My entire life has been spent trying to lose weight and keep that weight off. In 2014, I fully committed and dedicated myself to weight-loss and fitness. I wanted to shed the “chubby girl” image I had labeled myself with and succeeded!
I dropped a total of 17 pounds in 4 months. Read my fitness story here.
Unfortunately, the strict regimen I was following wasn’t sustainable. As I went back to a more normal routine, I started seeing the number on the scale go back up. Not wanting to start from square one, I turned fitness and exercise into a lifestyle and committed myself to workout regularly.
Through extensive experience, years of research, and plain old trial and error, I have learned what has what fitness tricks work for me every time.
Remember every body and mind is different. There are things that work for me that might not work for you. There are also things that don’t work for me but could kick your fitness goals into high gear.
Figure out what works for you!
Even if you fail a few times or gain a few pounds in the middle, all that matters is that you don’t give up. As cheesy as that sounds, it is true. You will get there if you keep trying and find the perfect methods that will keep you healthy, fit, and happy!
1) Hitting the gym RIGHT AFTER WORK.
This is definitely the number one thing that helped me work out regularly. Why? Because I know the minute that I get home there is no way I am going back out to workout. My mindset instantly changes into “comfy” mode.
I take my work clothes off and switch into some sweat pants and a big t-shirt. There is no way I can motivate myself to go back out of the house if I have settled in.
After work I am fully awake as I leave and sometimes full of stress. My mind knows that working out is the best way to get rid of this tension. Being the smart person I am, I joined a gym only 3 minutes away from my office.
This means I have little to no excuse not to drop by right after work every weekday. My weekends are busy and more easily filled with excuses of why not to make it to the gym so making it every weekday is essential.
2) PACKING MY BAG THE NIGHT BEFORE.
I am not a morning person. There is nothing worse than waking up and having to pick out a workout outfit that matches while you are still groggy and cranky. I realized the hard way that if I didn’t pack my gym bag the night before, I wouldn’t pack it at all.
I made a habit of putting new workout clothes into my gym bag after emptying it of my clothes from the day. That way all I needed to do was take it to my car in the morning. Once in my car, it serves as a reminder that I should go to the gym because I have everything I need.
I recommend anyone who works out regularly to invest in one. You can find them for a reasonable price on amazon (like this one). The fabric is water proof, and better yet, smell proof.
3) WEIGHING MYSELF EVERYDAY.
I know what some of you are thinking, “but Angela, there is research saying that weighing yourself everyday is bad for losing weight.” This is one of the big points that may not work for you but works wonders for me.
I step on the scale every morning because it keeps me accountable. If I see the number on the scale move drastically upward, I know that I’m doing something wrong. This is a small mental check for me everyday and a reminder in the morning to stay healthy.
Having been in the fitness and health lifestyle for so long I am now realistic enough not to get demotivated by the number. I know seeing the number go up is the biggest factor for people not to weigh themselves everyday. They have get upset and demotivated because there efforts don’t meet their expectations.
I am happy to report I don’t have those expectations anymore.
4) HAVing a weight loss buddy.
I used to go to the gym with my best friend and we would work out together everyday. This was a great way to ensure that I went because I knew someone would be there to call me out if I didn’t go.
When I started my new job, I was fortunate because my co-workers were health conscious. One of my co-workers and I bonded through our mutual obsession with being fit. I like to call us the “over-eaters support group.”
There are times I really don’t want to go to the gym but she tells me I have to. She reminds me that it’s good for me and that I’ll feel amazing after. She is always right.
Having someone there as a constant reminder helps more than I can explain. They are not only there to keep you going to the gym but they also understand the struggles you are going through.
It’s super motivating to know that you’re not the only one struggling and it is possible to get to where you want to be.
5) DOING EXERCISES and workouts I LIKE.
I know lots of fitness experts will tell you not to fall into a workout routine but I have. Why did I let myself go against expert advice again? Simply because I like it. Each day that I workout has an assigned body part or area that I want to target.
I love working on my core on Mondays so that I can watch my stomach get flatter. It is also a satisfying feeling the next day when my abs are sore. I also love working on my legs and my glutes on Tuesdays. Typically, I do the same exercises every week but try to increase the weights or repetitions when I find it’s getting too easy.
I’m okay with knowing this won’t burn the maximum amount of calories a week but at least it keeps me coming back for more.
6) constantly finding my source of motivation.
Strength doesn’t come from the things you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.
– Rikki Rogers
Motivation is dynamic. What I mean by that is the source of what motivates you at any given time is always going to change. This is also another lesson that I learned the hard way.
A few years ago I was super motivated by fitness Instagram accounts with hundreds of progress photos. I knew that if these people could do it, I could do it too. Slowly these pictures weren’t motivating me anymore and I fell off the fitness bandwagon.
What I didn’t know is that I should have been and should always be looking for new forms of motivation. A few months ago, I had set a goal of running an entire 5K. This goal kept me going to the gym almost everyday. I wanted to be able to run the whole thing. Also, buying myself a new pair of sneakers didn’t hurt.
Lately, the thing that motivates me to stay fit are other people at my gym. By that I mean the good looking guys there. I have a crush on one of the trainers and I love smiling at him everyday. All I can think is, yeah, I can squat to the floor. Watch me.
I know this will eventually change or he will eventually leave so I’m constantly searching for what gets me to go workout.
7) Have a Concrete fitness goal.
Don’t just have an abstract goal like, I want to get stronger, or I want to look fitter. Having abstract goals will not push you to get better. What is stronger? What is looking fitter? You need to have benchmarks to know you are getting there.
I suggest putting a number or something measurable around your goal. Like having a goal weight or being able to do 3 pull ups or hold a plank easily for a minute. This way you know you are getting better and you can plan around the number. If you want to hold a plank easily for 1 minute you can start with 20 seconds a day and then add in 10 seconds each week until you meet your 1 minute goal.
Every time you reach a new milestone or see the progress you’ve made, you will be more motivated to get to your goal!
Figuring out what works for you is all about knowing yourself.
After some self-reflection and weeding out what doesn’t work, you’ll find your perfect path to a healthy and active lifestyle. The key is finding what works for you.
There is no quick fix that will magically keep you fit. If someone tells you that there is, they are just trying to sell you something. Change the way you think about health and you have the master key to changing it all. Don’t think about it as being skinny or looking a certain way. You are trying to be healthy and stay healthy.
If you change your mindset, all of the tricks I’ve talked about will become some of the simplest things you’ve ever done!
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