Beginning Your Fitness Journey: Prepare for the Marathon this Time, Instead of the Sprint

Beginning your fitness journey

Submitted by: Amber

Being an unconventional person, I often give unconventional advice or have odd reasons for my actions. When people ask me why I embarked on my fitness journey, I reply “To become happy”. This is the honest to goodness truth. Just five and a half months ago when I was nearly 40 pounds larger (and at my heaviest, 50 pounds larger) I can honestly say that I was lacking in happiness. Although slimming down and looking cute was second on the list of reasons why I should get fit, it came after the health of my mood and overall demeanor.  Though I had people constantly telling me how much ‘prettier, healthier, insert other positive adjective here’, I would be if I lost the weight, it did make a difference. And honestly, other people’s comments never fazed me. Don’t let them phase you either. A weight loss journey is a personal journey. You must begin and continue on this journey for yourself. Whatever your reasons, concentrate on your ideas and goals for fitness, and use these tips to get started:

  1. Don’t begin until you find your true motivation. That’s right, don’t. Until you change your mind set about weight, working out, and eating clean, do not get started. Keeping eating those double cheeseburgers, loaded Mac and cheese, and pound cake. It doesn’t make any sense to get started and you are not committed. What will you really accomplish? If you are not ready to switch to better habits for you, do yourself a favor and don’t begin until you get ready.
  2. Start all things in the now. Once you have decided that you are ready to begin your health and fitness lifetime journey, get started immediately. There is no point to waiting till the beginning of the week, the end of the month, the beginning of the year, etc. You are wasting time that could be spent flushing out your system, burning fat, and toning your body. Even one day can make a huge difference as far as weight loss. If you are ready, get to it.
  3. Make a plan. It can be general, it can be extremely specific. Personally, when I decided that I was ready to lose the weight and have a healthy body, I threw out every bad food I had. I went shopping that afternoon, and bought fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs and fish. I had absolutely nothing other than healthy foods inside of my home. My only plan was to eat completely healthy foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks and to walk at least 2 miles a day. In order to do this, I made it impossible to cheat. Because I was mentally determined to physically get fit, I decided not to cheat on my diet, and I made it convenient for myself to stick to the plan.  Make a plan that you can stick with, and stick to it.
  4. Remember that this is a marathon and not a race. Physical fitness and wellness is a lifelong journey, not a starvation diet for a few months to get into skimpy clothing for the summer. Prepare for the long haul and make a point to look at the bigger picture. There are going to be times that you aren’t losing as much as you should, or toning as much as you would like. I lost 13 pounds in the first 10 days of my journey, and then I hit a plateau. I didn’t lose any weight the next week. I felt sad for a little while, and then I realized that eventually, if I continue my journey the weight would come off. It had no other choice. And I thought to myself “when I reach week 52 of my journey, and I have an amazing new body, my risk of diseases has decreased exponentially, and I am on cloud nine because of my newfound attitude, would it matter that I didn’t lose the five pounds I wanted during week two instead of them slowly coming off in the next few weeks?” That answer would be no, for $500 Alex.
  5. No one else’s opinion matters. Except your doctor of course, please see your doctor before starting a new exercise and fitness regimen to make sure that everything is on the up and up. Other than those two opinions, no one else’s commentary, sarcastic remarks, or pessimism need bother you. This journey is about you. People are going to look at you odd when you want to go out to eat and only order the Caesar salad with the dressing on the side. Some people who mean well may offer you suggestions that don’t work or you. My mother is a body builder and my father is her trainer. My dad offered to create a diet for me, and I said no thanks. He knows what he is talking about and he means well, but the diet would not work for me. I can’t just survive on protein shakes, egg whites, and baked chicken breast seven days a week. There was no way I was going to stick to his regimen, and that was ok. I know myself, and I know that I was better off fixing whatever vegetable, egg or fish I was interested in having that day. Some nights I might want to have vegetable omelets with organic fruit juice, and sometimes I wanted the baked salmon over a green salad with lemon water. Do you. It’s the only way you’re going to be able to stick with it without becoming completely overwhelmed.
  6. Don’t make this laborious, make it victorious. The number one reason most people don’t stick with diet and exercise plans is these plans and the changes that must be made to an unhealthy lifestyle look so restrictive and labor intensive. I no longer take my fitness and the health of my body as a job that I dread going to. Instead, I am happy to be spending my time becoming as healthy and physically fit as I can. My body is the one and only asset that I get to have until I die. Anything else can be taken away at a moment’s notice, but eating right, being fit, and making good choices is under my control. I want to be healthy and happy, so I celebrate every milestone and victory in this wellness journey, and I look forward to creating more as time continues, and I continue to flourish.

Set yourself up for success by creating a journey for yourself that you can continue with and work on for years to come. Perfection does not exist so don’t expect it, yes you will have bad days, lazy days, and days where you don’t want to do anything but lay in bed and eat. We all do. But overall, always member that putting the in work to become physically, mentally, and spiritually fit is the single best thing that you can do for your life.  There will never be another you, and the world needs you at your best.

Check out Amber’s Before and After

amber before and after

Amber is a freelance writer and a proud woman of Spelman College. A newly minted health and fitness buff, Amber strives to help others lose weight and make healthy lifestyle changes for both health and happiness. 

Thank you for sharing your inspirational story with us!

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