We use this phrase to emphasize that anything great takes time. And as Steve Kamb states over at NerdFitness,
A robot doesn’t become a truck in one step. You won’t lose 100 pounds overnight. Slowly transform your diet, make changes that you can live with, and the new YOU will have a much better chance of fighting off the Decepticons and obesity.
So, let’s get started.The Biggest Thing You Can Do is Have A Goal!!!
And I don’t mean, “I want to lose a lot of weight.” Or “I want to be ripped like Aa-nald.” (BTW, that kind of ripped doesn’t happen naturally. It requires . . . “assistance”.) While these are great as inspiration, you need to get specific if you want to see results. As in, you need a clearly defined plan. Let me give you a couple of examples:
- I am just entering my third trimester of pregnancy. For about a year before I found out I was pregnant, I had a very clear goal: I want to do a pull-up by December. Then I broke it down. I knew that I needed a lot more upper body muscle to pull this off (no pun intended). So, I enlisted the help of a friend to personalize a training plan for one night a week. It involved a lot of push-ups, a lot of burpees, and a lot of pain and sweat. I also went with my husband to our local martial arts school to participate in their workout and kung fu lessons once a week. This was clear, straightforward, and most importantly, something I could actually test. Could I do a pull-up yet? Were my muscles getting harder and more toned? Was I increasing the difficulty of my workouts steadily?
- Let me mention a hero to me. The person that convinced me that weight lifting doesn’t make you bulky. And someone that inspired me. Staci, at NerdFitness, started out weighing 170 lbs. And she tried the “normal” way to lose weight. She didn’t have a plan but just cut out fat (and food she needed) and ran a lot. Until it almost made her sick. She went down to 117 lbs, obsessed over every ounce, and felt physically and mentally miserable. Until someone told her she was approaching it wrong. She started researching nutrition and strength training. And where is she today? Though she has gained back weight, it is all muscle. And she can now deadlift . . . 315 lbs. Head on over to read the full testimony on her transformation, but it was incredibly inspiring to me. Because I was heading down the same path when I read it.
So, in the first example, it was a clearly defined goal with a step by step plan that helped. The second example brings me to another part of getting started.
Don’t just believe that because someone said something about diet, nutrition, or exercise, that it is true. Don’t believe me! Do the research. Look at the studies and read up on things like how your body processes nutrients or how your body responds to different types of exercises. Use this information to help you make your plan. Example: If my goal was a pull-up, cardio would not help me. I needed to build muscle. So, I shaped my plan around a lot more muscle building activities. Do you want to run a 5k? Then you need more cardio.
So, you have a clear goal, you’ve educated yourself and used that information to form a plan. Now what?
One of the biggest reasons to quit is because you are trying to do it alone. We all need a support group in our lives to help us through the challenging times. It can be a group of online friends in a forum or a group of real-life friends. It doesn’t matter who it is as long as they are their to support you. Let me make it clear now, the friend that has something negative to say all the time about everything is not who you want. You want positive support. The day you don’t feel like getting up and working out? You want someone who will keep cheering you on. I recommend having at least one person in your life who will support you in this. Maybe have them call you on the days you have a workout. Or, even better, tell them you will pay them a set amount of money if you don’t workout.
Let me also add that all of this will not do any good if you don’t actually get started. I have gotten stuck myself in the plan and research stage without ever moving forward. It is a double-edged sword. Without all of the above, it is easy to lose direction and focus, fizzling out like a wet firework. (Think of the Ex-Wife from Iron Man 2). But it is easy to feel like the planning is enough. (“I planned every detail out and now I’m exhausted. Time to watch some T.V.!!) Try to find that balance between the two.
So, in the spirit of community, leave a comment with:
- Your specific goal
- A basic plan to reach that goal
- Who will your support as you follow the plan