Who else is guilty of hitting that all important snooze button on your alarm clock and then simultaneously muttering to yourself “10 more minutes!”. Yes, believe me, I get it because that was a representation of me every. Single. Morning. I got ready for bed with good intentions, having a perfectly rehearsed conversation with myself where I told myself how great I would feel after and then carefully running through a list where I broke down the benefits of exercising and what benefits I would gain in the long time.
This worked in hindsight and for a few days I would struggle out of bed, blindly get dressed and drag myself down the stairs, starting the first part of my exercising with my eyes closed! It was an awful sight and I was only successful for a few days before I threw in the towel and reverted back to my bad and old ways.
After months of refusing to believe I had put on weight, I was invited out to eat with a few friends and opted for my favourite jeans. It was a no -brainer and would ensure I got up and out of the house quickly. So why was I now laying on the wooden floor, frantically pulling one leg up and then the other while holding my breath as I fought to pull it up over my bum. As I lay in a tangled heap on the floor I realised at last that I had grown complacent and as a result, I had gained quite a lot of weight. As a result, leggings became my best friend and I completely lost interest in dressing up and planning my outfits.
It was after a few weeks of wearing leggings that I realised enough was enough and that I needed to take control of my body and ultimately my mental wellbeing as I have found; for me, there is a DIRECT LINK between physical exercise and your mental health.
I bit the bullet and decided that I was going to exercise every morning and this time, I wouldn’t get lazy or succumb to negative self- talk. I was going to set clear and defined goals and commit to delivering on my promise. Three weeks later, come rain or shine, I’m still sticking to the promise I made to myself and not only have I found that my mood is better but I also have seen an increase in my energy (which is really important as I have low blood pressure and chronic fatigue) I eat less often ( so no more endless snacking) and the most important and proudest moment of all is that I can now fit into those damn jeans!
Therefore, as a disclaimer: This post is by no means a substitute for medical advice and is purely based on my own experiences. I am sharing this as a means for me to provide my insights and lessons with you all with the view of providing you with some tried and tested tips that may enable you to conquer your own stumbling blocks when it comes to implementing exercise into your daily routine.
Syianne and I are working on some free and chargeable resources that you can download to help you along the way on your fitness journey. We will also be sharing some tips on heath, fitness and wellbeing via our Facebook group so please do sign up and join in on the conversation.
Remind yourself of other barriers that you have overcome and know that this is just another one that you can and will break down.
In order to encourage myself to wake up, I actually took some time out to look at other bad habits or barriers that had presented themselves in my life and I reviewed how I overcame them and came out on top. If you take the time to look at incidents in your life where you have wanted to quit and didn’t. How did you feel when you came out on the other side? Why did you keep going and not give up? Many of the qualities that helped you through those setbacks can be called upon to help you to start the process of exercising and keep it going.
Be clear on your why
Your reason for wanting to exercise may be brought on by many factors. This may be because you want to fit into a pair of jeans like me. Or it may be because of the impact the weight gain has had on your health. It may even be because some one close to you has made a passing comment about your weight and you want to make a point of proving them wrong. The important part is that you and how it will make you feel NEEDS to be at the forefront of your decision. You cannot allow your choice to be influenced by and for someone else. Exercise is a form of self -care and is your way of showing yourself that you are important, that your body is a temple and that it DESERVES to be maintained.
List the benefits
Yes, we all know that exercise is good for you, if done correctly and not excessively. But, what is more important to note is HOW exercise will benefit you. I took time to write down in a note book what exercise would do for me. I highlighted the pros and focused on how this would affect my mood. I then returned to my list regularly to remind myself regularly how exercising makes me feel and the positive effect it has on my life.
Do what works for you
Hands-up who else is tired of the influx of celebrity DVD’s and online workout programmes. It is honestly a LOT to keep up with sometime, Then you may become slightly overwhelmed by the online fitness videos via social media too. For a long time I would try and keep up with endless videos but I realised that sometimes the oldies are often the goodies and in my experience NOTHING has helped me to slim down more than good old Tae Bo and 80’s cardio blast workouts like the Jane Fonda Workout. I know what works for me and I stick to it. It has helped to commit to a regular routine, to work at my own pace and not become swayed by trends.
Be your own body goals
On my old Instagram account, I set up the #hashtag #beyourownbodygoals where I showcased past images of old of my body at what I deemed as MY BEST and MOST TONED. Too many of us spend time looking at other people’s body transformations and comparing our journey to theirs. Of course, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have a any fitness role models. BUT, it’s so important that you compare yourself to your best self. If you were slim and healthy once, you can and WILL be that again. I regularly review older pics as a bench mark to work towards and as a positive reminder.
Your words are POWERFUL and as it is your voice you hear the most as you go about your day so imagine how much of a positive impact you can make if you are speaking positively and encouragingly of yourself and what you are striving to do. This can be delivered through a series of affirmations. As I am getting ready to exercise I repeat affirmations like:
“ I am strong”
“I am healthy”
“I am focused”
I also recite affirmations to myself as I am carrying out the workout. I continually talk myself up and motivate myself in ways that no one else can. Recognise your own strength and your own innate ability to be your own drill Sargent and be able motivate and encourage yourself.
Preparation is Key!
Lack of preparation can lead to your delivering a piss poor performance and I am a testament to that fact. When I have failed to load the DVD player with the workout I want to do first thing in the morning I allow laziness to filter through and I find reasons not to follow through with my intentions. By preparing in advance, it increases the likelihood of my sticking to my set objectives. I also lay out my workout clothes every evening also which gives me less reason to give in to the temptation of not exercising.
Just Start Somewhere
For many of us we try to create the perfect scenario before we can make a move and to be honest, 'no-one ain't got no time for that!' There will never be a perfect time and you will never have all your plates perfectly lined up. Begin from where you are, at the fitness level you are currently at. If you are only able to run on the treadmill at the gym for 5 minutes, then keep doing 5 until you feel physically able to do more that 5. If you can only do 10 minutes of that exercise DVD then stick with 10 and then work on increasing it. Too many of us quit too soon because we feel we should be doing better than what we are CURRENTLY able to do. Do what you can, with what you can, the rest will follow.