Good morning my dears! Happy start to a new week. With all this fitness frenzy that comes with the new year I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what tips I could give from my experience from starting at square zero to where I am now. There’s loads of things to be said but if there’s one thing I’d really love to share that I think is really important which is doing everything gradually, in small gradual changes.
I think the main mistake I did when I started, which I found a lot of people I’ve spoken to does as well, is that you expect to make a lifestyle change over night. To be honest, it’s not going to happen over night and it’s usually this drastic change which will make you fall off the your path towards a healthier and fitter life.
If you think about it, where you are now and who you are now is not where and who you just decided to be when you woke up today and decided to become over night. It’s an accumulation of small actions and habits you’ve taken on along the way during a very long period of time, perhaps without even really being aware of it or reflecting over it. It’s an accumulation of everything you’ve been doing so far in your life which has taken you to where you are today. When you think of it like that you realise that change takes time, building up a sustainable lifestyle takes time. If it’s taken you all this time so far, no wonder it takes time to change.
Change means you need to change how you live, your mindset and your habits. Essentially a part of you needs to change. This can sound extremely overwhelming when you think about it just like that but it doesn’t have to be. Luckily, as I mentioned above, it’s small gradual changes which will win you the race. You need to give yourself time to learn along the way by researching and as you learn why you need to make certain changes you’ll find a deeper meaning as to why you should implement them into your life. As you learn you can gradually apply them to your life.
An example is what my friend Ross (The Motivational Dude) gives when people ask him about eating healthier. He says, if you make a nutritiously packed smoothie for breakfast to start your day off, you’ve changed 33.3% of your diet. That is a huge chunk to start off with and it’s only one meal (depending on how many meals you eat during the day, I eat more than three hehe). It’s not as much as changing all of your diet at once (that can be extremely overwhelming if you don’t know what healthy meals you should cook) but once that smoothie for breakfast has become a habit and it’s become part of your routine you can start looking at lunch, dinner and snacks. Focus on one thing at a time focus on making it a habit and something you enjoy.
The same goes for if you’re giving up eating sweets or cake, don’t expect to throw it all away and stop eating it all together over night. Choose your moments when you should eat it and eat it more mindfully instead of stuffing yourself with it. There are also healthier raw vegan chocolate options like Ombar or Almighty Foods, which you can have instead. I love raw vegan desserts. This still doesn’t mean you can eat copious amounts of it and expect to be healthy and fit but that you can enjoy it with a little bit better conscience knowing it is better for your body. Decide for yourself how much chocolate or cake you need in your life, is it worth it the amount you just said? Will you get results with what you just said? Even making some adjustments will make a difference. I’d never say don’t ever eat cake, I love a dessert once in a while but not every day.
Doing things gradually applies to exercise as well, don’t expect to go from not even having a gym membership to going five times a week. Most likely you’ll get tired of it and start coming up with excuses as to why you shouldn’t go. Instead start going once or maybe even twice a week and make sure you go every week. Consistency is key and it’s far more important you go twice a week for essentially the rest of you life than going five times a week every couple of years. From those two sessions you’ll build strength and stamina, you’ll feel happy from the progress you’re making and one day you might feel like adding a third session would be good for you and you feel like you could commit to it. This is how I started out and today I’m training or doing some form of movement every single day pretty much as my body craves it and I’ve built a lifestyle around it. If I’d done what I do today from day one, I don’t think I’d be where I am now. Be realistic with what you’re committing yourself to and sick to it.
You’ll make mistakes along the way and there will be days when you don’t go to the gym when you should’ve but I really think with making smaller changes instead of drastic overnight changes you’ll find it’s easier create your new lifestyle. Also don’t forget to surround yourself with supportive people along the way who can hold you accountable and cheer you on. It doesn’t even need to be people in your life if you struggle to find someone who understands you (I did for a long time). I had supportive people around me but I felt alone sometimes with my goals and what I wanted to do. No one was really on the same path. Instead turn to social media. There are so many social media profiles you can follow and groups to join where people support each other on their fitness journeys. It’s amazing that we have access to people all across the globe for support when we perhaps can’t find it around us.
I hope this little tip helped and that I didn’t ramble too much! I tried to stick to the point but there is so much to be said! I really feel like this approach is a great place to start, yes there are of course other things that needs to be done as well in order for you to get fully on track with a more healthy and fit lifestyle but you need to start somewhere.
Speak soon, M xxx