Ending The Vicious Cycle: 5 Steps to Begin Implementing a Lasting Fitness Routine

As women, we are constantly inundated with the message that we need to exercise and eat healthy all the time in order to be happy. No pressure, right? Having to live up to an impossible standard keeps most of us stuck and not moving towards a realistic goal of living a healthy lifestyle. Most of us are looking for the next diet and exercise trend to keep up with, and yet many of us fall short. So what keeps so many of us from making any real lasting change? Let me use myself as an example.

For many years I found myself in a vicious cycle that kept me from creating any enduring fitness regimen. My pattern would go something like this: I would guilt myself into hitting the gym and then begrudgingly go. While I was on the elliptical or treadmill, I would check my watch incessantly and then wait for whatever time to pass that I deemed appropriate. Once I hit that number, whether it was 30 minutes or an hour, I would excuse myself to leave and feel a temporary relief from guilt. That freedom from guilt was typically short-lived, because I would make poor decisions with my eating because “I earned it for working out.” What do you think happened next? Yep! I would feel guilty again after eating my pizza and promise myself to do better the next day. If I didn’t make it to the gym the next day, I would shame myself for not going- starting the whole nasty pattern all over again. Sound familiar?

The turning point happened for me when I found a gym that provided me with tools, accountability and community. The tools were in the form of education, learning about nutrition and learning about balance. However, none of that would have happened without the accountability piece. I had no idea how essential this was for me until I had it. I needed someone to hold me accountable when I didn’t show up. I needed the person to text when I wanted to give up.

And then, over time, a crazy thing happened. I started to enjoy going to the gym, I started to really like working out. Crazy concept, right? Because of the joy I found in the workouts, I found myself internally motivated to eat healthier, not out of obligation, but out of desire. This fitness journey began a year and a half ago and I have never looked back. I have learned that it’s about balance, and taking care of ourselves from the inside out.

I see a healthy lifestyle as a perpetual journey and not a destination, and it will look different for all of us. If you are struggling to begin implementing a lasting fitness routine, check out my 5 tips below on how you can get started.

  1. Going to the gym alone didn’t work for me. Know what works for you. For some of you, going on runs or hitting the gym solo may be gold. That tactic didn’t work for me. I needed to belong to a community of people that motivated me and inspired me every day. Find a gym that feels like an extended family, this connection is invaluable and will keep you on track.
  2. Have an accountability buddy. If belonging to that kind of gym isn’t something you’re interested in or isn’t possible, that’s okay. Having an accountability buddy is incredibly motivating and effective. It’s the person you text at 7 am when your alarm goes off and you don’t want to get up. Its’ the person you text when you feel like giving up. Support each other, push each other. And also remind each other it’s okay to eat the brownie. It’s all about balance.
  3. Set realistic goals, and set yourself up for success. I think lots of us go wrong with setting unrealistic goals. Like telling ourselves we will work out 5 days the next week- and then we don’t and we feel like we failed. Set small achievable goals, maybe starting with 2 days a week is more achievable. This will motivate you to keep going and to keep getting better. When we set ourselves up to fail, we are less likely to want to try again.
  4. Remind yourself what this is all for, if it’s not for you, you are wasting your time. Get clear on your “why”. What are you doing this for? Who are you showing up for? Are you doing this out of guilt and obligation? Then chances are you won’t see lasting change. When you start to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself, you can really own your success and can begin to harness your own personal power.
  5. Change is not linear, “setbacks” are part of the process. Everyone has bad days and sometimes those bad days’ role into a bad week or two. It’s ok! Remember to reset, get clear on your why, and know that every day is a chance to start anew!

I hope you enjoyed my 5 tips for how to begin implementing a lasting fitness routine. For any person reading this and thinking that they need some guidance in how to apply these tips, don’t hesitate to call me at 786-671-5498. I’m only a click away from helping you transform your life!

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