3 Tips for Starting a Fitness Habit and Sticking with it
Well, it’s that time of year again: swimsuit season.
And yes, I know it’s way too cold, and snowy, and icy, and gross outside for swimsuits, but in retailers all across the country swimsuits are filling the shelves and racks, single handedly striking fear and loathing into the hearts of women.
And maybe that’s being a little dramatic, but you get the idea!
As women, we’re bombarded with unattainable beauty ideals year round, but it never seems to hit quite as overwhelming as when it’s time to shimmy into a swimsuit to hit the beach.
And I’m sure a lot of you are looking for ways to feel better about yourself, and (hopefully!) start some healthy habits in the meantime but it can feel daunting.
So I’m coming at you with some of my best practices for getting healthier - attained from years having an on again off again relationship with health and fitness.
1. Don’t start because you hate your body
This one might seem counter intuitive, but I wish I had known this when I started working out. I’ve started so many times because I felt like I hated my body, and that feels like a natural reaction. Hate your body… fix it. But doing something with a negative motivation and expecting a positive result won’t get your anywhere. This is like hating your partner and going to therapy. You can sit there talking for days, but if you’re silently cussing your partner out and focusing on everything they do that annoys the crap out of you… you’re not going to make any progress. The only way to make lasting changes is to love your partner and commit to making your relationship work - no matter what. It’s the same with your body.
Like I said, I’ve been off and on this whole healthy lifestyle train a lot in my life, but the times I’ve stuck with it most were the times I was doing it out of love and respect, not hatred and self-loathing. I’ve stuck with running for four years; some of those times I’ve loved how I looked and felt sexy and confident… and other times not so much. But I stuck with it because I love running, and I love myself enough to take care of myself in the way that I deserve.
Do the same for yourself.
2. Find something you genuinely love to do
Don’t love running? Don’t do it!
Hate going to the gym? Don’t go!
There are literally a million and one ways to be healthy and active so find stop waisting time doing something you hate and find the thing that you enjoy! For me that’s running and lifting. I love getting out of the house when I run, I love the endorphins I get, and I love checking off how many miles I completed. I also love throwing around some dumbbells in the weight section of my gym. (I feel like such a badass!) But if those things don’t get you pumped don’t do it! If you enjoy what you do you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
Remember, just because something worked for someone else does not mean it’ll work for you; it worked for them because they found what works for them. Find what works for you.
3. Throw out the f#%king scale
Muscle is denser than fat, which means that a pound of muscle takes up much less space on you than a pound of fat. Muscle also allows us to lift heavier, run faster, and look a whole lot sexier! Oh, and did I mention that it burns more calories than fat does? Yeah, it’s totally a win/win/win situation! But the scale won’t show you that. The scale is a dirty lier. The scale also counts that salad in your stomach as being part of you… and that 32oz of water you just finished… and ladies, you’ll probably weight 1-5lbs heavier just before Mother Nature shows up. Like I said, the scale is a dirty lier. So throw it out and focus on progress photos, measurements, how your clothes fit, and how you FEEL. You’ll see more progress, feel better, learn to listen to your body instead of subjective numbers, and be less likely to become obsessive about that number.
So there you have it. My top three tips. Now go forth and share this with one woman in your life who needs to hear this!