REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
What is something that keeps people from achieving their goals? A lot of times we love our goals, but we don’t enjoy our journey toward achieving them. We get frustrated and fall of the wagon. We give up on the journey because we don’t want to put in the necessary work to get there.
In the case of trying to achieve a healthy, happy, fit body, it’s the same thing. We imagine our success in our minds, and we love it. It’s what we want! Then, we set out to follow whatever’s currently deemed the most effective diet and fitness program. After all, it’s been deemed effective by all of the studies, and we want results. It sure does make sense. Or does it?
I have a different theory, and I don’t think it can easily be argued. My journey that is fun, invigorating, stimulating and fun is the journey that is more likely to bring success. Why? Because that’s the journey you’re going to stick with.
So, exactly what do I mean? I mean, you need to find a diet and exercise program that you enjoy. Sure, it might take a little discipline, but you shouldn’t dread it. It should be a positive thing. I’m sure you’ve heard the importance of a healthy lifestyle, rather than short-term, quick fixes. Fact is you can’t make a lifestyle out of something you loathe doing.
My mom loves Zumba. She goes regularly. She thinks it’s a lot of fun. I have 5 sisters. She’s taken all of us at one time or another. Some of my sisters went through phases where they went regularly, as well. Myself, I went 3 times. We all agree, it was not my thing. I don’t really get into it, and they all notice my lack of rhythm.
I do a wide variety of workouts. I strength train regularly, but I mix up my methods. I do anything from body weight, bands, medicine ball and kettlebells, to dumbbells. Sometimes, I do regular, old school x number or sets for x number of reps. Sometimes I circuit train. Sometimes, I make up own workouts, and sometimes, I follow one I’ve found on pinterest.
I hate working out in my living room, but right now, working out at home works best for me. I turned our den into a gym. I mounted a full-length mirror. I can’t say enough about the mirror. It is so motivating to myself workout, and to see my form. This may or may not work for you, but it’s something to consider.
I also find that working out outside from time to time (weather permitting) motivates me.
Gym clothes is another thing. A lot of times when people start working out, they were a shapeless t-shirt and black or grey bottoms. This is probably a combination of not liking their body (very common before starting a workout program, but not always the case), and/or not having more flattering/fun gym clothes (after all, they are just starting to workout). I recommend investing in gym clothes you can’t wait to put on. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Sure, you can spend over a hundred dollars on some cool printed gym pants from Nike, Under Armor, or whatever big name. You can also score a bargain on some equally awesome printed gym pants at Target. Heck, I’ve even seen some nice pants at Wal-Mart. I don’t know how comfortable the ones from Wal-Mart are. I don’t have any of theirs, but I can vouch for Target’s, as I do have some from there.
There are some great gym shirts out there, but you can also have fun with old T-shirts. You can tie dye them, bedazzle them, cut them, and tie them to create something new and fun. Pinterest is a great resource for DIY gym shirts. There are so many ideas on there, it’s crazy!
I would invest in good shoes and a good sports bra (for women). Basically, invest in the items that you need the most support from. You can get the shoes and the bras that look hip and fun, but your workout journey will end quickly if your back hurts from your chest bouncing around, or your shoes get tore up whenever you get moving in them. In these areas functionality is most important. I’ll post more about that in a future blog post.
Ok, we could go on forever about how to keep the workout positive and fun. However, I want to touch on the diet aspect of getting started, too. Everyone thinks of salad. Beyond that, you have the high-protein, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, no sugar, low calorie, lowfat, only snacks, intermittent fasting debate (Whew! Let me catch my breath!) So many people swear by so many things. Oddly enough, they can all find studies to back them up.
Here’s my take. Find something that makes sense to you, that you think you can live with, and try it. You don’t have to specifically fit any of the categories above. For example, I’m paleo-influenced because I have Celiac disease and a low tolerance for dairy and legumes. I’m also vegetarian-influenced because I try to eat more plant-based, and choose to make meatless meals from time to time. I listen to my body and adapt. I don’t count calories, as I don’t think that makes sense when trying to form a healthy lifestyle. I don’t want to spend my life counting. I tried intermittent fasting at one point, and my energy was terrible, and I was so moody. I eat when I want to. It makes me happy.
I also eat what I want. The internet is full of healthy variations on just about every recipe in the universe! Trust me! Check google or pinterest. It’s there. I like to create my own. The creating part is half the fun.
My key points are to find workouts that work for you. Workouts that you don’t despise and dread. Find a healthy way of eating that you can live with. A way of eating that makes you happy. The best thing to do, if you want to be healthier, is to listen to your body.