FITNESS GOALS! Ahhh…
Most of us have them, and when we aren’t reaching them, it doesn’t take us long to develop a love-hate relationship with them! After I had my third child over four years ago, I really struggled to get back to where I was pre-pregnancy. No matter what– I just couldn’t reach my goals. I was doing everything right (or so I thought)! I started watching what I ate, began running over 5 miles a day and walking 3 miles every evening with my mom, and I became mentally obsessed with having a “perfect body” with an unrealistic goal weight!
And after doing this for a few months, guess what happened? NOTHING! After sticking to my self devised plan for months, the scale did NOT budge. HOW WAS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE? So I did what most people would do and I made a doctor’s appointment to get some blood work, have a saliva hormone test, and see if my thyroid was functioning properly. And guess what happened? NOTHING! Blood work- NORMAL. Hormones – MOSTLY NORMAL. (Ha!) And Thyroid – FUNCTIONING. HOW WAS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?
Before you continue reading, it is important for you to realize something… I am not a fitness professional. I am not a dietitian, and I’m not a motivational writer. I’m just Jessica…an imperfect regular 30-something-year-old mom of three. I am not a Beachbody coach (although as you follow along you will see that Beachbody workouts did play a part in my journey), and I am definitely not here to sell you any supplements, wraps, shakes, or a magic pill. I don’t have a state of the art fitness center in my house, and a personal chef only exists in my wildest dreams. I’m short on time, like most every mom I meet, and I’m absolutely horrible with schedules. But I have a passion for fitness, and guess what I finally did? For the first time in my post-married/ post-kids life, I finally started to figure out how to reach my goals, and I can honestly say that I have arrived at a pretty happy place with my food and fitness. And the best news is– I’m going to share what I’ve learned with you, because I know you have what it takes to reach your goals too.
Thank you so much for joining me for my latest Blog Series, Reaching Your Fitness Goals – Part 1 – NO ONE IS PERFECT! I am so happy you are here and I want you to know, I’m so excited… because I know you can CHANGE your life too! Whether you have 5 pounds or 150 pounds to lose– until you let go of perfection, YOU will NEVER reach your fitness goals!
SHOP THE POST!
How to Reach Your Fitness Goals
1. There is not a perfect time of day to workout.
Many fitness experts declare that the best time of day to workout is in the morning– usually around 5AM, before leaving for work or starting your daily duties. This fitness philosophy is to check the workout off before the day takes hold, assuring you can get your workout in for the day! And if you are reading this post and have found that exercising at 5AM works for you, I think you are amazing. But if you are reading this post, and you have it in your mind that 5AM is the ONLY time to workout, you may never make it into the second week of your fitness regiment. There just isn’t a perfect time to workout that is the same for every person on the planet. What there is though, is a time period in YOUR day that is best for you to workout. I am NOT a morning person. I never have been, and I have no desire to be. I stay up way later than I should each night, and a 5AM workout is NEVER happening. Early on in my own personal fitness journey, I accepted this fact and embraced it. I have found that it works best for me to exercise in the later evening. You may think I’m crazy– [and I admit, I am just a tad- Ha!]– but I found that this is what works for me to stick to a fitness regiment. I am so glad I went against the grain because once I figured this out, I have finally been able to maintain an exercise routine for more than a few months. I challenge you- find the time in your day (and it MAY VARY FROM DAY TO DAY) and COMMIT to achiving your fitness goals.
REAL LIFE FITNESS TIP: Each week on Sunday, I look at my planner and all of my weekly responsibilities. I then determine what time each day of that week that I can fit my workout in. It’s an hour of time each day. Trust me. You too, can fit it into your schedule. This concept works well and eliminates the daily stress of waking each day wondering when you will workout. If I have it written down in my planner as an appointment, and I tell myself that the appointment can not be rescheduled, then guess what?– the workout actually happens!
2. You will never do a workout perfectly.
I can assure you that there is no one out there, not even a fitness professional that does a single workout perfectly. No one is perfect, so it’s not going to happen! If you go into a workout thinking it is going to be perfect, I can assure you, you will fail every time. If you refuse to take the first step to workout because you feel you can’t do it perfectly, I assure you that you will never even take that first step! A perfect workout is just not going to happen so put that idea to REST! There’s no use in being so hard on yourself. So, what can you do? Be consistent and do your best- that is the only way you will achieve your fitness goals. Trust me!
REAL LIFE FITNESS TIP: On days when I lack motivation and feel as if I’m going to struggle throughout an entire workout, I tell myself before I press play, that if I have to, I will just modify the entire workout. Yep, I tell myself this because I know I can march in place if I have to, and doing something is better than doing nothing. And on days I tell myself this, EVERY SINGLE TIME the outcome is the same… I modify way less than I planned, and I always complete the workout with more strength than I thought I had. Try it– it works!
3. Weight loss does not occur in a perfect line.
There is not a perfect weight loss progression, especiallu when it comes to fitness goals. Honest, it’s really quite simple. Weight loss does NOT happen in a perfect line, so stop expecting it to look like one.
Chart Source: Lisa @ http://www.bodyrock.tv/weight-loss/
REAL LIFE FITNESS TIP: Stop getting down on yourself when your weight fluctuates! Remember, these weight fluctuations are without a doubt, 100 percent part of the process. And in case you are having doubts, please see the chart below from my own journey. I know what I’m about to say goes against the grain of what some dietitians and fitness experts say, but I don’t think that ditching the scale is necessarily the best idea! I know… I know… “the scale” is such a controversial topic. I’m just being honest and sharing my own real-life journey, and I think the scale is an excellent tool to measure progress! But please keep in mind – it’s just that… a TOOL. I don’t think “the scale” should define you, and I firmly believe you are so much more than a number! What I do believe about the scale though is that we should STOP setting unrealistic goal weights for ourselves. Is it really necessary or even possible to weigh the same you did in high school?!? It is important to realize that sometimes when your body composition changes the number on the scale may not be the best depiction of “how you look”… But with that being said, I do believe that “the scale” is an amazing tool that can hold you accountable and measure your progress- and in turn, can actually help you reach your goals. So now that I got that out of the way…
Chart Source: My own personal weight loss progress chart courtesy of my MYFITNESSPAL Logins
4. There is not a perfect workout to do.
To reach your fitness goals and I have no other way to say it– YOU ABSOLUTELY have to become active. You have to burn calories friends! Exercise is NOT optional. It’s MANDATORY. The harder part will be finding what form of activity you love. Exercise, and a lifelong commitment to it, is the key to getting and staying in shape. To give you a little background on my personal life, I have always been a very active person. During my high school years, I kept active playing basketball, lifting weights occasionally, and running long distance in track. During my college years, I continued to run longer distances, and my love for group fitness and spinning classes really developed. I love cardio. During this time, I never did any kind of weight training. Why? Honestly, I was afraid of getting bulky and not looking feminine. Then, after being at a standstill about three years ago, I figured, why not? And I started weight training… and I loved how it changed my body! It is 100 percent necessary as you age to incorporate weight training into your fitness regiment. Why? Because every 10 years after age 35, we lose an average of 5% of our muscle mass if we don’t we do anything about it. If you don’t rebuild muscle by resistance training, you will need to decrease your daily caloric intake by 150-450 calories every 10 years in order to maintain your current weight. Since I started weight training, I learned this to be TRUE! I am actually able to EAT MORE and not gain weight since I started lifting. WIN! WIN! As we age, not only is cardio important, but weight training is an equal. Weight training really helped me take my strength and goals to a level I didn’t know would be possible. I encourage you to take that first step to incorporate weights into your fitness regimen if you aren’t already doing so.
REAL LIFE FITNESS TIP: Find what you LOVE to do and do it MOST to stay in shape, but don’t disregard weight training. Weight training changed my life, and it can change yours too. As a recovering cardioholic, I’m sad I didn’t try weight training sooner. Cardio could take your current body composition to a smaller size, but weights will actually change the way you look. As we age, gravity is NOT our friend, so weight training is 100 percent necessary! Whatever you do– keep moving. You have to find something to do that will burn those calories!
5. There is not a perfect weight loss diet.
My struggle in life has not been finding the desire to exercise. I do like to exercise ON MOST DAYS, and I know for some of you this may sound completely asinine. In my own fitness journey, however, my diet and nutrition has definitely been my greater struggle! Due to my struggles with Hyperemesis Gravidarum during three pregnancies, I have developed weird anxieties toward food that have lasted long after I gave birth to my children. These struggles have prevented me from wanting to “diet” per say, and because I had such bizarre and restrictive food issues during those time periods in my life, depriving myself of food only sends me back to a horrible place that I refuse to go. Because of my issues with food, I had to find a way to have peace with food and eating in general. Trust me- my diet is nowhere near perfect as I love tacos, pizza, fast food, fine dining, and cooking new recipes at home. Yep. I love food, so it is a daily struggle to stay on task. I am definitely not perfect with my food choices, but I want you to know that you CAN reach your fitness goals without a strict diet…(unless you are competing professionally or want to compete professionally.).
REAL LIFE FITNESS TIP: Sorry. Not sorry. There is not a perfect weight loss diet. There is NO magic shake, wrap, or pill either. You can try to convince yourself otherwise, but as I write this blog post in 2018 there isn’t a quick fix for lasting weight loss. Eliminating entire food groups for extended periods of time won’t work either. I’m not sure why so many women can’t realize this! These crash diets do not work to KEEP weight off for the long term. And I’m surely not a fitness expert or dietician, but I have finally gotten to a place where I am HAPPY with my relationship with food. And this relationship is a diet that is 80-20. I try to eat healthy 80 percent of the time, and the other 20 percent, well… I’ll leave that up to your judgment! Again – I strive for 80-20. I’m not proclaiming that I am able to achieve this 100% of the time… but I have found that by not depriving myself, I have been able to maintain a consistent body weight! And guess what? I have actually been happy and not miserable while doing it! Even I surprised myself with that one! Ha!
6. Your journey will not be perfect.
When I started my fitness journey, I could barely do ONE push up. Recently, in ONE workout, I completed over 100 push ups on my toes– now granted they were not 100 consecutive push-ups, but they were all completed within an hour workout which was one of my fitness goals I really wanted to meet. I’m not writing this to brag (although I still can’t believe I was able to do it, and I am pretty proud of myself… LOL)… but I have since switched exercise programs. Now, I am focusing on more cardio than strength training, so as I type this post, I’m certain there is NO WAY I could do close to 100 push-ups. My point is this: My journey is not perfect and that is okay. Right now, I admit, I am at a high with my fitness journey. I have found something that has worked for me, and it has made me very happy. Will I always be this confident? I doubt it. Will I have setbacks? Yes. I know I will. But I have finally embraced this imperfect wonderful fitness journey that I am proud to call my own!
REAL LIFE FITNESS TIP: Do your best and forget the rest. No further explanation is necessary.
7. Your body is not perfect (and it doesn’t have to be).
WHY OH WHY are we so hard on ourselves? Our bodies are amazing and capable of doing amazing things! In a world full of beautiful “perfect” instagram photos that are probably airbrushed and photoshopped, our society has forced us to fall into the misconception that perfect bodies exist. And the truth of the matter is — THEY DO NOT. I would guarantee that if you asked any model on instagram, they would be quick to tell you all of their body insecurities. No one has a perfect body, and the best news ever is… you don’t have to either! Stop believing the lies and just commit to showing up each day and trying to do your best. I have confidence that not only will you crush your fitness goals, BUT your journey to self-love will fall perfectly into place!
REAL LIFE FITNESS TIP: Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. I started my fitness journey with some inexpensive Walmart weights –in my small living room– with 30 minutes to an hour of time each day. Oh yeah– and with three kids hanging on my hip… If I could do it, you can too! You just have to TAKE THE FIRST STEP and BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
I appreciate each and every one of you taking the time to join me for my fitness blog series, and I can’t thank you enough for following along! I really hope this post inspires you to start your own fitness journey if you haven’t already to help you achieve your fitness goals. If you take anything away from this post let it be this– You ARE NOT called to be perfect! You CAN take that first step! And always remember– You ARE stronger than you think!
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