Getting In Shape: The 5 Strategies You Need to Know
April is officially right around the corner, which means Swimsuit Season is not far behind.
Some of you have already bought your new bikinis or chubbies (I see you, fellas!) and are excited to show off the muscle you've been building all winter. Props to all of you!
Others of you, however, may have fallen off the wagon with your nutrition and fitness and are dreading trying on suits with every fiber of your being. Don't worry, we've all been there at some point.
Whether you are already sporting a defined six-pack or your idea of a six-pack comes in a Krispy Kreme box, the pressure is on to fire up your fitness game and you may be asking yourself, "where do I start?"
For starters, there is no "one size fits all." Every body and every person is unique.
What works for me (I'm 6'0" tall and heavily active) will not work for my friend who is 5'5" and sedentary. Our bodies need different foods, exercises, and ratios of rest and recovery to reach our peak performance. That being said, there are some general strategies that you can use to help kickstart your efforts to get in shape.
1. ALWAYS PLAN AHEAD
When it comes to getting in shape, arguably the MOST important thing you can do to ensure your success is plan ahead.
- Prepare your meals and snacks in advance for the week. Having healthy food readily available to you throughout the week will keep you from reaching for that bag of chips or running through the drive-thru.
- Plan your meals out ahead of time. If you know you have two breakfast meetings this week, look at the menu in advance and pick out a healthy item that fits your goals.
- Schedule your workouts! When you write a coffee appointment with a friend in your calendar, you are more likely to stick to it. The same goes for your workout. Pen it in and treat it like you would a commitment to a friend (except the friend is you!)
- Know what's around you when traveling. It's hard to prioritize your health when traveling and many people tank their progress when having to make gas station or airport pitstops. Do your homework and find healthy spots to stop while you travel. Or, even better, go to the store beforehand and stock up on healthy snacks like nuts, clean energy bars, dried fruit, and jerky. Don't leave it to chance!
Moral of the story: Always be prepared.
2. DO IT FOR YOURSELF
I think Ryan Gosling says it perfectly in The Notebook, "it's not about what I want, what he wants, what your parents want...what do you want?!" Your health journey is about you and you only. Can your spouse, children, or significant other motivate you to get in shape? ...Do you think Noah and the house he built Allie had anything to do with her choosing him? DUH! But she had to make the choice for herself. And so do you.
Moral of the story: Do it for YOU!
3. HAVE SOMEONE TO KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE
Your health journey may be about you, but it sure does help to have people encouraging and supporting you along the way. Find someone you trust who can keep you accountable to your goals. If you want to commit to working out three days a week but know you will have trouble sticking with it, call a friend! Ask them to hold you accountable. Admit when you are struggling, ask for help when you are feeling unmotivated, and share your success with them!
Moral of the story: Don't try to do it alone!
4. EDUCATE YOURSELF
If you are just getting started, or getting back in the swing of things, chances are you're not updated on the latest fitness and nutrition news. Cue the Internet, where you have a million resources available to you at the click of a button. Plug in to fitness blogs (like this one) and podcasts, follow healthy recipe accounts on Instagram, and LEARN as much as you can! It's easier to get from A to B when you have directions.
Moral of the story: Education + Effort = Success
5. HIRE A PERSONAL TRAINER/NUTRITIONIST
You can knock out numbers 1, 3, and 4 by doing number 5.
#1. Do you want planned, structured, challenging workouts made specifically for you? Or meal plans that are uniquely tailored to your preferences? Hire a personal trainer/nutritionist.
#3. Do you want someone who will hold you accountable, motivate and support you? Hire a personal trainer/nutritionist.
#4. Do you want to learn from a specialist who can teach you what you need to know about creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle? Hire a personal trainer/nutritionist.
You get the idea. Personal trainers and nutritionists are excellent guides to help you find your footing when you are getting in shape. It is literally their job to make sure you succeed and they will do whatever it takes to help you reach your goals. (P.S. I know a girl who lives for helping people get confident in the gym and the kitchen...you should call her.)
Moral of the story: Click here to fill out a client inquiry form and get the coaching and training you deserve!
There are a lot of ways to get from where you are to where you want to be. These five strategies can help you, but you have to put in the effort. It won't always be easy, but it will always be worth it. Don't let the fear of failing keep you from trying. You are capable of more than you know.