool (for girls, anyway – I don’t know that this would work all that well for men) is to follow @fitgirlsworldwide on Instagram . My friend Jamie clued me into this. It’s awesome to scroll through my Instagram feed and intermittently see pictures of inspirational girls doing cool workouts, and sometimes there are videos posted of new moves to try in the gym.
Please comment below and let me know if you have any great ideas for jump-starting a new healthy eating plan!