Every year around this time, the gym gets a little busier. June is three months away and people are now going into panic mode. They had one too many pizzas and where did these stomach rolls come from?!
Oh, right. The twelve pieces of pizza I just ate. EL. OH. EL.
I feel ya, homies, and I’m here for you.
I started my fitness journey about four months ago-ish, and trust me, sticking to it may have been the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. There are days when you just cannot. Actually, erase that thought from your head because on those days when you just cannot, you actually can you lazy bum.
Now obviously, I’m kidding. You’re not a lazy bum. If you were, you wouldn’t be reading this. #proudofyou
So, I’m here today to tell you what helped me stick to my fitness goals. There are a lot of contributors, but these ones were the most important and really kept me focused.
- Have a support squad. I know you’re all probably super sick of hearing me say this, but it is so important. I had this group of friends who knew where I was at when I started and how much progress I was making, and if they caught me cheating they’d kick my ass. However, they were also the group of people I could turn to when I was feeling down and they would help lift me back up again. They help remind you why you started, and they will be your biggest motivator.
- If possible, invest in a personal trainer. My trainer was Janelle Tank from Nell Nation Fitness in Lapeer, MI. She is amazing, and the best part is that she works with people online and over the phone. There is absolutely no way I would have made it this far without her. I learned from her for three months and she’s completely changed my life. Even just talking to someone on the phone for thirty minutes once a week can really motivate you to push yourself. Plus, it’s nice to have meal plans and workouts already prepared for you if you, like me, don’t have a lot of spare time in a week to plan. Seriously, look into it.
- Make. A. Schedule. I know it sucks. I work and go to school full time, so my schedule is all sorts of madness. It does not matter. Sit down for ten minutes, look at your week, and write down what days you are going to go into your planner. There is just something about having it written down and planned for that will keep you accountable.
- Try protein shakes and pre-workout. Yes, good protein shakes and pre-workout are expensive and they will differ based on your needs. My advice? If you don’t have a handy dandy personal trainer like I did (thanks Janelle, you da bomb), then hit your local GNC and ask them what they would recommend for you. Protein shakes will not make you bulky, I promise. In fact, they’ll help with your soreness and help keep you full throughout the day so you don’t have those pesky cravings. And yes, I know, there is some negativity surrounding pre-workout. I have to say, though, that it has helped me immensely. I feel much more ready to workout when I take it, and I sweat a lot more, too. Somehow, for me at least, that is super satisfying.
- Bring a friend. My friends come to the gym with me all the time. It makes working out fun. We get to the gym and we gossip and catch up on things in our lives. It’s like going for drinks with a friend, except without the booze. Plus, you’re probably helping them stick to their fitness goals as much as they’re helping you.
- If you screw up (and you will), accept it and move on. Exactly five hours ago I ate pancakes for breakfast. They were delicious and I do not regret them. Immediately after, I went to the gym, cranked out a good workout, and will stick to my meal plan strictly for the next week with no cheat meal. Yes, I screwed up. No, I do not hate myself for it. You can’t be perfect, because it’s impossible. Plus, you deserved those pancakes, just saying.
- Be unreasonable. Okay, this actually isn’t my fitness hack. It belongs to my personal trainer, Janelle. It’s helpful, though, so I have to include it. Every time you read things about fitness, they say to make your goals reasonable. No, no, no. Why would you want to set yourself up to be mediocre? Obviously, even the slightest progress is amazing, and you should always be proud of yourself. BUT, that doesn’t mean you should give yourself a cop out when it comes to your goals. When you tell someone your goal, they should say, “You’re crazy.” Because you should believe that there isn’t anything you can’t do.
- Take progress pictures. Yes, I know. It sucks so bad. When I took my first ever progress picture I was like, “Ew. Gross.” It sucks, and it sucks, and it sucks, and then suddenly it doesn’t suck. Suddenly you get to say, “Wow, you are such a bad ass.” And you will feel incredible and you will be totally happy that you took those pictures, because now you can really see the progress you’ve made and you can share it on Instagram and people will be like, “Dang, you are the bees knees.” Okay, probably not in those words, but you get the idea.
- Sleep in your workout clothes. Okay, ew, no. I am not saying workout and then sleep in your sweat-drenched clothes all night. That is disgusting. I’m saying, if you workout in the mornings, sleep in your workout clothes. This gives you an extra ten minutes to sleep in and means you have so much less to do in the morning. Also, if you do drink pre-workout, make it the night before and pop it into the fridge so you’re all ready in the morning.
- Add frozen fruit to your water. Water is LIFE, people. You need to drink it all day, every day. And if you’re super picky and don’t like things that taste like nothing (a.k.a. you are me), you add frozen fruit to your water and then everything is rainbows and butterflies. Cross my heart. Rainbows. And. Butterflies.
- Track EVERYTHING. Track your water intake. Track your steps. Track your calorie intake. Track your exercise. Track your weight. Write it down. Or if you don’t want to write it down, there are about a million apps for all of the above. Find one you like, and track it. I know it’s tedious. Just do it, okay?
- Think fruit. If you are like me and are binge watching Shameless at two in the morning while swiping through Tinder, you have those pesky late-night cravings. You want everything and anything that begins with chocolate and ends with more chocolate. Honestly, though, your body is just craving sugar. You know what is something that has a lot of natural sugar that will make you feel 100% less guilt after eating it? That’s right. Fruit!
And there you have it, y’all. My tips and hacks for getting fit and dieting. Obviously everyone is different. But hopefully this will get you started on your journey. And of course, as always, leave your comments below to let me know how they work for you or if you have any genius health hacks to share.
Have a fabulous day,